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A Daring Spider

While being industrious in the back yard today, I found that this little gal had made a dense web-like nest inside our gate latch.

Based on the body shape, the orange spot, and the bright green mandibles, I think she is a "Daring Jumping Spider", Phidippus audax.

Unlike a lot of weaving spiders which ignore you because they can't really see, this little critter had no trouble spotting me from across the yard as I approached. She always turned to face me, and was clever about hiding behind things when I tried to get a closer look at her.

Eventually I got to photograph her from the side by waving my hand behind her to make her turn around. She was VERY fast; like other jumping spiders she did not appear to walk or run so much as teleport from place to place. Good thing she was so tiny!

UPDATE: experts agree that this is in fact a girl spider! A previous version of this post used the male pronoun. We regret the error.

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