You’ve Never Seen Anything Like This Peacock Spider Before!

Proper TES earthsite_belowtitle

Who says spiders have to be frightening?

In Australia, spiders come in all shapes, sizes, and especially colors. Some of the most vibrant representatives of their class like to show that off when looking for a mate.

Until 2015, many of these cute, colorful critters had gone unnoticed and unidentified. It took a hike through the Australian Outback for a couple amateur arachnologists to clear that up.

Source: YouTube/Peacockspiderman One of the peacock spiders found by  Jürgen Otto and David Knowles.

Source: YouTube/Peacockspiderman
One of the peacock spiders found by Jürgen Otto and David Knowles.

Jürgen Otto and David Knowles set out near Lake Jasper in Western Australia, National Geographic reports, when they spotted their first peacock.

Peacock spider, that is.

Source: YouTube/Peacockspiderman The peacock spider makes up the Maratus genus of arachnids.

Source: YouTube/Peacockspiderman
The peacock spider makes up the Maratus genus of arachnids.

“I noticed an interesting pattern on its back, certainly an unusual one, and some iridescent patches,” Otto told Nat Geo. “It was of average size for peacock spiders and looked characteristic for the genus. One thing I noticed were the long [bristles] on the legs and also interesting marks behind the eyes. I could only see these details, though, after photographing it.”

Source: YouTube/Peacockspiderman Peacock spiders are known for their mating dances, during which they show vibrant colors.

Source: YouTube/Peacockspiderman
Peacock spiders are known for their mating dances, during which they show vibrant colors.

On Otto and Knowles continued journey, they discovered six more peacock spiders, adding a total of 7 to the known species of Maratus to the list. Sixteen more may be added, as well, but the arachnologists are not yet convinced they belong in the same family.

There are currently 48 known species of peacock spider in the world. You can watch a few of them in the video below!

Proper TES earthsite_abovevideo

The world's oldest spideer, dead at 43: Click “Next” below!

Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee. Find more about Matthew on his personal website.
Proper TES earthsite_belowcontent