31 Oct

Get in the Groove and Make a Move


He is flashy and if a he sees a girl walk by, he will strut. If he thinks he has a chance with her, you will see him drop everything and dance. He will keep on grooving and prancing and even start to clap his hands. He will do anything to impress the girl that caught his eye. You might be thinking about a hormone raging teenager right now and you wouldn’t be too far off. The only difference is this dancer… has eight legs.

This Spider’s got the Moves

Adolescent boys aren’t the only creatures that will try and strut their stuff. The Peacock Jumping Spider gets its name because of its resemblance to a peacock. The spider has colored flaps that come in bright blues, reds, yellows and greens. If you watch him, you will notice that he can fold the flaps down and store them along the top of his abdomen. There are probably a few teenage boys that are wishing they could do the same—anything to impress a female, right?

When a pretty girl spider walks past, the first thing the male peacock spider does is raise two legs to get her attention. Though the peacock spider is only .2 inches big, (a little bit longer than a pen tip) he knows how to tango. He will throw those legs up, clap, sway and bounce to a rhythm only he can hear. If that doesn’t work, he will raise those colored flaps and set fire to the dance floor. If the girl gives him eight cold shoulders, he will keep on grooving. If nothing works, he might have to find another girl. If the female spider shows interest, then the peacock spider is in luck. Even after his amazing show, he has to be extra careful, or she will eat him. It’s a good thing people don’t do the same. You would see a lot fewer dates if the boy had to worry that going out to dinner meant he was the main course.

Misnamed or Misunderstood?

The Peacock spider has the Latin name of Maratus Voluns. The last part of his name translates to mean “flying”. If you get a chance to go to Australia and you see this little jumping spider boogie, you might agree with the translation.

Unfortunately, that isn’t how he got his name. The person, who sent the spider in to a biologist back in the 1900’s, said that he had seen the spider fly with those brightly colored flaps. Not actually seeing a live specimen, the biologist believed the report and gave the name. Can you blame him; it was the early 1900’s. Can you imagine how long it took to mail something from Australia?

Before your have nightmares of flying, dancing spiders, don’t worry. The idea that the peacock spider could fly was later debunked. Besides, if the spider does bite you, it isn’t poisonous. Still though, you might not want to get bit. If the story of Spiderman has any validity, a bite from this spider might make you become a dancing maniac.

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