Monday, 13 October 2014

Creature 13: Maratus

A dancing spider

Today's creature is a genus of spider with a few dozen specie named Maratus or  peacock spiders. They have earned its place on this blog due to its spectacular colored abdomen:

and its unusual mating dance

As with Peacocks (and many other animals), it is the males that have all the fashion sense, with the females being drab in comparison:

The name Peacock spider is sometimes used to refer exclusively to the species Maratus volans.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Salticidae
Genus: Maratus

All species of Maratus bar one are known from Australia only. Maratus furvus being the only exception, which is endemic to China. Given the disjunct nature of this distribution and the poor knowledge generally of small Arthropods from South East Asia, I would guess that there is a strong possibility of a sampling error here.

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