Spiders; to most the very word sends chills down your spine and gives you a terrible case of the heebie-jeebies. When asked to describe these little terrors and good old fashioned nightmare type critters, most would use words like creepy, dangerous, and despicable. But even those with arachnophobia will agree that peacock spiders are the exception and are in a word, adorable. These tiny entertainers with naturally dazzling appearances are but the size of a pencil eraser at best and nearly everyone can agree these little guys working hard to impress their female counterparts is remarkable to say the least. With that in mind, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to take the time to discuss peacock spiders native to the Australian continent.
Where Do Peacock Jumping Spiders Live?
There are 67 total named species and subspecies classified into one genus, Maratus; formally apart of the Salticidae family, peacock spiders are very distinctive bearing a variety of colors and patterns. Located in Southeast and Southwest areas of Australia, new discoveries have been made in recent months of new species and the newest addition of striking colors and patterns are making headlines. These spiders were typically unnoticed because of their tiny though they were noted over a century ago.
Identification of Peacock Jumping Spiders
In general, peacock spiders reach the size of 1/8” and of the sexes; females are drab and less flashy, where the males feature the exotic coloring and patterns, designed to grab the attention of the females; much like the feathers of a peacock. Because the peacock spider is so small, they are not a threat to humans as their jaws are incapable of latching and the venom they inject isn’t a raised concern as the small dose is ineffective to people. Their prey, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky to escape the results of these beautiful creatures' hunting habits. Being a jumping spider, they do not spin a web, but will stalk their prey and pounce, much like a lion; capable of taking down prey 3-4 times their own size.
Newly Discovered Peacock Jumping Spider Species
As previously mentioned, new discoveries have been made and with each new species of peacock spiders, their distinctive patterns and coloring allow anyone to identify them. The Maratus personatus spider, or the “blue-face” spider, is stealing the most attention among the newest members because the male’s characteristic includes a bright blue mask pattern on its back. The blue-face spider has a fan-like abdomen, unlike other peacock spiders that they extend when try to lure in females and gain their attention along with their unique blue mask with its white-colored banding. In an effort to expand their efforts to signal the female, they will raise a single leg in the air and wave it. Other peacock spider additions include the Electricus spider, so named, for the rather arresting pattern made up of parallel red lines on its back looks similar to a circuit board. A characteristic not often shared among the other species of peacock spiders the trigonus spider stands out amongst peacock spiders because of the white crown at the tips of its abdomen. A pattern that even makes it easy for everyday people to recognize is one of the newest additions, the Cristatus peacock spider that resembles the pattern of a Union Jack as its back. Comparable to the plume of feathers that make up a peacock’s tail, this spider has 8 plumes of long white hairs sticking up from its back.
Spider Pest Inspections, Control & Removal in Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville, Cedar Park & Austin Texas
Though we are not so lucky to witness their entertaining dancing mating rituals in our own Texas backyard, these spiders are definitely enchanting, to say the least. When spiders infest your home, however, you likely need the hand of the professionals from A-Tex Pest Management to remove the infestation. There are 101 species of jumping spiders found in Texas. The most well-known specimens are the 15 species that belong to the genus Phidippus, with the most common being Phidippus audax, also known as the bold jumping spider. Contact us for all your pest control needs!