Peacock Jumping Spider

Welcome to the first installment of the Friday Spider!

For our first ever post, I wanted to showcase the creature that has changed so many of my acquaintances’ opinions of our eight-legged friends already, the Peacock Jumping Spider.

M. volans - 'volans' means 'flying', as it was once believed that the spider could use its abdominal flaps for limited flight. This has since been disproved.
M. volans – ‘volans’ means ‘flying’, as it was once believed that the spider could use its feathered abdominal flaps for limited flight. This has since been disproved.


Quick Spider Facts
Peacock spiders belong to the Maratus genus, which contains 43 species.
As with all jumping spiders, they are very small (3 to 8 mm in body length, depending on species and sex).
They are endemic to Australia.
They are harmless to humans.

M. mungaich with finger for scale. This is generally representative of the size of Maratus species.
M. mungaich with finger for scale. This is generally representative of the size of Maratus species.

These beautiful spiders are some of my favourites, and it’s not hard to see why! Despite their beauty, peacock spiders have only recently become widely appreciated, as their small size made it difficult to capture their unique charms. What brought them to public attention over the last year or two were several videos by Jurgen Otto showing the elaborate mating dances of different Maratus species.

Male peacock spiders have developed bright colouration and elongated third legs, with which they attempt to impress the larger, less extravagant females. Almost all Maratus mating dances involve a lot of butt-shaking, arm-waving, and fluttering of the abdominal flaps the males extend during their display. Unfortunately, if the female spider doesn’t approve of the male, she will attack and attempt to eat him. Do your best, little buddy!

M. pavonis
M. pavonis

tldr THE PRETTIEST PRINCESS

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Peacock Jumping Spider

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