A Peacock Spider species up close (Photo by Dr Otto)

Five new species and subspecies of peacock spiders have been discovered in Western Australia.

According to Dr Jurgen Otto, a peacock spider expert, there are approximately more than 60 species and subspecies of peacock spiders throughout southern Australia.

Incredibly detailed pictures and videos were used to identify them, he said.

Colourful Creepy Crawlies

Dr Otto told the ABC that most male peacock spider species are strikingly coloured and have distinctive patterns and colours. The same goes for the newly discovered ones.

“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,” he said.

“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,” Dr Otto added.

A Peacock Spider species up close (Photo by Dr Otto)

Masked Suitors

Discovered near Albany in Western Australia, Maratus personatus derived its species name from the Latin for masked.

Whilst other male peacock spiders extend their fan-like abdomen when courting females, the species lure female spiders using their bright blue mask, which has earned them the nickname “blueface.”

In their mating ritual, the males flap their fans and raise one leg, waving it to attract the attention of the females.




Reference:
New York Post. (2017, September 6). 5 new species of colorful spiders discovered in Australia | New York Post.

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