|scientific name Pardosa moesta |
Meadows, hayfields, marshes, bogs, urban lawns, tidal beach drift, deciduous and coniferous forests.
Males found April to August, females May to October, and egg sacs May to mid-October.
Pardosa moesta looks somewhat different from other Pardosa, in that its carapace is shiny and dark (especially the eye area) and reddish brown, with a number of black lines radiating from the dorsal groove. The female often has pale median and submarginal bands. The sternum is also dark, reddish brown (Dondale & Redner, 1987) to black (Chamberlin, 1908). The chelicerae are dark orange, with 3 retromarginal teeth, and numerous tiny, black-tipped tubercles laterally, which distinguish this species from other, similar species. The legs are dark orange and paler towards the tips, usually with long dark streaks on the first and second pairs of legs in the male, and sometimes dark rings on the second and third pairs of legs. The abdomen is dull reddish mottled with black and brown, with a reddish heart mark (Dondale & Redner, 1987). The underside has one median and two lateral, irregular lines running to a point at the end of the abdomen (Chamberlin, 1908). Pardosa moesta is one of the smaller Pardosa species, with female length 5.64 +/- 0.57 mm and male length 4.95 +/- 0.40 mm. Female carapace width is 1.91 +/- 0.14 mm, and male carapace width is 1.82 +/- 0.23 mm wide. The palpal characteristics that distinguish this Pardosa moesta are a palea with a prominent, hooked process, and a terminal apophysis with 2 teeth. The distinguishing epigynal characteristics are an atrium that is expanded at both ends, epigynal hood cavities that are well separated, and a more or less rectangular transverse part of the median septum. Dissection will show that the spermathecae are large, ovoid, and covered with tiny nodules (Dondale & Redner, 1987).
One density estimate in a central Alberta deciduous forest was 0.88 females per square metre. In the same study of density, fecundity and life cycle of Pardosa moesta (Buddle, 2000), males and females were found to be most active from mid-May to early June, especially on warm days. First instar juveniles weighed 0.45 +/- 0.03 mg in mid-July, and gained 2.8 times their weight by September. Pardosa moesta has a two-year life cycle in Alberta (Buddle, 2000) and in Newfoundland (Pickavance, 2001), but may have a shorter, one-year life cycle in the more southerly parts of its range.
Pardosa moesta made up 35% of the spiders collected in pitfall traps near a meadow pond in central Alberta (Graham et al., 2003), with highest capture rates between 2 m and 10 m from the shore, and one specimen even caught on the water surface in a floating pitfall trap! This spider is an open-habitat specialist, and increases in abundance following disturbances, such as forest fire or harvesting, which open up the forest canopy (Buddle et al., 2000). Pardosa moesta tends to prefer younger stand types.
Not at risk (COSEWIC, June 2005).
Like other wolf spiders, Pardosa moesta hunts actively, by pouncing on prey and holding it with its front legs, while mashing it up with its chelicerae (Gertsch, 1979) and is a general predator on arthropods, including insects and other spiders.
Pardosa moesta occurs throughout Canada and the northern United States, from Alaska, east to Newfoundland, and south to Utah, Colorado, and Tennessee (Dondale & Redner, 1990).
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