New Spider Found In South West Australia!

Well, hello there gorgeous.

Remember that beautifully coloured, dancing spider that made the rounds on social media recently?

Well, it’s back and and this time it's brought some friends

Five new Peacock spiders have been in found in south west Australia, bringing the total number of peacock spider species to 65.

The new spiders were discovered by Dr. Jungen Otto and colleague David Hill. Found in the southwestern corner of Western Australia in between the Perth area and the southern town of Denmark they are around 3-5mm in size and are spectacularly coloured.

Image: Maratus trigonus, Discovered by David Knowles, Photo by Dr Jurgen Otto

Each spider species has a distinctive set of markings, unique to that specific species. Dr. Otto explains:

Cristatus has a pattern on its back that resembles the Union Jack and in addition, has eight plumes of white setae (hairs) at its back that no other peacock spider has.”

"Electricus stands out by its striking pattern of parallel red lines that make it look like a circuit board, and trigonus can be easily recognized by the white crown at the tip of its abdomen that is not present in any known species."

Perhaps the most interesting and well-known trait of the arachnid is the male spider’s mating dance. The male peacock spider has an electric coloured fan similar to that of a peacock. Like a Peacock, the male will flash his coloured fan and wave his hands in the air to attract the female. Dr. Otto explains:

"The male’s display is characterized by moving the expanded fan from side to side and holding up a pair of legs, but it can vary its display."

Image: Maratus cristatus, newly discovered, Dr Jurgen Otto

According to Dr. Otto finding the new species was a complete accident, discovering it after he was trying to document another species of peacock spider.

"We have been searching for over the last couple of years {for the elusive spider} but haven’t found. It wouldn’t be surprising if again I won’t find it but discover something else instead."

Lead image: Maratus gemmife, Jurgen Otto

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