January 2021 Photo-observation of the Month

A meshweaver spider in the genus Cicurina scurries across the winter snow. © Bryan Pfeiffer

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.

With nearly 2,337 observations submitted by 271 observers in January, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

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!

Posted on 01 February, 2021 19:38 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland


These are always so great, Kent -- I love reading them!

Posted by sambiology over 3 years ago

Thanks Sam! I was worried that it would be mostly birds when we started it, but it has been really cool to see people vote for so many different things.

Posted by kpmcfarland over 3 years ago

I really think that's one of the most spectacular things about iNaturalist -- it opens our eyes to so many different organisms all around us. I was so narrowly focused on plants before iNat that I was oblivious to all of the other stuff. Now, I'm amazed by it all! :)

Keep up the great work in Vermont!

Posted by sambiology over 3 years ago

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