Seven new Peacock Spiders discovered
A young 22-year-old Australian spider enthusiast has identified and named seven new species of extraordinary Peacock Spider in the Maratus genus. Famed for their colourful schemes and funky courtship dances, they’re a visual feast for arachnophiles and arachnophobes alike.
Peacock spiders are tiny and harmless, measuring about 5 mm (1/5th of an inch) long. To the naked eye, they look like little brown specs hopping around. But under a microscope, or at the business end of a macro lens, their outrageously bright and beautiful coloring becomes visible, and their erratic movements can come to be seen for what they are: courtship dances.
Displaying their wildly vibrant and intricately detailed abdomens vertically, much like the peacocks they’re named for, these little guys hop, strut and strike lurid poses to attract partners, raising their “arms” like bodybuilders and shaking their little butts for all they’re worth. To understand what makes them such charmers, dip into the video below.
Museums Victoria researcher Joseph Schubert has just named seven new species of peacock spider, bringing the tally to 86 species in total.