Peacock spiders perform a good intercourse dance to win over the opposite sex. Jurgen Otto has done more than anyone else to document and share videos of this horrible breeding ritual. Otto, who works with a small group of professional scientists on spider spiders, says that amateur natural science and photographers can be innovators.
Colorful males make it easy to distinguish between species, but most female peer spiders look similar to male spiders. Otto says that male spiders will perform their intercourse dance for females of any species. This is a risky prospect.
Due to their tiny size, and perhaps because they only live in certain areas in Australia, the animals haven’t been well-documented. “These new spiders are spectacular. It’s a mind-blowing find,” says arachnologist Damian Elias of the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the research. Although scientists first discovered peacock spiders in the 1800s, they went virtually unstudied after a series of papers in the late 1950s, Otto explained. Some scientists have said that the spiders’ small size may explain the lack of research, but Otto isn’t convinced.
Researchers also described maternal care and the early life of these spiders. Females lay only six eggs in a soft egg bag, and the eggs stay with them for two weeks until they hatch. During this time she will not feed, often devoting her life to protecting the eggs. When the eggs finally hatch, we find that the baby spiders are adorable. After two weeks, spiders can live alone; After a few months, they become adults. Next spring, the frenzied, colorful curve of undergrowth resumes.
All Images © jurgen otto