The Rainbow Dance Of The Peacock Spider

It’s no secret that many people have a deep seated and, mostly, irrational fear of spiders. They’re the very definition of creepy crawlies with their venomous sacks, furry legs, and beady eyes. I mostly reserve my fear for millipedes but I can sympathize with people who freak out around spiders. Honestly I think spiders get a raw deal. After all, they spend most of their time depopulating our houses and wild-lands of pesky bugs. And their webs are truly architectural marvels of utility and aesthetic design. Really we should be happy to see spiders around; I’d take them over the fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes they hunt any day. Spiders can come in a wide variety of colors but there’s one species that seems like they couldn’t make up their minds.

Peacock Spiders are really a sight to behold. Their beautiful plates shine with bright and vibrant colors that put most of the animal kingdom to shame. The first time I saw one I thought it was a trick of the light. Even knowing better I still have a hard time believing they’re real. Unfortunately not all Peacock Spiders get to be so colorful.

Only the males get to wear these awesome colors. The females go for a more traditional whitish, brownish camouflage.

Image Source: Wikipedia/ Jürgen Otto

Even without the coloring they’re still pretty cute though.

Image Source: Jean and Fred

The male’s colorful coat is the main focus of their courtship dances. And they say chivalry is dead.

Maratus pavonis male
Image Source: Bron

Peacock Spiders have excellent vision and can even see into the ultraviolet light spectrum.

Image Source: Jean and Fred

Technically, they belong to a family of jumping spiders known as Salticidae.

Image Source: Jean and Fred

The sharp blue in their coats is created by a series of nanostructures that reflect light along specific wavelengths.

Image Source: Jean and Fred

The red coloring is created through common pigmentation.

Image Source: Jean and Fred

If the female isn’t impressed by his dance she may just decide to eat him. Everyone’s a critic!

Image Source: Jean and Fred

For a look at a Peacock Spider mating dance check out the video below!


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