Published by: Digital Schools
Beautiful Beats - The Maratus Jumping Spiders
They are cute, furry, and colourful; they dance, have huge glittery eyes and don’t want to bite you – and they don’t build webs; what’s not to love?
For some, the thought that a spider could be cute, cuddly, loveable and gorgeous to look at seems absurd. But think again. Inhabiting the micro-world of our gardens, pastures and forest floors are the worlds most beautiful spiders. Found only in Australia and only very recently popularised by the efforts of Joseph Schubert and Jürgen Otto, our peacock spiders almost outshine the birds of paradise.
Curious to look at and vastly more entertaining than a bird with feathers, the tiny little spiders, no larger than a grain of rice, have massive dance moves and a lot of swaggers and could entirely change how you feel about spiders forever.
From 2011 there were only around eight species of peacock spider identified in the ‘Land Down Under’, but as of recently thanks to spider enthusiasts and scientists with a deep passion for our dancing spider friends, we are now at 86.
The first peacock spider to be documented was in 1874 by Pickard -Cambridge, a zoologist with a particular interest in arachnids and insects. Since then, there was not too much fuss until a man named Jürgen Otto started filming these little gems and posting the videos on the internet. From 2011 – until now there have been a confirmed 75 new species identified, and it’s primarily because of him.
Joseph Schubert recently added to the catalogue of the species by revealing seven new finds which are published in an article on the ABC News website. Mr Schubert says, “peacock spiders are like tiny, little, colourful kittens”.