OK, I love spiders, but who the heck is this guy? Cannot find it in my reference books or online. These guys are everywhere. I'm in So Cal/ OC.
You probably are seeing Phidippus the jumping spider -- little fellows that turn their bodies, back up, and face you when you approach them. They can actually jump.
How about a photo? I live in OC and it doesn't sound familiar. I have jumping spiders (cute little rascals) but I don't believe they fit your description.
Ooooo! I have always been somewhat scared of spiders, but in recent years they have held a horrid fascination for me. I Googled Phidippus for images, and I can only say I am glad I haven't seen any of these near home--especially the one in the second image. I should probably be more concerned about the black widows we have in abundance, though.
So...is this the one you are talking about?
Here is a link that might be useful: Phidippus
Yes, this is a good image of Phidippus. There are many species of jumping spiders, and they are quite common. They are not all black and white. They are quite harmless and are fun to watch especially when you draw close to them and they back up, turn their head and look you over with their eight eyes. They are very small, a quarter of an inch or so. If they were the size of a tarantula they would indeed be fearsome creatures.
I once watched a jumping spider stalk a fly and it was amazing. The fly was on the outside of some bullet proof glass (long story) and the jumping spider was on the inside and it was watching and stalking the fly. There was a small opening (tunnel) that led to the outside and the spider used that opening to go to the outside and pounce on the fly when it came within range.
Just the other day I heard my boys getting excited about something in the back yard. All of a sudden they both went "oh my God, MOMMMM" They saw a spider jump and catch a fly. Something I've never seen in my 30-something years. Great fun!
Here's my spider story (although not about a jumping spider): I was standing in my bedroom when I saw a spider crawl out from underneath my dresser. He was dark with many tiny bumpy dark spots on his back. Kinda like how a toad is bumpy. I thought, 'Mmm, I guess the bumps are for camoflauge." As he was crawling across the floor towards my bed, I took a book and tried to smash him against the floor. (Spiders outside are fine but NOT in my bedroom) Of course my aim was poor and the book missed the spider. But the vibration from the book hitting the floor startled the spider, who scurried back towards the safety of the dresser, but not before all those tiny bumpy spots on his back jumped off and scurried across my floor in ten different directions! Yes, he was a she transporting all her babies on her back. It was horrible. Yeech! True story!!!
Ooooh, shiver. Did you run and get the vacuum?
Don't kill spiders! They are good luck!
Was it a wolf spider? See Fig. 9 at this site:
Thank you all and Biwako: looks like they're phidippus - jumping spiders. This site has cool pictures of the little furballs:
Here is a link that might be useful: OC spiders
there's a great little battery vacuum bug wand that sucks a spider or other bug into a long transparent tube where you can cap it in and have a good long look at it -and then let it go. i'm having a great time with mine.
just google 'Bug Wand' online.
(no, i don't have stock in the company.) min
I have two off the exact spiders your talking about, Phidippus audax, or the Daring Jumping spider. I love their metallic green chelicerae. They are beutiful creatures and harmless. I do have a question for anyone reading this. How do you identify the males and females of this species. I want to put them in the same cage but don't want them to kill each other any help would be great.
To all knowledgeable gardeners. I got bit by a furry black spider with white spots (very pretty) after accidentily leaning against him/her while she was in the crevice between the sofa pillows. I have had a bad reaction to the bite, was ill for three days and now have a large rock hard swollen spot. Is there any helpful information you could share with me?