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Watch: These peacock spiders will leave you spellbound

Salma Rehman | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

What do peacocks and spiders have in common? Did you know that there are over 48 species in the peacock spider, or Maratus genus? That's right! Mother Nature never fails to amaze.

Only a couple of millimetres long, endowed with magnificent hues and chromes - these spiders are known for their peculiar moves in the wild. Seven new species have been discovered. And the internet just cannot get enough of these glorious critters.

Photo: Youtube/ Jurgen Otto

Dr Jurgen Otto, a Sydney-based biologist, has spend a major chunk of his life running after these creatures - who look like something right out of a fantasy novel.

Dr Otto, who has been researching the arachnids since 2005, has co-written a paper about the discovery of seven new species from Western Australia and South Australiam which was published in the international jumping spider journal Peckhamia on 29 May.

According to Dr Otto , he first came across one while walking in the Ku-ring-gai Chase national park, north of Sydney. Interestingly, the spiders use their brightly coloured bodies for mating rituals, much like peacocks.

"I'm always looking on the ground when I walk around, mostly for mites and other small things, and I almost stepped on this little spider.That's what started my passion," Otto told the Guardian.

"Normally people think of spiders as something ugly, scary and dangerous, but they're learning through my photographs and videos - they're cute and colourful and adorable," he said in an interview with ABC news.

He believes there are now 48 confirmed species of peacock spider within the Maratus genus, found across Australia but particularly in Western Australia - and many more awaiting confirmation.

First published: 31 May 2016, 10:42 IST
 
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