Peacock spiders in all their resplendent glory

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus bubo

While searching for a spider, Otto and his friend David Knowles came across this guy. Its abdominal pattern reminded them of an owl so they named it ‘bubo’, the genus name for horned owls.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus vespa

Knowles and Otto discovered this spider in 2015 near Lake Jasper in Western Australia. When he got it home, Otto was able to watch its mesmerising courtship display. The wasp-like pattern on its abdomen prompted the pair to name it ‘vespa’, a generic name for wasps.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus ottoi

This Queensland species was drawn in black and white from dead museum specimens in 1989, but only named this year when live individuals were found.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Unnamed species (Maratus sp.)

This unusual long-legged peacock spider is from South Australia. It sometimes raises both of its first pair of legs in the air at the same time when displaying to a female.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Unnamed species (Maratus sp.)

This New South Wales spider is a close relative of four other species that were also found recently in NSW and Queensland, all of which are still unnamed.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto
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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Undescribed species (Maratus sp.)

This tiny fella from South Australia is only 2.5 millimetres long.


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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus personatus

Knowles found this spider species near Albany in southwestern Western Australia. Otto raised this individual from an egg.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus vultus

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus fimbriatus

Otto discovered this one last year in northern NSW. Unlike other peacock spiders, which display with their third pair of legs, this one raises its first pair. It has an enormous fringe of setae around its plate – which is also seen in other peacock spider species, but nowhere near as dense and fluffy as this.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus speciosus

The Coastal Peacock spider can be found in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus harrisi, NSW variety

The species was first photographed by Canberra photographer Stuart Harris some years ago. Otto and Harris spent hours searching Booroomba Rocks in Namadgi National Park, in the Australian Capital Territory, for a specimen.

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Credit: Jurgen Otto
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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus volans

The male of this species courts females by expanding a pair of colourful flaps on his abdomen and waving his third pair of legs at her. 

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus sarahae

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Credit: Jurgen Otto

Maratus splendens 


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