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Psychedelic Jumping Australian has nothing but Eyes For You!

Meet the Peacock spider - this 5mm Long showoff; raises his abdomen vertically, expands his flaps and displays them like a peacock's tail. But the brilliant colouring is not just for decoration.

The Peacock Spider

The peacock spider earns its name when he courts a potential mate and (Maratus volans) is a native species of Australian jumping spider. It is only the males that have this bright colouring, the females are rather a dull grey. During this Tail display, the male will vibrate his raised legs and tail, while dancing from one side to one another in an attempt to impress the female.


Big Eyes

Once the dance is over the abdomen flaps are folded down close against the sides of the body, like a shawl. The little spider has excellent eyesight but with four eyes it can detect prey 20 cm away, considering its size this is quite a feat.  Our little friend has many names: flying spider, gliding spider, and the preferred name peacock spider.

Wee Spider

Although having volans in its name suggest the spider can fly, but it actually doesn’t use its flaps to extend the distance of its jump.  After mating, the male repeats the performance and dance with other females. (I’m sure there is an Australian joke here – better not, family show) 

This post was updated on the 16 June 2017

Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey
: 1 Sep 2016 (Last updated: 13 Jun 2019)

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