Snow Spiders!

by Fiona Reid, President
Snow Spider
Snow Spider

Where there are abundant sources of food, as is the case well illustrated above, there will be predators. I was amazed when I walked in the woods at night, searching for elusive winter moths, to see spiders on the snow surface at intervals of just a few feet. This was on a mild night (relatively speaking) and their sub-nivean burrows may have been flooded with snow melt.

I discovered that these animals are active all winter, mostly below the snow but also on the surface, and their major food is the snow flea. These spiders seem to have big “boxing gloves” that I thought might help them dig, but they are actually the male’s enlarged palpal tips used for copulation.

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