Arachnophilia 2013

This is a much-belated post, since we’re already planning the next one…

On our fifth annual Arachnophilia! hike on 10/04, temps were ~70 to ~63, clear and sunny with no moon, sunset at 6:47. JO, KG and I had 11 participants show up.

Since we hadn’t seen that much on a previous hike, we decided to take the nature trail on our 10/2 scouting hike instead of the usual route, starting to walk at 5:25. We crossed the first bridge an hour later.

Zale

Zale moth from 10/2

The easiest place to have dinner with a group is at the stream. I think we got there at 6:30 and left at 7:25, once it was dark enough.

We crossed the second bridge around 8:10, and the third a few minutes later. The native Parazygiella had built orbs. We also found a new species for there, Rhomphaea, which is in the same family as the widows, but looks completely different from other common spiders in that family.

Uroctonus mordax interacting

Uroctonus mordax interacting

On 10/2, JO and I found a couple of forest scorpions interacting.

The big nature trail intersection came at 9:00. As usual, we checked the trailbanks on the way up, reaching the Bella Vista intersection at 9:50, and the next intersection at 10:00. We reached the bench at 10:10, so some continued on to the lot, and since we were early, a few took a detour down the nature trail to check out some spider holes that we’d seen on the way down before returning to the lot.

Sightings:
3 deer
unidentified mammal? calls after dark
31 forest scorpions
2 more trapdoors
2 medium reddish-brown mygalomorphs
Other unidentified spiders, one orb-weaver-shaped perched on small dry twig past creek, one dark brown on trailbank with legs drawn up, one next to Zygiella web on bridge
Rhomphaea
2 Jerusalem crickets
camel crickets
harvestmen
large jumping bristletail
snakefly? larva
newt
weevil
water striders
small black/white steep-triangular-moths on bridge
med white/black lacy-looking moth
2 meteors
screech owl or large bat in flight