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.)

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. What an amazing video. I had no idea spider courtship could be so elaborate. And they really do display like little peacocks. Wonderful. :)

  2. I’m usually terrified of spiders but these ones are gorgeous. When it came to the mating right at the end it looked like the male was turning the female’s abdomen round and round in quite a painful way, or was I imagining that?

  3. The spider mating system is very strange. Males actually store their sperm up near their fangs in pedipalps, and then insert it into the female’s abdoomen. If the female wasn’t happy, she would just eat the male.
    I liked the way Geek phrased it:
    “Spider sex looks awfully complicated. Or uncomfortable. Or both.

  4. That is amazing video! He is taking the time to video them from all different viewpoints and perspectives,with differential focus…very inspiring and a joy to watch.

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