This male spider’s entire body looks embroidered; what a mating display! Austrailian Peacock Spider.
Peacock Spider (Maratus volans)
The red, blue and black colored males have flap-like extensions of the abdomen with white hairs that can be folded down. They are used for display during mating: the male raises his abdomen, then expands and raises the flaps so that the abdomen forms a white-fringed, circular field of color. The species, and indeed the whole genus Maratus have been compared to peacocks in this respect. The third pair of legs is also raised for display, showing a brush of black hairs and white tips. While approaching the female, the male will then vibrate raises legs and tail, and dance from side to side.
Both sexes reach about 5mm in body length. Females and immatures of both sexes are brown with no distinct pattern.
The peacock spider is confined to eastern parts of Australia.
Photo by: Jurgen Otto