Peacock spiders are not only one of the strangest looking, most colorful arachnids on the planet, they are also really good dancers. Along with his recent naming of seven new species of peacock spiders, one researcher recently showed off their skills by releasing a delightful video of the creatures dancing to the Beegees.
As Live Science is reporting, the zoologist Jurgen Otto recently released a pair of papers identifying seven new species of the Australian spider, bringing the total species count to 67. Measuring just millimeters in length, the male peacock spider gets its name from the vivid patterns found on their abdomens, which they shake and move in elaborate mating displays. Their bizarre courtship gyrations see them motioning with their spindly legs, and flapping their butts in the air in what can only be described as dancing.
Each of the new species is differentiated by the patterns on their abdomen. The Maratus cristatus has little spikes of white fur that protrude from its rear, while the Maratus trigonus has a more triangle-shaped body that is darker but includes strips of brighter fur. The Maratus nimbus has a lightly colored white-and-blue hue, like a cloud, while Maratus melindae corus and Maratus gemmifer both have bold electric blue fur. Assuming you aren’t an arachnophobe, they are stunning to see, but even more stunning to see dance.
Otto pieced together a video of some of his new spiders busting a move, set to the disco classic “Stayin’ Alive.” But he’s not the first to realize that peacock spiders were made for the dance floor. A similar video was released in 2013, also based on some of Otto’s footage, that had the spiders dancing to the Village People’s “YMCA.” There’s one from 2014 that set them dancing to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” and many more on YouTube.
Finding new species is fun, but finding new species of dancing spiders is hard to beat.