The Peacock spider or Gliding spider (Maratus volans) is a species of jumping spider.
Octavius Pickard-Cambridge noted in his original description that “it is difficult to describe adequately the great beauty of the colouring of this spider”.
The red, blue and black colored males have flap-like extensions of the abdomen with white hairs that can be folded down. They are used for display during mating: the male raises his abdomen, then expands and raises the flaps so that the abdomen forms a white-fringed, circular field of color. The species, and indeed the whole genus Maratus have been compared to peacocks in this respect. The third pair of legs is also raised for display, showing a brush of black hairs and white tips. While approaching the female, the male will vibrate his abdomen while waving raised legs and tail, and dance from side to side.
Both sexes reach about 5 mm in body length. Females and immatures of both sexes are brown but have colour patterns by which they can be distinguished from related species. [ read more ]