Mating Displays of Peacock Spiders – Jürgen Otto (2011)

Here you see a series of short observations recorded by Jürgen Otto documenting the mating dances of Australian peacock spiders (for full scientific names of the spiders please see a list at the bottom of this post). Peacock spiders are another astonishing example of variation of the same theme in nature: “males display, females choose”. Mating displays have always been an attractive topic. A biological explanation for such behavior is given in a short animated documentary by the Cornell University researchers. In order to mate with a female, males do a number of tricks including gift gift giving, putting up elaborate dance choreographs. Males of some species of this jumping spider produce vibrations recorded by laser vibrometry simultaneously with their visual displays. The following description is taken from the original research published in PLoS ONE (click on the picture to go to the article).

(A) Males begin this display by swiftly raising the 3rd legs to an erect leg wave stance. (B) Immediately after, extended 3rd legs are lowered and (C) brought forward slightly until they are just above the top of the carapace. (D) At this point 3rd legs are slightly bent at the patella and (E) quickly raised until they are returned to their initial position. One cycle of fan dancing occurs between (B) and (F).

[1] Maratus volans
[2] Maratus tasmanicus
[3] Maratus vespertilio
[4] Maratus sarahae
[5] Maratus mungaich
[6] Maratus speciosus
[7] Maratus linnaei
[8] Maratus amabilis
[9] Maratus avibus
[10] Maratus pardus
[11] Maratus caeruleus
[12] Maratus personatus



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