Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sparklemuffin the Spider

In Intro Bio several weeks ago when our class was learning about biodiversity, a few recently discovered species were mentioned and I was particularly captivated by Maratus jactatus (also known as "Sparklemuffin"), the beautiful creature pictured above.  Sparklemuffin, along with another type of peacock spider, Maratus sceletus (less interestingly nicknamed "Skeletorus," pictured right of Sparklemuffin) were discovered in Australia earlier this year by a UC Berkeley Graduate student.  Both spiders have been found since then in certain parts of eastern Australia.  

There are currently 53 known species of peacock spiders, 20 of which have been discovered in the past 4 years.  Researchers believe that the discoveries will continue.  These spiders are have excellent eyesight and are jumping spiders, meaning that they stalk their prey instead of spinning webs to catch it.  The colorful patterns, in conjuntion with unique mating dances, help male spiders to attract mates.  Below is a pretty cool video of the mating dance for the peacock spider species Maratus speciosus.  

1 comment:

Natalie Colburn said...