The peacock spider

Published on 7 December 2019 at 18:31

Jumping spiders

The peacock spider is also called Maratus. Maybe you guessed it already because of the picture, they are called peacock spiders because, just like the peacock, they have beautiful colors, including yellow, red and blue. Today I want to tell some more about this special spider.


The spider is related to the jumping spiders. That sounds pretty creepy, and it is. Jumping spiders are the biggest family and have the best vision among arthopods. They can see both green and ultraviolet. Normally they are slow, but most species are able to make very agile jumps. All jumping spiders have four pairs of eyes, of which two larger and two smaller ones are clearly visible, which can make them look pretty creepy on photos. Most jumping spiders can jump a few times in a row with lengths about the size of their body.


The small spiders are 4 or 5 mm (0.2 inches) long, but can be even smaller than that. The scientific name of this type of spider was first validly published in 1874.


The colors

Like most males in the animal kingdom, only the male spiders are decorated. The bright colors are on the top of its abdomen. Usually it is enhanced with lateral flaps or bristles. They show these when they are going to mate. Females do not have these colors.


During a courtship dance they show their beautiful bright colors with which they give visual and vibratory signals. Usually they raise a number of legs during the dance, which can look funny, as if these little spiders are waving at you, but be careful that it doesn't jump on you!


Normally I'm not very fond of spiders, but this microscopic beauty looks amazing to me. By the way, there are many other species that are all beautifully covered with all kinds of pretty colors, like the Maratus Splendens, Maratus Avibus and Maratus Unicup.


Author: Jürgen Otto. This picture is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.


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