Rejoice! Jürgen Otto has released a new Peacock spider video!
Male Peacock spiders (jumping spiders in the genus Maratus) have a pair of colourful abdominal flaps which they extend during courtship to attract a female. I can’t watch the two males displaying to each other and not think it’s the spider equivalent of “flipping the bird.”
“This video is about courtship, mating and male-male contest in the Australian peacock spider Maratus vespertilio. This species occurs in drier parts of southern Australia. If you are wondering about the noise at 5:07, this noise is real. The female must have hit the male so hard that the camera microphone picked it up.
The male-male contests, shown here, was only discovered during the production of this video, purely by accident. It has since been described in a paper.”
You can see more of Jurgen’s amazing work on his Flickr stream. This photo gives you a sense of the tiny scale that this drama takes place on (and the level of skill that is needed to photograph it.)