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Peacock (Maratus)

The peacock spiders belonging to the jumping spider family is indigenous to different parts of Australia. The colorful body patterns displayed by the males, along with their amazing dancing skills have earned them their name.

Peacock Spider

List of Species Belonging to the Genus

Maratus albus Maratus boranup Maratus cristatus
Maratus amabilis Maratus bubo Maratus dialeucus
Maratus anomaliformis Maratus caeruleus Maratus digitatus
Maratus anomalus Maratus calcitrans Maratus electricus
Maratus aurantius Maratus chlorophthalmus Maratus elephans
Maratus australis Maratus chrysomelas Maratus eliasi
Maratus avibus Maratus cinereus Maratus fimbriatus
Maratus bitaeniatus Maratus clupeatus Maratus flavus
Maratus furvus Maratus gemmifer Maratus griseus
Maratus harrisi Maratus heteropogon Maratus hortorum
Maratus jactatus Maratus julianneae Maratus karri
Maratus karschi Maratus kiwirrkurra Maratus kochi
Maratus lentus Maratus leo Maratus licunxini
Maratus linnaei Maratus literatus Maratus lobatus
Maratus madelineae Maratus maritimus Maratus melindae
Maratus michaelorum Maratus michaelseni Maratus montanus
Maratus mungaich Maratus neptunus Maratus nigriceps
Maratus nigromaculatus Maratus nimbus Maratus obscurior
Maratus ottoi Maratus pardus Maratus pavonis
Maratus personatus Maratus piliger Maratus pilosus
Maratus plumosus Maratus proszynskii Maratus purcellae
Maratus rainbowi Maratus robinsoni Maratus sagittus
Maratus sapphirus Maratus sarahae Maratus sceletus
Maratus scutulatus Maratus speciosus Maratus speculifer
Maratus spicatus Maratus tasmanicus Maratus tessellatus
Maratus tortus Maratus trigonus Maratus unicup
Maratus velutinus Maratus vespa Maratus vespertilio
Maratus vittatus Maratus volans Maratus vultus
Maratus watagansi

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: All the species of this genus are small-sized, being 4mm to 5mm (0.15 inches to 0.20 inches) long.

Color: The females, as well as the juvenile spiders of both the sexes, have a brown body, though with distinct mottled patterns of brownish and whitish scales. The males, on the other hand, come in colors of blue, red and yellow on the upper part of their abdomen. However, not all species of this genus appear bright to the human eye, for instance, the Maratus vespertilio, which have an ambiguous coloration, with the iridescence present on its lateral flaps.

Other characteristics: The males are characterized by a fan or plate on the upper part of their abdomen that is marked with bright-colored scales or hairs forming a pattern where the foreground and background stand in contrast with one another. The males, as well as females, have their abdomen joined with the cephalothorax by a pedicel which is long and flexible.

Peacock Spider Size

Eggs

The female spider lays about half dozen eggs within a silken sac after the completion of the mating process and guards them intently till the time they hatch.

Spiderlings

The spiderlings are mostly of a brown shade with a distinctive pattern and disperse to be on their own after a two-week span.

Baby Peacock Spider

The Web

Like all other jumping spiders, the species of this genus do not construct webs but keep producing silk as they move about in their surroundings. In fact, they are bold enough while stalking their preys and are known to pounce upon creatures that are thrice or four times bigger than them.

Do Species of Peacock Spiders Bite and Are They Dangerous to Humans

They are venomous but not dangerous to mankind as they may bite only accidentally, and their jaws are too small to even penetrate through the human skin.

Female Peacock Spider

Quick Facts

Distribution All over Australia, excepting the Maratus furvus, found in China
Habitat Dry scrubby regions, grasslands, sand dunes, heaths, and in Eucalyptus woodlands, under leaf litters
Lifespan Approximately 1 year
Diet Small insects like crickets as well as other spiders
Peacock Spider Images

Did You Know

  • The splendid courtship dance performed by the male members of this genus to attract a female to mate is indeed an interesting one. The bright, vibrant surface of their upper abdomen, often having fringes and extensions are brilliantly displayed during this time.
  • There are two different mechanisms for producing color, with one being the use of pigments for producing the cream, red and white shades. The other one involves the usage of nanostructures to produce blue.
  • Entomologist, Jürgen C. Otto, has filmed the video of the remarkable dance of this species.
  • Ferdinand Karsch a curator of Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde described this genus for the first time.
  • Peacock spiders have a special way of protecting themselves from predators and capturing their prey. Although they cannot fly, they have the ability to jump at a height of about forty times greater than their body length and catch preys.

Video of a Peacock Spider Dancing

The peacock spiders belonging to the jumping spider family is indigenous to different parts of Australia. The colorful body patterns displayed by the males, along with their amazing dancing skills have earned them their name.

Peacock Spider

List of Species Belonging to the Genus

Maratus albus Maratus boranup Maratus cristatus
Maratus amabilis Maratus bubo Maratus dialeucus
Maratus anomaliformis Maratus caeruleus Maratus digitatus
Maratus anomalus Maratus calcitrans Maratus electricus
Maratus aurantius Maratus chlorophthalmus Maratus elephans
Maratus australis Maratus chrysomelas Maratus eliasi
Maratus avibus Maratus cinereus Maratus fimbriatus
Maratus bitaeniatus Maratus clupeatus Maratus flavus
Maratus furvus Maratus gemmifer Maratus griseus
Maratus harrisi Maratus heteropogon Maratus hortorum
Maratus jactatus Maratus julianneae Maratus karri
Maratus karschi Maratus kiwirrkurra Maratus kochi
Maratus lentus Maratus leo Maratus licunxini
Maratus linnaei Maratus literatus Maratus lobatus
Maratus madelineae Maratus maritimus Maratus melindae
Maratus michaelorum Maratus michaelseni Maratus montanus
Maratus mungaich Maratus neptunus Maratus nigriceps
Maratus nigromaculatus Maratus nimbus Maratus obscurior
Maratus ottoi Maratus pardus Maratus pavonis
Maratus personatus Maratus piliger Maratus pilosus
Maratus plumosus Maratus proszynskii Maratus purcellae
Maratus rainbowi Maratus robinsoni Maratus sagittus
Maratus sapphirus Maratus sarahae Maratus sceletus
Maratus scutulatus Maratus speciosus Maratus speculifer
Maratus spicatus Maratus tasmanicus Maratus tessellatus
Maratus tortus Maratus trigonus Maratus unicup
Maratus velutinus Maratus vespa Maratus vespertilio
Maratus vittatus Maratus volans Maratus vultus
Maratus watagansi

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: All the species of this genus are small-sized, being 4mm to 5mm (0.15 inches to 0.20 inches) long.

Color: The females, as well as the juvenile spiders of both the sexes, have a brown body, though with distinct mottled patterns of brownish and whitish scales. The males, on the other hand, come in colors of blue, red and yellow on the upper part of their abdomen. However, not all species of this genus appear bright to the human eye, for instance, the Maratus vespertilio, which have an ambiguous coloration, with the iridescence present on its lateral flaps.

Other characteristics: The males are characterized by a fan or plate on the upper part of their abdomen that is marked with bright-colored scales or hairs forming a pattern where the foreground and background stand in contrast with one another. The males, as well as females, have their abdomen joined with the cephalothorax by a pedicel which is long and flexible.

Peacock Spider Size

Eggs

The female spider lays about half dozen eggs within a silken sac after the completion of the mating process and guards them intently till the time they hatch.

Spiderlings

The spiderlings are mostly of a brown shade with a distinctive pattern and disperse to be on their own after a two-week span.

Baby Peacock Spider

The Web

Like all other jumping spiders, the species of this genus do not construct webs but keep producing silk as they move about in their surroundings. In fact, they are bold enough while stalking their preys and are known to pounce upon creatures that are thrice or four times bigger than them.

Do Species of Peacock Spiders Bite and Are They Dangerous to Humans

They are venomous but not dangerous to mankind as they may bite only accidentally, and their jaws are too small to even penetrate through the human skin.

Female Peacock Spider

Quick Facts

Distribution All over Australia, excepting the Maratus furvus, found in China
Habitat Dry scrubby regions, grasslands, sand dunes, heaths, and in Eucalyptus woodlands, under leaf litters
Lifespan Approximately 1 year
Diet Small insects like crickets as well as other spiders
Peacock Spider Images

Did You Know

  • The splendid courtship dance performed by the male members of this genus to attract a female to mate is indeed an interesting one. The bright, vibrant surface of their upper abdomen, often having fringes and extensions are brilliantly displayed during this time.
  • There are two different mechanisms for producing color, with one being the use of pigments for producing the cream, red and white shades. The other one involves the usage of nanostructures to produce blue.
  • Entomologist, Jürgen C. Otto, has filmed the video of the remarkable dance of this species.
  • Ferdinand Karsch a curator of Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde described this genus for the first time.
  • Peacock spiders have a special way of protecting themselves from predators and capturing their prey. Although they cannot fly, they have the ability to jump at a height of about forty times greater than their body length and catch preys.

Video of a Peacock Spider Dancing

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