It is worth noting that, despite increasing pressures from such sources as human development and climate change, this species has been able to retain a presence in its recorded territory over multiple field samples, over multiple years. A study published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 2002 reported that their findings indicated (Ehmann, 2002; Ehmann and Boyd, 1997)was found in two areas (Allison Savanna and Uncas Dunes SF) in two separate studies, with multiple field seasons between. This has good potential for this species moving into the future, and may indicate some resilience in their ability to tolerate ecological change. However, both of the referenced studies are dated; one was published in 1997, and the other in 2002, which indicates more research, and more up-to-date field samples, are needed to give a better indication of species health in these areas in the present, as a continued follow-up to existing data.
In the 1997 report, the authors report that this species was present at eight separate sites in six areas (mentioned above) which constituted prairie grasses, moss, dunes and sandy soil, and an old field location near a wetland. While the exact distance from the wetland is not specified in the report, it is interesting that the species is reported in relatively dry soil habitats (and subsequently, a different ecological community in comparison to a wetland) as well as in close relative proximity to a more water-rich community. Within these areas, it is also reported that the sex and age of the individuals sampled varied significantly. They found 21 total individuals, of which, 14 were female, 3 were male, and 4 were immature, indicating a sex discrepancy. This species was reported to have been found with an immature Sassacus papenhoei individual, at a floodplain area in Whitewater State Natural Area. The habitat was stated to be sandy soils, covered in grass and moss. (Ehmann and Boyd, 1997)
Salticidae family, which indicates it is a jumping spider and has several of those habits in common with other members of its family. Physically, it is also called "grassland white-cheeked jumping spider" due to its coloration. This is a small species with a sooty-colored body typical of Pelegrina species. It has a unique coloration scheme, with vertical markings along the thoracic region and a lighter, ash-shaded arrow symbol along the carapace. For images accurately depicting scale, morphology and coloring, please see Hollenbeck (2018). (Hollenbeck, 2018; Maddison, 1995; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019; NatureServe, 2001; Olson, 2015)is also known by the scientific name as reported by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and it is a member of the
Salticidae species are easily identifiable by their morphology, as well as one of their habits: jumping, by which they receive their colloquial name. Jumping spiders are small, thick about the abdomen, with very large eyes (even in comparison to other Araneae species) and legs that are short in comparison to their body size. Curiously, males do exhibit a difference in morphology in comparison to females: their first pair of legs is larger than the other ones. Coloration can also shift into brown with white edges, and swirling white stripes down the center of their carapace. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources also describes two closely related species, which may be confused with and which are described below for ease in identification. <<Pelegrina insignis>> and <<Pelegrina proterva>> are also alike in overall size, body shape, and character, and are also classified as jumping spiders. However, there are key coloration differences which allow the three to be held as distinct from one another. In the first case, Pelegrina insignis has a mostly brown body, with black spots along its length in distinct rows. In the second case, Pelegrina proterva is identified by a yellow-tinged body, and black spots along the abdomen which are stated to be tinged red in female members of the species. (Department of Entomology, 2019a; Department of Entomology, 2019b; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
Araneae individuals (CSIRO, 2019). It is therefore reasonable to assume a similar timeline for this species, though it may be shorter; as a Minnesotan species, this spider has to survive through or otherwise adapt to the often harsh climatic conditions. Minnesota has a true winter, with significant snow fall and low temperatures often reaching into the negatives by tens of degrees, with windchill. It may be assumed that their lifespans are sped up relative to their less climatically-challenged counterparts, in order to more successfully deal with the reality of harsh winter conditions (when their food is not available, and their bodies have to adapt to different conditions). (CSIRO, 2019; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)begins its life as an egg; each nest made by an adult consists of many eggs, though the exact number is not detailed in available literature. This egg slowly grows while the female parent keeps watch over the nest (MNDNR, 2019), and the result after hatching is a number of miniature adult specimens, which tend to be lighter in color than their adult counterparts (CSIRO, 2019). While species specific information regarding a timeline for this species is not yet available, typical timelines imply a period of 6-12 months on average for
It is also worth noting that in order to grow to their adult sizes, their physiology has to make changes as well. As is the case generally with spiders, this species has to molt in order to successfully move through its developmental stages. Meaning, as the spider grows, its body will eventually need to shed its hard exoskeleton, which has become ill-fitting, in order to grow a new one that will allow for further growth (CSIRO, 2019). After several of these molts, the spider will have reached its maximum size, and it will be mature enough to be sexually active and look for mates of its own, to begin the process again. The entire process from beginning to end may range from anywhere from half a year to a full year in developmental stages, however, considering the previously mentioned variables, it is likely that their lifecycle is closer to the half year mark than the full year. However, further information and elucidation is needed in order to specifically detail this species' development. (CSIRO, 2019)
This species follows a similar mating pattern to other jumping spiders, and many other spiders generally, though not much is known. Typically, males compete for female attention (MNDNR, 2019) through differences in coloration (such as brighter colors, often edging into iridescence). The male is relatively smaller than the female, and the physiology is such that the cephalothorax and/or the abdomen (CSIRO, 2019) is likely to display this bright coloration, as well as their front legs, and even their mouth parts (MNDNR, 2019). There has been some research done, indicating the potential for their acute eyes to be sensitive not only to color, but ultraviolet as well (MNDNR, 2019). It is relatively common for jumping spiders to also rely on secondary courtship rituals, beyond coloration, to attract a mate. One instance is the so-called courtship dance ritual, where the male of the species will take up physical movements, often in a rhythmic manner, in specific patterns in order to display for a female. These are often species-specific "dances" (MNDNR, 2019) that have wild variability between species and clades. There is also the potential for these spiders to produce some kind of auditory signal (MNDNR, 2019) with a tell-tale sound to attract the female, or otherwise display for her. This sound can range from buzzes to drumrolls (MNDNR, 2019) when amplified enough for the human ear to reliably detect (Castilho et al., 2018 also reports auditory signalling). (Castilho, et al., 2018; CSIRO, 2019; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
Araneae, as they also increase their chances of encountering an in-species female, which they might be able to mate with. Either way, the males are risking death by displaying to females in order to mate; even if they do successfully mate, their partner may kill and eat them anyway (Yong, 2016), ostensibly to gain calories needed for egg laying and guarding. (Bittel, 2017; Castilho, et al., 2018; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019; Yong, 2016)males will actively search for females to display to, though there is no reported defense mechanisms regarding them. Rather, as is the case with many spiders, the males are at great risk when displaying to females. Even within the same species, males risk being cannibalized by females (Castilho et al., 2018), either during or after copulation. It follows that, if males accidentally display to females of a different species (which would be easy to do - bright coloration is typical of the males of Salticidae species, whereas females are colored more cryptically and are therefore more likely to be confused with others) the risk of being eaten, rather than successfully mating, increases (Bittel, 2017). Males may exhibit promiscuous behavior (Bittel, 2017) in their search for a mate, by displaying indiscriminately to every female spider they encounter. However, males that display this behavior are also increasing their chances of encountering an outside-species female that would attack and even eat them as is often the case with
Members of Salticidae do not have a documented social structure; as is often the case with Araneae generally, other than during mating seasons, most individuals are solitary. They're also short-lived, and as the longest living reported member of Salticidae lived only 750 days (for females) in natural conditions (Bartos, 2005). This indicates that, while not exact, is almost certainly shorter lived in wild conditions. This translates to one, maybe two, mating seasons for females, and for males (if they haven't been cannibalized). (Bartos, 2005; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019; Yong, 2016)
Not much is known about this species specifically, however, there are details that are common among Salticidae individuals. For instance, this species has elaborate mating rituals, predominately performed by males. They include rhythmic movement, dances, and vibratory signals; as they are highly visual spiders, much of their communication and mating rituals involve that sense. Once mating has been completed, the female produces multiple eggs, which are then secreted into an egg sac for safe-keeping. The male is either killed or moves on to another female; the female will stay with the egg sac throughout gestation, protecting it from predators and damages wherever possible, until the young hatch. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
Exact lifespans for this species are not documented, however, some general trends may be inferred based on related species also classified under Salticidae. For instance, Yllenus arenarius has a sexual disparity in longevity (720 days for males, versus 750 days for female, inferencially due to reproductive mortality discrepancies) however, in natural settings, the longest documented time span is approximately 750 days. As another member of Salticidae, this species is stated by Bartos (2005) to be the longest lived member of Salticidae. Therefore, it is arguable that has an close-to-equal or lesser lifespan. Typically, this species is not kept in captivity, and little information is available about such conditions. However, it is likely that major limiting conditions differ for males as opposed to females of this species. As previously stated, males are at greater risk of mortal injury/cannibalism during mating, which would greatly reduce their average lifespan. Females have greater calorie input (egg production and limited guarding behavior, as well as nest creation, upkeep and management) which may reduce their fitness. There is a need for greater elucidation on this topic in regards to , as little information exists, and most is strongly tied towards other species or genera. Castilho et al. (2018) reports that most information on Salticidae is focused around Habronattus and Phidippus species. (Bartos, 2005; Castilho, et al., 2018; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
This species is predominately solitary; while highly communicative, these behaviors are strongly linked to mating behavior and are primarily exhibited by males of the species. They are otherwise thought to be solitary in nature, and no evidence exists to imply that they congregate in groups. Outside of this mating behavior, they are stated to be very curious, and will pivot in order to watch other organisms nearby. Interestingly, where many spider species will flee from a human's approach, Salticidae individuals, and this species particularly, are noted to stand their ground and watch the approach with some interest. Notably, their characteristic jumping motions are primarily for feeding, rather than communication. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
This species is highly adapted to visual perception; they have multiple sets of eyes, with one primary set that serves as their primary sensory input. They are highly communicative and curious animals: when faced with other species, including humans (which have a great, and seemingly intimidating, size discrepancy) they will pivot and watch, intrigued (MNDNR, 2019). They appear to enjoy watching others, and will often refuse to back up or flee, preferring to move to the best observatory vantage point. They are even reported to advance on organisms much larger than themselves, including humans (MNDNR, 2019) unlike many others, which will flee. They also have complex and fascinating communicative means between members of their own species, which may even bleed over to attempts at communication (and even attempting wooing) of other species. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019; Yong, 2016)
As an Araneae species, is a carnivore and an active hunter. Where many other species of spider are known for spinning intricate, attractive, and often ingenious webs in order to ensnare their prey via tacky threads, Salticidae individuals are known for their more "hands-on" hunting techniques. It is worth mentioning that, while not common, there are reports that spiders, and Salticidae specifically, may rely on atypical predatory behavior. For instance, Ross states (2008) that there are indications that some members of Araneae may eat pollen, and he even relates a sighting of a relative of this species devouring an earthworm. Earthworms are not considered typical prey for jumping spiders, who tend to target other insects and even other spiders for their dietary requirements. The reported species from Ross (2008) was not , but rather P. undatus, which is a relative within the jumping spider designation. While not the same species, this report does indicate that it is possible, and not unheard of, for jumping spiders to prey on worms. (CSIRO, 2019; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019; Ross, 2008)
Curiously, this species is able, through specialized morphology, to take advantage of superior eye-sight and their ability to jump to actively pursue, kill, and devour their prey items. With four sets of acute eyes, one set of which is particularly large (MNDNR, 2019), even for spiders. That same set of large eyes is focused forward, and allows them to have better binocular vision, and even allows for accurately determining distances for a wide range of objects/individuals of interest (MNDNR, 2019), potentially even at 30 feet away. This is of great use when they stalk their prey; it allows them to, rather than rely on spinning webs to ensnare prey that comes to them, to seek out and determine easy prey to devour. It is of note, they will delay an outright attack, choosing instead to carefully stalk, before exhibiting their characteristic jumping behavior in order to launch themselves towards their food (MDNDR, 2019). They can, however, also steal food that is trapped in other spiders' webs, and are therefore opportunistic to some degree. It is also worth highlighting that many spiders hunt at night (CSIRO, 2019) but due to their highly visual predatory habit, this species hunts primarily during the day when visual acuity will be at its highest (MNDNR, 2019). They also tend to avoid hunting during overcast and/or rainy weather, preferring to stay within webbed nest-like structures built into spaces in native forb species (MNDNR, 2019). (CSIRO, 2019; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
This species has one primary anti-predator adaptation, and that is it's ability to jump. While this behavior is certainly utilized in predation (so that it can catch, and consume, it's own prey items) it also serves as an advantageous ability, allowing them to spring away from any predators that attempt to eat them. They are, after all, relatively small spiders, and face threats of consumption from one another, as well as other spider species, which are acknowledged to rely on cannibalism where convenient. Therefore, the ability to move quickly out of range of others' webs, sticky-traps, and fangs is not to be understated. They are also able to quickly return to their safe-places (their characteristic dens, hidden in foliage) to escape any hungry eyes. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019; Yong, 2016)
As is the case with all spiders, this species plays a significant role in insect control. They consume insects that may otherwise cause ecological or human-centric damage, and serve as pest controls to keep problematic species (such as gnats, mosquitoes, and other undesirables) in check. This serves to keep both the spider populations healthy, as well as the prey species (which, by definition, require some ecological controls to keep their populations under check), and help keep habitat in more advantageous condition for human visitation. Research is not available fully detailing the extent of their relationships with other species, however, they do have an acknowledged preference for building their retreats in native prairie plants, and can therefore be said to have a relationship with these plants. Specifically, the Minnesota DNR (2019) relays that the females are particularly choosy, preferring native forb species, whose capsules and heads are then utilized for den creation, safety, and reproduction (as this is where the egg sac is kept for safe-guarding during gestation). (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
There are certainly those who question the importance of spiders; they are, after all, one of the more common phobias. However, they are extremely important for humans, and this species is no different. Jumping spiders, and (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)particularly, provide significant ecological benefits for humans. While the knowledge base of this species would benefit from increased study, to further detail their relationships with prairie forbs and other prairie natives, it is clear that, at the very least, they provide pest relief. They utilize their characteristic jumping behavior in order to catch insects at a significant pace, which aids in keeping insect populations in a manageable order. These insects could otherwise cause damage to crops and natural areas, and may act as human pests (potentially even serving as disease vectors, such as mosquitoes).
They are naturally curious and charismatic, and may serve as education ambassadors, both for prairie conservation, and as an introduction to spiders (ecosystem roles, biology and physiology, for example). This species is acknowledged to, not only pivot to face humans, but even continue forward to meet them. This behavior, coupled with their characteristic jumping behavior, and highly communicative nature make them ideal spider ambassadors for people with spider phobias, as well as small children. They also have unexplored ties with prairie plants that are arguably worth further elucidation, and may be good representatives for prairie conservation. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)
There are no known adverse effects of (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019)on humans.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has listed it as a species of special concern and it has stayed at this listing since 1996. As a species commonly associated with dry prairies, or dry savannas, this species is also in danger of fire as one of the integral management techniques for these areas. It is also important to note that Minnesota has lost the vast majority of this habitat, which has adverse effects on a menagerie of species. This is particularly true of prairie species, as prairie territory, which is estimated to have been at 18 million acres in 1860, has lost the majority of this territory, and stands at only ~236,000 acres as of 2015. This drastic loss of territory, including the resources, space, and species individuals certainly had to have just as drastic an adverse affect on . However, this is difficult to reliably quantify due to relatively little available research and literature. (Olson, 2015)is not listed on any of the stated resources for identifying a species in danger, however, the
Salticidae is a taxa that would significantly benefit from increased diverse representation in research; this is particularly true of . These jumping spiders are minute, but highly important, members of the greater Minnesotan ecological system. It is of the author's opinion that increased importance ought to be given to these organisms, to increase the depth of knowledge available to the scientific community and the general public.
Ainsley Peterson (author), Minnesota State University Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
the state that some animals enter during winter in which normal physiological processes are significantly reduced, thus lowering the animal's energy requirements. The act or condition of passing winter in a torpid or resting state, typically involving the abandonment of homoiothermy in mammals.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
fertilization takes place within the female's body
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
specialized for leaping or bounding locomotion; jumps or hops.
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
offspring are all produced in a single group (litter, clutch, etc.), after which the parent usually dies. Semelparous organisms often only live through a single season/year (or other periodic change in conditions) but may live for many seasons. In both cases reproduction occurs as a single investment of energy in offspring, with no future chance for investment in reproduction.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
uses sight to communicate
young are relatively well-developed when born
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Bittel, J. 2017. "For Jumping Spiders, Choosing the Wrong Mate Turns Deadly" (On-line). National Geographic. Accessed April 17, 2019 at https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/jumping-spider-courtship-dance-cannibalism/.
CSIRO, 2019. "Araneae: spiders" (On-line). Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. Accessed March 27, 2019 at http://www.ento.csiro.au/education/allies/araneae.html.
Castilho, L., M. Andrade, R. Macedo. 2018. Mating and egg-laying behavior of Hasarius adansoni (Araneae: Salticidae) and the influence of sexual selection. The Journal of Arachnology, 46: 398-403. Accessed April 17, 2019 at https://bioone.org/journals/The-Journal-of-Arachnology/volume-46/issue-3/JoA-S-16-091.1/Mating-and-egg-laying-behavior-of-iHasarius-adansoni-i-Araneae/10.1636/JoA-S-16-091.1.full.
Department of Entomology, 2019. "Species Pelegrina insignis" (On-line). Bug Guide. Accessed March 27, 2019 at https://bugguide.net/node/view/723412/bgimage.
Department of Entomology, 2019. "Species Pelegrina proterva" (On-line). Bug Guide. Accessed March 27, 2019 at https://bugguide.net/node/view/6783.
Ehmann, W. 2002. "Conservation Biology of Special Concern Jumping Spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) of Minnesota" (On-line). Accessed March 27, 2019 at https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/projects/consgrant_reports/2002/2002_ehmann.pdf.
Ehmann, W., B. Boyd. 1997. "Surveys for Proposed Special Concern Jumping Spiders of Minnesota" (On-line pdf). Accessed March 27, 2019 at https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/projects/consgrant_reports/1998/1998_ehmann.pdf.
Hollenbeck, J. 2018. "Species Pelegrina arizonensis" (On-line image). Bug Guide. Accessed April 19, 2019 at https://bugguide.net/node/view/1578265.
Maddison, W. 1995. "Pelegrina arizonensis (Peckham & Peckham 1901)" (On-line). Tree of Life Web Project. Accessed March 27, 2019 at http://tolweb.org/Pelegrina_arizonensis/5028.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2019. "Pelegrina arizonensis" (On-line). Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Accessed March 27, 2019 at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=ILARAX8090.
NatureServe, 2001. "Pelegrina arizonensis - Peckham & Peckham 1901" (On-line). An Online Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed March 27, 2019 at http://explorer.natureserve.org/servlet/NatureServe?searchName=Pelegrina+arizonensis.
Olson, D. 2015. "Preserved parcels offer glimpse of Minnesota gone by" (On-line). Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) News. Accessed March 27, 2019 at https://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/07/21/msv-prairies.
Ross, L. 2008. "A jumping spider feeding on an earthworm" (On-line). Peckhamia. Accessed April 17, 2019 at http://www.peckhamia.com/peckhamia/PECKHAMIA%2071.1.pdf.
Yong, E. 2016. "How Male Widow Spiders Avoid Being Cannibalized During Sex" (On-line). National Geographic. Accessed April 17, 2019 at https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/animals-spiders-black-widows-cannibals/.