Vol 96 (1999)

Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia


Cover Page
COVER: Male Gnaphosa snohomish Platnick & Shadab (Araneae, Gnaphosidae). From Burnaby, British Columbia (collected by Jim Troubridge). Drawn by Robb Bennett. Body is approximately 11 mm in length.The Holarctic genus Gnaphosa contains around 120 species of nocturnally active, ground dwelling hunting spiders. Twelve species are known in Canada with six of these occurring in British Columbia. Found in a very wide array of habitats from sea level to mountain tops and from the tropics to the arctic, specimens of Gnaphosa are often very abundant and may turn up in large numbers in pitfall traps. In the summer of 1998, a very strong, local population of Gnaphosa snohomish (previously known only from two specimens from Chase Lake, Snohomish County, Washington and a questionable BC record from Haney (Maple Ridge) was discovered in an abandoned cranberry bog in Burnaby, BC. The site has since been cleared and reactivated as a commercial bog and the current status of this population (and the species) is unknown. Given the large number of entomologists that call or have called the lower Fraser Valley home, it is reasonable to assume that the insect and spider fauna of the area should be reasonably well known. This discovery suggests that 1) either G. snohomish exists in localized, very restricted populations or 2) our knowledge of the natural history of the most heavily populated region of our province is less than we think. Text by Robb Bennett.