This Newly-Discovered Spider Species Has Stunning Coloration

Hannah Keyser

A member of the growing family of so-called peacock spiders, the male Australian Maratus personatus (known as "blueface" for obvious reasons) has a distinct tactic for attracting females. While other peacock spiders extend their colorful fan-like abdomen as part of a mating dance, M. personatus waves his black and white banded arms to draw attention to his vibrant blue "mask" in an effort to woo a passing female.

These tiny spiders—just three to five millimeters long—were discovered by Jürgen Otto, a mite biologist at the Australian Department of Agriculture in Sydney who has been on a mission to document peacock spiders in Australia since 2008. A paper published earlier this summer [PDF] officially added M. personatus to the existing roster of nine peacock spiders.

[h/t New Scientist]