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I travelled Australia looking for peacock spiders, and collected 7 new species (and named one after the starry night sky)

Source: theconversation.com

After I found my first peacock spider in the wild in 2016, I was hooked. Three years later, I was travelling across Australia on a month-long expedition to document and name new species of peacock spiders.

Peacock spiders are a unique group of tiny, colourful, dancing spiders native to Australia. They’re roughly between 2.5 and 6 millimetres, depending on the species. Adult male peacock spiders are usually colourful, while female and juvenile peacock spiders are usually dull brown or grey.

Like peacocks, the mature male peacock spiders display their vibrant colours in elegant courtship displays to impress females. They often elevate and wave their third pair of legs and lift their brilliantly coloured abdomens – like dancing. MORE

Header image: Maratus laurenae. Male peacock spiders have brilliant colours on their abdomen to attract females. Credit: Author provided.

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