The Peacock Spider: Beautiful or Creepy?
In certain remote areas of East Australia, you can encounter a rare and unusual creature. Look carefully enough and you may spot Maratus volans—the peacock spider.You have to look closely because this spider is tiny. Peacock spiders rarely reach half a centimeter in length, easily overlooked by the naked eye. Luckily, some of these spiders have characteristics that make them easy enough to pick out if you know what to look for. Though the females are largely nondescript, brown-and-grey spiders, males are an entirely different story.
The species gets its name from the bright, flashy coloring of the males. The guys sport an extendable flap on their abdomen that they can erect, showing off colorful patterns that closely resemble those of a peacock.
Why all the show? To impress the ladies, of course. These spiders go the extra mile to attract a mate. In addition to raising their flaps, they also engage in elaborate dances. Their ritual is mesmerizing to watch, and we highly recommend you check it out.
Fascinating, right? We love peacock spiders because they remind us that not all bugs are pests. Some can be beneficial or even beautiful. As native Australians, they’re unlikely to bother you here. If you’re dealing with less appealing spiders, though, check out our guide to getting rid of them.