The Extraordinary Courtship Dance of Australia’s Peacock Spider
Meet the world’s most adorable spider and watch his amazing courtship dance!
One of the most common phobias in the world is arachnophobia, the irrational fear of spiders. But there is one sort of spider out there that is so cute that even arachnophobes may like them.
I am talking about those diminutive jumping spiders (Family: Salticidae). Not only are these spiders very small, but they are generally colourful and they have keen eyesight — essential for stalking and quickly jumping upon their prey since they do not spin webs to ensnare insects.
It’s possible that I may be projecting just a wee bit, but jumping spiders seem to have personalities and, as one zoology professor told me when I was a grad student, they even learn to recognize their human care-givers.
But to my eyes, the most remarkable of all jumping spiders are those in the genus Maratus. Although only eight species have been formally described so far, at least 20 species are known, and all of them are found only in Australia.