Dashing New Species of Peacock Spider Just Wants to Get Funky

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He’s got a bright blue mask, flashy racing stripes, and dance moves he’s ready to use on some lucky lady. Say hello to Maratus personatus, a newly-named species of peacock spider from Western Australia.

Like all other known peacock spiders, this blue-faced guy has a distinctive courtship dance. But unlike other peacock spiders, he doesn’t wave his abdomen from side to side–instead, his dance is a tour de force of leg movement, as he lifts his third pair of legs in patterned motions while making tiny punching movements with his pedipalps and shuffling back and forth.


The object of all this fancy footwork? Convincing the plain brown female that he’s a better mate than a meal.

Contact the author at diane@io9.com.