Who is this spider?
I found at least half a dozen of these spiders tucked under the rims and between the sections of some plant 6-packs in which I’ve got seeds planted. The packs are in flats resting on the ground in the garden. This spider is about an inch long; some of the others looked smaller. The web is very white. I’m in Glendale (Los Angeles) California. From general body shape and hairiness I suspect a jumping spider, but couldn’t find any pictures of one with this lovely orange color. (Your fall 2005 web page was down when I went looking for a picture.)
This is one of the Red Jumping Spiders in the genus Phidippus, probably Phidippus formosus. These are hunting spiders who do not build webs to trap prey, but adult females, according to Hogue, “construct a funnel-like web that is usually in contact with the soil; this structure is used as a retreat for the adults and a safe repository for the eggs.”