Dazzling new peacock spider species discovered

Five new species and subspecies of colorful peacock spiders found in Western Australia have now been officially named.

The peacock spider may only be 3-5mm in length, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in extravagant colouring.

The spiders were discovered and photographed by Dr Jurgen Otto.

Maratus Electricus, putting on a show.
Maratus Electricus, putting on a show. Photo credit: Dr Jurgen Otto

"In most peacock spider species and the new ones are no exception the males are strikingly coloured, and the patterns and colours are very distinctive, making it easy to distinguish one from another," Dr Otto told ABC news,

The new species are named Maratus Cristatus, Electricus, Trigonus, Gemmier and Melindae Corus.

peacock spider discovered
Maratus Cristatus, with its distinctive 'Union Jack'. Photo credit: Dr Jurgen Otto.

Peacock spiders have risen to viral fame over the past few years, following captivating video of males performing their elaborate mating rituals spreading online.

Maratus Electricus, one of the species most recently discovered, is so named for the lines of red running along it's back, almost like a circuit board.

Maratus Gemmifer.
Maratus Gemmifer. Photo credit: Dr Jurgen Otto

Maratus Cristatus has a distinct pattern of markings resembling a Union Jack, as well as white plumes shooting from its back.

Maratus Trigonus is named for the triangular fan on its back.

Maratus Gemmifer, translated as "the bearer of gems", is perhaps the most brightly coloured of the new species, with silver splashes across an iridescent blue backdrop on its back.

peacock spiders discovered and named
Maratus Trigonus is distinctively shaped. Photo credit: Dr Jurgen Otto.

Dr Otto approximates there are now more than 60 species and subspecies of Australian peacock spiders. Over half were named by himself and colleague David Hill.



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