Spiders Can Be Beautiful Too!

peacock-spiderI’m often impressed by the photographic skills of some Flickr users, and every now and then I find a set of pictures on there which wouldn’t look at all out of place in the pages of National Geographic.  This morning I found such a set, and even better it was of an amazing looking species of spider I’d never even heard of before!

Flickr user Jurgen Otto is an arachnologist from Sydney, Australia and so has access to a wide range of exotic species to practice his fantastic photography skills on, but the set that particularly caught my eye was of the Peacock spider (Maratus calcitrans) and I’m sure you’ll agree that these are truly beautifu!

Far removed from the popular image of a “big brown hairy thing with lots of legs”, the males of these small jumping spiders have amazing, iridescent colour patterns on both the prosoma and abdomen, truly rivalling the brilliance of the brightest butterflies.  They are so bright and vivid it’s easy to see how they got their common name.

Not only are these beauties amazing to look at, but they appear to like showing off too!  When a male approaches a female he uses these markings for display, raising his abdomen, legs and spinnerets, and wiggling them from side to side.  Otto has captured this behaviour beautifully in these photos.

Take a look at the entire set, plus loads of photos of other amazing Maratus species such as Maratus splendens, and Maratus speciosus, plus other inverts and reptiles at Flicker.com

(Photo used with permission, © Jurgen Otto 2013)


Update : I found this amazing video, again by Jurgen Otto, of another species of Peacock Spider performing their mating displays.  These little guys are even more interesting when you see them moving… enjoy!