The Peacock spider (Maratus Volans) is a species of jumping spider in the genus Maratus. It is in the family Salticidae (peacock spiders). These spiders are native to some parts of Australia and live in many different places.
They have a special kind of eye that lets them see in the UV and visible ranges. This helps them find and chase down prey. The males of this species have colorful flaps on their bellies that they use to attract females when they are trying to mate.
How Many Peacock Spider Species Are There?
Currently, 92 species of Peacock spiders are known, and seven were only found in 2020. In 1878, the first one was found. Maratus karsch said this. In 2020, scientist Joseph Schubert found the Maratus azureus, Maratus constellatus, Maratus inaquous, Maratus laurenae, Maratus noggerup, Maratus suae, and Maratus volpei. Another species is the Maratus volans. Only one Maratus species, Maratus furvus, lives in China. All other Maratus species live in Australia.
How Does A Peacock Spider Look Like?
The male of most Peacock spiders has an abdomen with bright coloration and long, black third legs. The males’ abdomens have pedicel stalks that are very flexible. A pedicel is a thin stalk connecting a spider’s abdomen to its cephalothorax, a term for a spider’s fused head and thorax.
Both the longer third legs and the flexible abdomen are beneficial during mating dances. Iridescent colors can also be seen on the abdomen. In fact, some of the males don’t have bright colors; they just have iridescence. Most females are smaller and brown or grey in color.
Where Do Peacock Spiders Live?
Only a few different kinds of these spiders live in the southern half of Australia. The peacock jumping spider lives in many different places, and because they hunt, many species move over long distances and through many different areas.
They live in grasslands, coastal dunes, scrub forests, and deserts. Some species are more specialized than others and only live on certain mountain tops or under the dead leaves of certain plants.
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What Do Peacock Spiders Eat?
Peacock spiders don’t make webs like most other spiders do. Almost all of what they eat are insects and other spiders. They have good eyesight and can easily find their prey, which they then run after and jump on. Unlike many other spiders, they hunt during the day.
They can see all the rainbow colors, even ultraviolet light, making them good hunters. They won’t be picky about what they eat and will eat almost any insect or other spider they can catch, even ones that are bigger than themselves. The females will sometimes eat the males.
Peacock Spider Reproduction
The Australian spring, which lasts from August to December, is when peacock spiders mate. Males become sexually mature before females do. Males start the mating ritual by sitting on top of something high and waving their back legs. When he sees a female, he makes vibrations to get her attention. Once she is facing him, he starts his mating dance by spreading out a flat part of his belly. He shows off this flat part and the back legs in turns for up to 50 minutes, or until the female decides.
Males are very aggressive and may try to get a female to like them more than once. They have been known to chase after pregnant or distant females of their own species as well as those of other species. A female can scare off a male by lifting her stomach to show that she is not interested or by eating the male. In December, pregnant females build their nests and lay their egg sacs with hundreds of spiders in them. She stays with them after they hatch until they are old enough to start eating on their own.
Peacock spiders don’t make webs. Instead, they hunt small bugs every day. They eat flies, moths, ants with wings, grasshoppers, and any other small insects they can catch. Females can also eat males if their dances don’t impress them.
Moreover, they can see their prey from yards away, and they can pounce on it from far away and kill it with one bite. This ability to jump far also helps spiders avoid being eaten by bigger spiders and other predators. Most of the time, they live alone, but when it’s time to mate, the males court the females aggressively.
Lightsaber Peacock spider only talks to each other when it’s time to mate. Males use their back legs to make vibrations, which are then picked up by the females’ legs. Furthermore, females send out chemical signals called pheromones from their bellies. These signals, called draglines, can be picked up by the males’ chemoreceptors. The peacock spider’s eyes are strong enough to see the males’ bright colors in great detail from far away.
Peacock Spider Facts!
- They are called peacock spiders because the males are brightly colored and dance like a peacock when they want to mate.
- Most females only get pregnant once in their lives.
- Peacock spiders can jump up to 40 times as long as their bodies are long.
- As part of their complicated mating ritual, they dance while moving the flaps on their bellies.
- They come in every color of the rainbow.
- Peacock spiders can see all kinds of light, even ultraviolet (UV).
- These spiders are harmless to humans, so you need not worry about them.
- They can jump 40 times the length of their bodies.
Are Australian Peacock Spider Poisonous?
No, it doesn’t hurt you. The peacock spider is poisonous, like most spiders. It uses its poison to kill its prey, but it doesn’t bother people and doesn’t bite them.
Is The Peacock Spider Rare?
Even though their colors and patterns are unique, they are loved for more than just how colorful their bodies are. Peacock spiders are rare to see because they only live in the southern half of mainland Australia. These spiders are very, very small.
Are Peacock Spiders Only Found In Australia?
Only in Australia have people ever seen a jumping peacock spider. Maratus furvus is a species from China that is sometimes talked about. But the fact that it is in the genus Maratus is more of a piece of history.
Can Peacock Spiders Bite You?
Peacock spiders are poisonous, like many other spiders, but they are completely safe for humans.
Can I Keep A Peacock Spider As A Pet?
People don’t usually keep peacock jumping spiders as pets. They are very small, and you can’t find them at home easily. Also, it’s best to let them live in the wild and keep them outside the house.
Do Peacock Spiders Make Silk?
Peacock spiders don’t catch their food in webs. Even though these spiders still make silk, they don’t weave webs like most spiders do to catch their food. Instead, peacock spiders wait until their prey is close enough to pounce on it.
Why Are Peacock Spiders Special?
These tiny spiders have dark spots that absorb 99.5 percent of light and make the colors around them look better. Peacock spiders are small spiders that stand out for many reasons, like their cute faces with many eyes, their elaborate courtship rituals, and their ninja-like jumping skills.
How Big Can A Peacock Spider Get?
Most species grow up to 0.19 inches long, but their colors and patterns are different, affecting how they move in their dances.
Where Do Peacock Spiders Live?
Peacock spiders are found all over the southern half of Australia. They live in a variety of places, from sand dunes on temperate coasts to grasslands in semi-arid regions.
How Long Does A Peacock Spider Live?
Male peacock spiders that are not fully grown don’t have an opisthosomal fan or a white band along the edge of the carapace. Moreover, their third legs do not have a specialization yet. Males don’t get their bright colors until they reach sexual maturity. People say that they live for about a year.
Are Jumping Spiders And Peacock Spiders The Same?
Maratus is a type of spider in the Salticidae family (jumping spiders). People often call these spiders “peacock spiders” because the males show off bright, often iridescent patterns on the top of their abdomens, which are often made more noticeable by flaps or bristles on the sides.
Is The Peacock Spider The Smallest Spider In The World?
The Maratus speciosus is an arachnid, and both males and females are about 5 mm long, which is about the size of a pencil eraser. Moreover, people say that they are the smallest spider species.
How High Can A Peacock Spider Jump?
Peacock spiders can’t fly, but they can jump up to 40 times their body length. This helps them catch baby crickets and other prey.
How Do Peacock Spiders Move?
During their mating ritual, male spiders raise one leg and wave it in a furious “come hither” motion to attract females. This is their version of a peacock’s colorful tail.
Can Peacock Spiders Dance?
For his life, the male peacock jumping spider must dance. The peacock spider dance with a fan (bright coloration) on his stomach to attract a female. This also prevents females from eating male. If the female says it’s okay, he can mate.
How Many Eggs Do Peacock Spiders Lay?
The female lays only six eggs in an egg sac made of silk, and she stays with them for two weeks until they hatch. During this time, she won’t eat, often giving up her life to protect the eggs.
How Do You Identify A Peacock Spider?
The longest this tiny spider can get is 0.5 cm for females and 0.4 cm for males. Furthermore, this spider’s name goes after the peacock because the male’s abdomen is very colorful. He has two symmetrical red crescents around a red spot in the middle of a blue background.
How Do Peacock Spiders Defend Themselves?
Peacock spiders have a unique way of keeping themselves safe from danger and catching their prey. Even though they can’t fly, they can jump about forty times higher than their body length to catch their prey.
Parvaiz Yousuf is a senior SEO writer and editor with an experience of over 6 years, who also doubles up as a researcher. With an MSc zoology degree under his belt and possessing complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge, he works as a science journalist for a US-based website and Asian Scientist (A Singapore-based magazine). He also works as Director of Wetland Research Centre, Wildlife Conservation Fund YPJK since 2018. Besides, he has several publications to his name on cancer biology and biochemistry in some reputed journals such as Nature & International Journal of Molecular Sciences, & magazines such as Science Reporter, BUCEROS BNHS, and has an abiding interest in ornithology. He also worked as a Research Associate for JK Policy Institute.