The dancing Peacock Spider

Say hello to the Peacock Spider!

Source: Jürgen Otto

The peacock spider is named as such due to two brightly coloured skin flaps it has on the side of its abdomen. These bright colourful flaps are used in a courting dance by the male spider to attract a mate. With the wiggle of his abdomen and waving of his legs, the male Peacock Spider begins his courting dance, finishing the display by raising these colourful flaps.

This big display is put on by the very tiny spider, which is only about 4mm in size. But it’s not just one spider that does this. There is a whole group of these spiders that put on these dancing displays and show off their unique colouring.

Source: Jürgen Otto

Peacock spiders are not well documented at this point, but Jürgen Otto is putting his efforts into observing this species. Otto is the man who spent three years trying to find this amazing little spider again after stumbling across it in the bush undergrowth one day. Otto has since spent his time observing various species of Peacock Spiders, capturing their unique mating rituals as photographs and films.

Source: Jürgen Otto

It is thought that this behaviour and these fantastic colourful flaps evolved due to sexual selection, showing potential mates the evolutionary fitness of the male in question.

Whether or not sexual selection is why these traits evolved, I am just happy they did. The fascinating dance and gorgeous colours of this cute little spider just make me smile 🙂

Source: Jürgen Otto

(I would have loved to add a video of the Peacock Spider’s mating dance to this post, but could not do so due to copyright. If you would like to see this amazing phenomenon, please visit Jürgen’s Youtube page


9 Responses to “The dancing Peacock Spider”

  1. Tahlia says:

    Wow, that would have been so cool, actually seeing this happen!

  2. Meagan Lane says:

    When in the Northern Territory recently I was lucky enough o have one of these little fellas do his display for me! Well perhaps not for me but for a female of his own species. I thought he was very cute and glad I got to see this happen!

  3. Tahlia says:

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention- It seems as though the pictures and captions display differently when making the post to when you are viewing them. I will keep is in mind for my next post.
    Hope you enjoyed the videos!

  4. zziqbal says:

    Aww, that is such a cute little spider. It’s a shame not many people know about them yet – but blogging’s always good at spreading the word. 😀 You’ve accented Jurgen Otto’s name in one instance and not in the others; was that on purpose? Also, (this is probably a personal thing, but) I found myself reading the links as text, particularly the ones under the images.

    Anyway, I’m off to look for a video on these cuties now. You made me want to see their courtship dance. 🙂

  5. Tahlia says:

    Thanks Rachael. I can only assume they weren’t included as they aren’t very well known of yet, which is a shame, I think!

  6. Rachael Vorwerk says:

    Great post Tahlia! I studied a zoology subject called Animal Behaviour last semester and I’m wondering how these guys managed to not feature in any of my lectures!

    Very interesting and good work!

  7. Tahlia says:

    Thanks for your positive feedback! I thought these little guys were too cute not to share!

  8. Charlotte says:

    Great post! I remember being introduced to one of these little guys in first year biology, and now I can’t understand how people can hate spiders. What a wonderful example of evolutionary adaptation.

  9. Serene says:

    These little creature are so cute with the colourful flaps. This make me think that actually spider are ain’t scary at all. Anyway, it is an interesting post. Good job! 🙂