Two New Species of Brilliant Peacock Spiders are Called 'Sparklemuffin' and 'Skeletorus'
There are two new spider species for you to be terrified of--or mesmerized by, depending if you like the eight-legged creatures or not. Scientists have uncovered two new species of peacock spiders that they've dubbed "skeletorus" and "sparklemuffin."
The two new species were discovered in Australia and are both what are known as peacock spiders. These brightly-colored arachnids are known for their brilliant colors and elaborate display "dances."
The first species, known as sparklemuffin or Maratus jactatus, has bluish and reddish stripes on its abdomen. The other species, known as skeletorus, has white markings on a black background.
"Despite the large number of species we have discovered just in the last few years, I can't help feeling that we may have just scratched the surface of this most exciting group of spiders, and that nature has quite a few more surprises in store," said Jurgen Otto, an entomologist who specializes in photographing these arachnids and co-author of the new report, in an interview with Live Science.
Peacock spiders have colorful abdominal flaps that they display during courtship. Almost all of them are endemic to Australia, and live on the ground or in low bushes. Many of them also conduct a courtship "dance" to woo potential mates.
The new species are described in a new report in the journal Peckhamia.
Want to see the courtship dance for yourself? You can check out another peacock spider below, courtesy of YouTube.
For more great science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).