Most internet-frequenters might recognise the peacock spider from various meme videos capturing their courtship movements and putting them to music.
If you do, there’s some great news; scientists have discovered seven new species throughout Australia.
Scientists have discovered seven new species of peacock spider in Australia. We think these cute critters could turn the tide for arachnophobes everywhere.
The adorable critters are described in a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal, Zootaxa.
Joseph Schubert, a legacy registration officer in entomology and arachnology, describes peacock spiders and the painstaking work that goes into finding them.
“They have their own personalities and they’re incredibly tiny – about the size of a grain of rice,” he said. “I spend a lot of time on my hands and knees in the field, with my camera and a big lens, zooming in on these tiny spiders.”
Among the new species is the Maratus Constellatus, a spider so-named as its colours are reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
As of 2013, there were fewer than 10 recorded species in Australia. That number has skyrocketed since then, now standing at 85. This is most likely due to the newfound enthusiasm of passionate citizen scientists across Australia. Evidently, this is fair enough, they are adorable, after all.
You can check out the discoveries below. Meanwhile, you can also have a look at more awesome wildlife photography here.