Peacock Spider - Maratus volans

Peacock Spider

Maratus volans

Family: Salticidae (Jumping Spiders). The world's most diverse and abundant spider family, with over 500 described genera and 5000 described species, which is more than 13% of all described spiders.
Size: Male and female up to 5 mm body length
Distribution:
Habitat:
References:

The peacock spider is an amazing and beautiful spider. I would not like to be one though. Male peacock spiders perform an elaborate courtship dance to try and impress a female. If the male continues his dance when the female is not interested, she attempts to attack, kill, and feed on him. She may also do this after mating. In this case, presumably, her attack isn't because he had poor dancing skills. Sometimes the male can escape by jumping.

Therefore, if you are a male peacock spider, it's very important to be good at dancing and at jumping.

Peacock spiders are very small, like a few millimetres, and you need some specialised photographic equipment to get a really good picture of one.

Note that dead spiders usually fade in colour, so nearly all the spiders will look blacker or darker in colour in real life than they do in the photos of dead spiders from the museum.

Peacock Spider - Maratus volans
Male Peacock Spider. Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney. High Resolution 2260 x 1884.

Peacock Spider - Maratus volans
Male Peacock Spider. Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney. High Resolution 1759 x 1214.

Peacock Spider - Maratus volans
Female Peacock Spider. Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney. High Resolution 1512 x 1176.

Peacock Spider - Maratus volans
Male Peacock Spider. Photo by Jurgen Otto.

Recommended Reading

A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, by Robert Whyte and Greg AndersonA Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, by Robert Whyte and Greg Anderson.

This is my favourite field guide to Australian spiders. It has a proper index. It has amazing photographs. If I had to find a weak point of it, it would be that there are so many photos that there is less writing than there could have been. I like photos though so it's all good. 464 pages.

From the publisher, "A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia uses photographs of live animals to enable identification of commonly encountered spiders to the family level and, in some cases, to genus and species. Featuring over 1300 colour photographs, it is the most comprehensive account of Australian spiders ever published. With more than two-thirds of Australian spiders yet to be scientifically described, this book sets the scene for future explorations of our extraordinary Australian fauna."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

See Also

Return to Australian Spiders
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Peacock Spider - Maratus volans

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