The "Apache Jumper " (Phidippus apacheanus) - With Video!
I debated how to go about photographing this little guy as my usual "portrait" angles would deny his most prominent feature - the beautiful reddish-orange markings atop his cephalothorax and abdomen. I've never seen such vivid markings on a salticid before - he was really quite something to see when held up to the sunlight!
Between the 2 specimens I found of this species last September, this guy had the most scales/hair left. The other male was in pretty rough shape and almost completely bald, so I let him go about his way - although I did relocate him to a safer spot than the heavily used sidewalk I found him wandering about on (I've seen 2 praying mantises that had been crushed by foot/bicycle traffic around the same area).
I'm actually not entirely sure which species this guy is - I've seen images of Phidippus apacheanus and Phidippus cardinalis males that look almost identical. Complicating the matter even further - both species appear to be present in my area - so I can't really say confidently that this guy is indeed P. apacheanus. So, if anyone knows more about these two species / how to tell them apart - please enlighten me.