We have been seeing new kinds of spiders in Whittier, CA this past week of May 22. We do a lot of gardening.
I have never seen this spider before.. it is easy to spot a few in an average backyard. I can identify it by the cone shaped home it has built for itself out of what looks to me like pieces of insects and dirt or plant debris. The spiders are always inside these cone shaped shelters in one of the webs. We see this during daylight. There are always two webs. One web is a nice looking spiral pattern, and the other is three dimensional and out of control looking-web strings everywhere with no pattern. Two completely different webs for every spider. The cone shaped shelter the spider is in is always suspended in the non-pattern web. The webs are touching.
The spiders always have large, fat, round bodies with the same white pattern resembling a pine tree. They have short striped legs.
What kind of spider has this white tree pattern and hides in a cone shelter (probably built it), and has two completely different web patterns? Does it take over some other spiders web?
Last summer of 2011 we started noticing a very large amount of what we believe to be brown widows. We haven't seen any brown widows in the areas where these new spiders are.