Wildlife
Maratus melindae corus

Meet the newest peacock spiders: ‘People still get excited when they see them’

This photo isn’t fake.

These tiny, dazzling spiders are 100 per cent real — and scientists have just discovered another five species and sub-species in Western Australia.

They’re called peacock spiders and self-described peacock spiderman Jurgen Otto has spent years discovering and photographing them.

When he first spotted one of the unique creatures in bushland near Sydney about a decade ago, he said he almost stepped on it.

I took a photograph and then later I went home, looked at it on the computer and was just blown away, Dr Otto said.

When I started with all this, there was not a single picture or video of a peacock spider on the internet.

Nine years later now, you get many thousand hits when you type peacock spider into Google.

The reaction of people when they see the latest finds remains the same.

One could think that the novelty of this would all have worn off by now, but people still get excited when they see them, he said.

Each new species is a complete surprise — the patterns and colours of each species are so different and so unpredictable, you never know what the next one and its display and courtship dance will look like.

Most of the five discoveries were spotted in south-western WA, but peacock spiders can be found across southern Australia.

Dr Otto estimates there are now more than 60 species and sub-species of Australian peacock spiders. Thirty-nine of them were named by himself and fellow spider expert David Hill — via ABC News

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