As a macro photographer, I find the world of invertebrates (animals with no backbone) particularly fascinating. While macro photography is challenging but rewarding, it also allows the photographer to truly grasp the intricate detail and endless variety of these tiny creatures.
For me living in Canberra’s inner north, the nature park at Mount Majura is very close and convenient and surprisingly contains a wide range of insects and spiders, and particularly within the spiders, many of the lesser known ones.
A group of these lesser known spider species are the Peacock Spiders. While they have been known for several years, it is only in the past few years that the Peacock Spiders have been explored and now for the first time one species, Maratus pavonis has been sighted in the nature park at Mount Majura.
Maratus pavonis is one of the more common and most widespread species of the 37 Peacock Spider species that have now been identified in Australia. These spiders are commonly referred to as peacock spiders due to their colorful abdominal flaps that they display during their courtship.
Similar to peacock birds, where this spider gets its nickname from, the male performs very colorful routine to attract the female, it does this by extending these intricately ornamented abdominal flaps, which are waved at females in synchrony with their 3rd pair of legs while intermittently producing substrate-borne vibrations.
Maratus is a member of the Jumping Spiders (Salticidae) family. Jumping spiders don’t build a web, but rather are daytime hunters and as such are very active, nimble and highly mobile and can usually found on the ground or on low bushes. I found Maratus on the ground in long grass, but, if you are looking for them, they are fast!!
Join Ian for a “Spiders at Night” walk. Places are limited and booking is essential; for further details click here.
Maratus pavonis is one of the most common and most widespread species of peacock spider in Australia. However, there are…