Subject: Sexton beetle and phoretic mites; Geolycosa; Western Spotted Orbweaver
Location: Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico
August 11, 2012 7:55 pm
I love going around this area after dark and finding all sorts of local arthropods; I’m from Ohio, so even though I’ve lived in this state for almost ten years now, I still find the native bug populations to be exceptionally interesting. Most everything I’ve found I’ve been able to identify thanks to this site, but a few of these images I felt like sharing. The first, I encountered the beetle outside my home and wasn’t sure what the little brown nodules were until I saw one of them move. They were all over its body beneath its wing covers, and plentiful enough that it couldn’t get off the ground. The second image is a Geolycosa female, also located immediately outside my house. I’ve been keeping tabs on her for over a month because of her size; that hole is slightly larger than a US quarter, and you can just make out her abdomen behind her head. The final image is of what I believe is a Western Spotted Orbweaver; she’s been m aking her web every night in roughly the same spot, and I rarely catch her without food.
We find your enthusiasm very refreshing. Enthusiasts who do nighttime exploration often encounter many species that are absent during diurnal explorations. We are especially interested in your photo of the Burrowing Wolf Spider in the genus Geolycosa and readers who want to learn more about Burrowing Wolf Spiders can find information on Bugguide.