Congratulations to Bryan Pfeiffer for winning the January 2021 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Bryan’s image of a spider in the genus Cicurina, also known as ‘meshweavers’, garnered the most faves by iNaturalist users.
Bryan noticed this spider walking across the snow near Turtlehead Pond in Marshfield and got up close and personal, noting the way “he was tapping his pedipalps (like a sewing machine) atop the snow”. Spider experts weighed in on iNaturalist and narrowed this observation to the genus level, suggesting several possible species within this diverse genus that this individual could be. While one might be surprised to see a spider, or any arthropod for that matter, out and about on a snowy winter day, there are many critters, from Snow Scorpionflies to Small Winter Stoneflies, that are active and above-ground even in the dead of winter.
Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!