|scientific name Pelegrina insignis |
Low lying shrubs of less than half a meter in height. They prefer bogs and fields.
May to July (MCZBASE).
All species of Pelegrina are easily distinguished from relatives by the male embolus, which have two rami placed retrolaterally to the opening. The embolus of P. insignis is quite thin, delicate and prone to breaking. The embolus is flared on the distal portion and covered in small denticles. The dorsal portion of the carapace is covered in brassy scales with white patches between the posterior eyes and the fovea. The side band is prominent and white, but the cheek band located just dorsally is comparatively weak. The clypeus is brown with dark setae hanging over the chelicerae. The patch of yellow hairs at the base of the chelicerae are diagnostic (Maddison, 1996). Females possess the characteristic thickened epygynal flaps present in all Pelegrina. These flaps are short and lay either parallel or divergently in P. insignis. A strong diagnostic character is the presence of a raised bulge posterior to the flaps which rises above the level of the flaps. The carapace is densely covered in yellow and white scales while the clypeus is covered in yellow scales. The legs are a uniform yellow colour. The abdomen is yellow- or red-brown with pairs of large black spots (Maddison, 1996). Males: avg. body length 3.6 mm, carapace length 1.8 mm; females: avg. body length 4.1 mm, carapace length 1.9 mm (Maddison, 1996).
Adults of this species can be found from May to July, with males developing earlier than females. Overwintering is done as juveniles (Kaston, 1948). Mating is initiated by males in the form of a species-specific visual display or "dance". The mating dance of males is consistent with other species of Pelegrina in that the forelegs are held forward and in front of the male at a height lower than the body. A raised and spread posture can only be seen in males when the female has been located at some distance, and upon approaching will resume the characteristic low-forward stance. Mating typically lasts about 15 minutes. The egg sacs vary in size, but are oval in shape and placed in a nest which is guarded by the female until they hatch. Female specimens have been collected in nests made of curled, but still living leaves of short herbaceous plants in the latter part of June (Madison, 1996). Salticids generally are ambush predators who rely on eyesight to locate prey. Once a prey item is accepted, the spider will jump onto it and subdue it with a venomous bite. Silk is restricted to use as a tether and for construction of nests and egg sacs, and not used for web building.
No conservation data could be found on the species. Though not as common as some other relatives, the species is still relatively abundant and so it is assumed to be of least concern.
Information on diet is restricted because of the generalist nature of the spiderís diet (Jennings, 1992).
The range of this species extends from New Brunswick to Alberta, curving south to pass along the southern border of the Great Lakes (Maddison, 1996).
Most easily found using sweep nets on shorter foliage.
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