Isn’t he just darling? I’m pretty sure this bright-eyed, bushy-legged and shiny-plated spider is one of the cutest I’ve ever seen.The arachnid is a possible new species of peacock jumping spider, preliminarily published in the journal Peckhamia by Jürgen C. Otto and David E. Hill.
It not only has a special iridescent plate, but uses it in a fancy mating dance to attract females.
The plates are covered in iridescent black, red-orange and blue-green scales, which give them their colours.
The new species is very similar to the peacock spider shown here, Maratus mungaich, discovered in 1995.
The two species have slightly different coloration: Here Maranus species A is shown in the top six frames, and its close relative M. mungaich, in the lower six frames.
Both species take their plates out and waggle them around when they are trying to attract the ladies.
The fan dance is different for the two species. Here's the new species, Maratus species A. The arrows show the movement before the position in the picture.
Here's a shot the female of Maratus species A, that the males are gunning for with their flashy dances.
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