First record of Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis Emerton 1925 in Quebec (Araneae: Salticidae)

T. Hurni-Cranston
4242 Girouard, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4A 3C9; Courriel :

Abstract. Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis is documented for the first time in Quebec, in Baie Noire, just west of Plaisance. Several individuals were observed, three specimens were collected. Photographs of the male and female are presented to support identification in the field. Confirmation of the species was done by observing the pedipalps of a male under a stereo microscope. Its widespread presence in Ontario and Nova Scotia suggests a possible widespread presence in Quebec.
Keywords. Salticinae, Plexippini, Habronattus, rocky habitat, microhabitat.

Résumé. Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis est rapporté pour la première fois au Québec, à Baie Noire à l'ouest de Plaisance. Plusieurs individus ont été observés et trois spécimens ont été récoltés. Des photographies du mâle et de la femelle sont présentées pour faciliter l'identification sur le terrain. La détermination de l'espèce a été confirmée pr l'examen des pédipalpes d'un mâle au stéréoscope. Sa vaste répartition géographique en Ontario et en Nouvelle-Écosse laisse supposer que l'espèce est aussi commune au Québec.
Mots clés. Salticinae, Plexippini, Habronattus, habitat rocheux, microhabitat.


The genus Pellenes Simon 1876, widespread throughout the Old World and North America, currently consists of 83 species. Of those species, 13 are present in North America, with only 5 having been recorded in Canada (Paquin et al. 2010, Maddison 2017). The large genus is currently split into 6 subgenera: Pellenes, Pelpaucus, Pelmultus, Pelmirus, Pellap, and Pellenattus. All North American species of Pellenes fall into the Pellenattus subgenus, excluding the two Holarctic species: Pellenes (Pelpaucus) ignifrons and Pellenes (Pellap) lapponicus (Maddison 2017).

Widespread in Ontario, Pellenes have not been observed often in Quebec, with Pellenes (Pellap) lapponicus being the only previously reported species in the province (Paquin & Dupérré 2003, 2006). Though closely related to Habronattus, males in the genus Pellenes lack the striking colours, ornamentation, and complex courtship displays of their sister genus (Maddison 2017).


The original objective of the trip to Baie Noire, just west of Plaisance, on September 4th, 2021 was to find and photograph Habronattus calcaratus maddisoni. As this species is found primarily on rocks near old sand or gravel pits (Wayne P. Maddison, personal communications, 2021), no specialized equipment was needed. Satellite images on Google Maps were viewed in order to find suitable areas to search. Baie Noire was selected as it is the site of an old abandoned quarry (fig. 1−2).

Figures 1−2. Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis habitat. 1) Abandoned quarry in Baie Noire, 2) Rock outcrop adjacent to the abandoned quarry.

Like H. c. maddisoni, Pellenes are often observed on rocky outcrops and alvar-like environments. All spiders were collected alive before being photographed in the studio, using a piece of white acrylic as a background. Males and females were photographed from three angles in order to capture all physical characteristics before being observed under a stereo microscope.

Figures 3−8. Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis. 3) male, frontal view, 4) male, lateral view, 5) male, dorsal view, 6) female, frontal view, 7) female, lateral view, 8) female, dorsal view.


Collection data
THCC: Tiziano Hurni-Cranston Collection (Montreal).

Pellenes peninsularis (Salticidae)
CANADA : Quebec : Papineau : Baie Noire, west of Plaisance [45.6031, -75.1823] 24.ix.2021, on ground and rocks, hand collecting, 1, 2 T. Hurni-Cranston (THCC).

Within minutes, a large number of Habronattus calcaratus maddisoni were spotted on the rock outcrops. Not long after, a few male and female Pellenes were found, as well as a juvenile Pellenes. Both species were observed in close proximity, often within inches of each other.

One male and two female Pellenes were collected on the rock outcrops of Baie Noire. The females, with chevron markings on their abdomens, typical of many in the genus (Maddison 2017), were large and easy to spot on the bare rocks. The males had similar abdominal markings, bronze scale covered faces, and remarkably long front legs roughly the length of their bodies (fig. 3−8).

Figure 9. Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis, male palp, ventral view.

Although many species of salticids can easily be identified through photographs, the surest way to confirm an identification or differentiate between similar looking species is by observing their genitalia under a microscope. Observation of the male’s pedipalp using a stereomicroscope confirmed that the species found was in fact Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis (fig. 9).


Not mentioned in the list of spiders of Quebec (Paquin & Dupérré 2003, 2006), P. peninsularis represents a new species for the province. The discovery of the species in Baie Noire, only 50 km from Ottawa, is not surprising given its widespread presence in Ontario. Based on its distribution throughout Ontario and Nova Scotia, and its new-found presence in Baie Noire, Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis could be relatively common among the rock outcrops throughout southern Quebec.


I would like to thank Wayne P. Maddison for his helpful tips on finding Habronattus calcaratus maddisoni as well as providing background information on Pellenes (Pellenattus) peninsularis, much of which remains unpublished. I would also like to thank Donald J. Buckle for reviewing the text.


Maddison WP. 2017. New species of Habronattus and Pellenes jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae: Harmochirina). ZooKeys 646:4–72.

Paquin P, Buckle DJ, Dupérré N, Dondale CD. 2010. Checklist of the spiders (Araneae) of Canada and Alaska. Zootaxa 2461:1–170.

Paquin P, Dupérré N. 2003. Guide d'identification des araignées du Québec. Fabreries, Supplement 11. 251 pages.

Paquin P, Dupérré N. 2006. The spiders of Quebec: update, additions and corrections. Zootaxa 1133:1–37.

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