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In Photos: 7 New Species of Peacock Spider

Maratus tessellatus

new species of peacock spider, Maratus tessellatus

(Image credit: Jürgen Otto)

Scientist David Knowles discovered M. tesselatus years ago near Bunbury in Western Australia. He recently helped biologist Jürgen Otto locate the species, which he named and described with David Hill.

Maratus tessellatus

new species of peacock spider, Maratus tessellatus

(Image credit: Jürgen Otto)

M. tesselatus is a peacock spider species that does not elevate its abdomen during courtship displays, relying instead on fancy footwork. The legs move so fast that they appear as blurs in video clips captured at 25 frames-per- second video. Otto described M. tessellatus as, "Probably the fastest leg mover I have encountered so far."

Maratus tessellatus

new species of peacock spider, Maratus tessellatus

(Image credit: Jürgen Otto)

A male M. tessellatus (left) and a female (right). This species can be found on old sand dunes close to the shore, amid small plants and debris. It varies somewhat in pattern but common to all individuals is a tessellated or blotchy look, which prompted the scientists to name it "tessellatus."

Read the full story about the new peacock spider species.]