Our favorite group of adorable spiders just got bigger!
Say hello to the five new species and subspecies of peacock spiders, hailing from southwest Australia. The fabulous new additions now means there are 65 types of the arachnids, and these ones are just as cute as the ones that have come before.
Named by the ever industrious and champion of peacock spiders, Dr Jurgen Otto, along with his colleague David Hill, the little beauties add yet another splash of color to the world of arachnids. Of the ones described in the paper published in the journal Peckamia, four are species completely new to science, while one is thought to be a new subspecies. They are all splendid.
“In most peacock spider species – and the new ones are no exception – the males are strikingly colored, and the patterns and colors are very distinctive, making it easy to distinguish one from another,” Dr Otto told ABC News.
“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,” Dr Otto continues. “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.”
The males have a stunningly colored fan and amazingly coiffed hair, which they flash about as they wave their hands in the air, in a bid to entice females. Each species has a unique coloration and set of dance moves that are perfectly timed to be as attractive to prospective mates as possible. One misstep and the female will likely move on to a fleeter-footed arachnid.
Dr Otto has made it his mission to photograph and document the dazzling little spiders. Now known as the self-described “peacock spiderman”, he has been hunting down and recording the tiny creatures for the last nine years now, with his images and awesome YouTube films of their dancing helping to propel the incredible animals into global recognition, particularly through his amazing Facebook group. Along with his fellow spider fanatic David Hill, they have named 39 of the 65 known species and subspecies.