Meet two adorable new spiders found: Sparklemuffin and Skeletorus

Two new species of peacock spider have been found in Queensland, Australia — the colourful Sparklemuffin and the spooky Skeletorus

If ever there was a spider that could be classified as “utterly charming”, it’s the peacock spider — a species of jumping spider so-named for the brightly coloured and patterned abdomens, which they wiggle in an alluring dance to attract a mate.

Two new members of this family of spiders have been discovered, and given equally adorable nicknames — Maratus jactatus, nicknamed “Sparklemuffin” for its sparkly muffin of a butt; and Maratus sceletus, nicknamed “Skeletorus” because it looks like it’s put on a skeleton costume to go Halloween trick-or-treating.

The spiders both hail from southaest Queensland, Australia, where they were discovered by UC Berkeley student Madeline Girard, who studies peacock spiders, along with a friend, and later photographed by peacock spider photographer and acarologist Dr Jürgen Otto, who also co-authored the scientific report with jumping spider journal Peckhamia editor David E. Hill.

The two spiders look very different. Sparklemuffin has an iridescent red-and-blue striped pattern on its abdomen, resembling the three other members of this group of peacock spiders. Skeletorus, on the other hand, looks very different — white ᵴtriƥes on a black body, with subtle iridescent blue scaling on its abdomen.

Although their colouring is about as far apart as colouring could be, they display characteristics in common with the rest of the peacock spider family — namely, their anatomy; and the fancy dances they do to attract a mate, raising their legs and waggling and fanning their abdomen flap.

This latter, Dr Otto observed the male Skeletorus performing in the flesh.

“When [the male] got within a few centimetres of the female, he exploded into a firework of activity,” he described to Live Science. “The spinnerets were extended and flicked around at an amazing speed, one of the legs was flexed like he wanted to show off his muscles, and he moved constantly from one side of the grass blade to the other.”

Dr Otto believes that these two fuzzy little guys are far from the last discovery we’re going to see in the world of peacock spiders.

“Despite the large number of species we have discovered just in the last few years, I can’t help feeling that we may have just scratched the surface of this most exciting group of spiders, and that nature has quite a few more surprises in store,” he said.

You can check out Skeletorus’ 𝓈ℯ𝓍y dance below, as well as one of Dr Otto’s other videos — this one of Maratus Speciosus. And if you want to fall down a heartwarming rabbithole of spider cuteness, check out the rest of his YouTube channel.

https://archaeology24.com

Related Posts

Ex-Google Engineer Says Layoff Via Email Was ‘Slap In The Face’ After 20 Years Of Service

A former Google software engineer expressed frustration about the company’s layoffs in a now-viral Tweet and what he described as “slap in the face” kind of way…

You will always be my 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦, but for now you are my new𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧

Being a mother is physically and emotionally exhausting in the first few months after your 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦’s 𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐡. However, there’s no denying that it comes with its own…

Body Cam Footage Released Showing Incident Between Police And Tyre Nichols; Waited 22 Minutes For Ambulance

Five former Memphis police officers are charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of Tyre Nichols, a motorist fatally injured after a traffic stop. Breaking news:…

Abandoned Dog Roams The Street With A Piece Of Paper Tied To His Neck That Reads: ‘Please Love Me’, And The Heartbreaking Story Behind

A Tennessee animal shelter reunited an abandoned dog with her homeless owner after the fluffy companion was left with a heart-wrenching note that explained she didn’t have the means to take…

Pit Bull Frantically Grabs Baby And Pulls Her Out, Mom Ran After Not Believing What She Was Seeing Outside The House

Nana Chaichanhda kept chanting the same thing over and over again: “I owe Sasha my life.” While everyone in the neighborhood was asleep, there was an inferno…

Husband Of Police Officer Murdered On Duty Struggles To Raise Baby, Then 32-pound Delivery Arrives In Mail

A group of California mothers are taking it upon themselves to help a 4-month-old 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦 whose police officer mother was shot and 𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁ed in Palm Springs on…