New Peacock Spiders Spotted in Queensland
A pair of new species of peacock spiders have been spotted in southern Queensland. This amazing group of fuzzy, googly-eyed spiders are so-named for their flashy hues and rockin’ courtship moves. Nicknamed Skeletorus and Sparklemuffin respectively—-the first one is black and white, and the other one has blue and red stripes.
Particularly, both of these are the newest addition to the calcitrans group of peacock spiders. Till now, this group had an exclusive membership of only three. Following the traits of most others in this small group, males of these new species also inflate their two pairs of silk-spinning organs (called spinnerets) during courtship dances. Furthermore, the males display a flap-like body part (called a fan) that’s adorned with bold patterns, the discoverers elucidate, and they’ll raise a single leg to show off for females. These two new spiders were spotted and adorably nicknamed by Madeline Girard from the University of California, Berkeley, together with a friend at Wondul Range National Park back in September of 2013.
“Regardless of the large number of species we have found just in the last few years, I can’t help feeling that we may have just scratched the surface of this most exciting group of spiders, and that nature has plenty of more surprises in store,” entomologist and photographer Jürgen Otto tells Live Science. Otto co-authored the paper on the new peacock spiders with David Hill, editor of Peckhamia where the two new species are described.
Maratus jactatus males (pictured above) has bold reds and iridescent blues on the hind part of their bodies, and they range from 4.5 to 4.6 millimeters in length, omitting spinnerets. “Jactatus” means rocking or jolting in Latin, and it relates to the very swift lateral rocking used in the males’ courtship display. Here’s a female Maratus jactatus with her young offspring:
Maratus sceletus males (pictured below) have bright white markings on an otherwise solid black body, making it appear like a Halloween costume. “Sceletus” is Latin for skeleton. The males ranged from 3.7 to 4.2 millimeters in length, omitting spinnerets.
“When [the male] got within a few centimeters of the female, he exploded into a firework of activity,” Otto recounted. “The spinnerets were extended and flicked around at an amazing speed, one of the legs was flexed like he wanted to show off his muscles, and he moved constantly from one side of the grass blade to the other.”http://aartiinformatics.com/weird/new-peacock-spiders-spotted-queensland/http://aartiinformatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/New-Peacock-Spiders.jpghttp://aartiinformatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/New-Peacock-Spiders-300x300.jpgWEIRDimages of spiders,peacock spider,peacock spiders,pictures of spidersA pair of new species of peacock spiders have been spotted in southern Queensland. This amazing group of fuzzy, googly-eyed spiders are so-named for their flashy hues and rockin’ courtship moves. Nicknamed Skeletorus and Sparklemuffin respectively----the first one is black and white, and the other one has blue and...Aarti InformaticsAarti Daartiinformatics@gmail.comAdministratorAarti Informatics lead in development and invention of the industry’s most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, web-based solutions & business strategies.Aarti Informatics