Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Amazing Spider Peacock

Hey ya'll!!!

So unless you have a particular fondness for eight-legged creepy crawlies (like I do!) you would probably be hard pressed to find ANY spider cute and/or beautiful. But I dare you, even the most hardcore of arachnophobes to take a look at this beautiful creature and not (at least consider) retracting your statement and appreciating it (if only from a distance... )

Lovely, isn't it?

This is a Peacock Spider (maratus volans) and like its namesake, the males of this species often perform these elaborate and colorful displays through which they attract their mates. The colorful "tail" of the peacock spider is actually made out of two adjacent flaps on its abdomen. These flaps are supported by small white hairs which, when the spider so wishes, may be raised and expanded in a manner as to produce a beautifully patterned fan. Courtship in this species is truly quite a sight to behold and in addition to displaying his colors the male will also wave his legs about and skitter around in a "dancing" fashion. 

Though it is sometimes called the Gliding Spider (Its latin name, volans, suggest flight) this spider does not in fact engage in such forms of locomotion.  Indeed this might have something to do with the mistaken belief that the flaps used in courtship were instead used by the spider to propel itself through the air. Like regular peacocks, it is the males that possess these wondrous colors and females and immature individuals are colored a plain brown. The spider is relatively small (measuring about 5mm) and is found in... wait for it... Australia!!! 

Australia truly has some of the most interesting and amazing wildlife in the WORLD!!!


1 comment:

Brittanie said...

Australia is badass. They own us all in the wildlife department.

God how I hope they could bring these to an exhibit here some how. They're the most badass jumpers ever!!