Even those who despise arachnids can’t help but fall for the gorgeous peacock spider. And now there are even more of them to admire. Researchers from Australia have just announced the discovery of four new species and one subspecies, bringing the total number of peacock spider varieties to 65.
Dr. Jurgen Otto in Western Australia has been studying peacock spiders for about a decade.
Reportedly, four of the species are completely new to science and one is believed to a be a sub-species.
“Each new species is a complete surprise — the patterns and colours of each species are so different and so unpredictable, you never know what the next one and its display and courtship dance will look like,” Otto told ABC News. Otto and Hill named 39 of the species and sub-species that have been discovered. Reportedly, the latest species were found in Western Australia, but the peacock spiders are more native to the southern part of the continent.
To help people easily identify the spiders, Otto has shared incredibly detailed photographs on his YouTube channel. “In most peacock spider species — and the new ones are no exception — the males are strikingly coloured, and the patterns and colours are very distinctive, making it easy to distinguish one from another,” said Otto. “Cristatus has a pattern on its back that resembles the Union Jack and in addition has eight plumes of white setae (hairs) at its back that no other peacock spider has.”
“Electricus stands out by its striking pattern of parallel red lines that make it look like a circuit board, and trigonus can be easily recognised by the white crown at the tip of its abdomen that is not present in any known species,” Otto added. “One could think that the novelty of this would all have worn off by now, but people still get excited when they see them.”
These findings were published in the journal Peckhamia.
Via ABC News
Images via Dr. Jurgen Otto