With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, the Christmas Season has officially begun, yay! I have a little boy at home who loves to show me videos he finds of little critters doing cute things, and among his (and my) favorites are the Peacock Spiders. The males are very pretty and do flashy dances, for the ladies. Here is a specially edited video featuring spidey footage, made festive for the holidays:
National Geographic provides a fun educational video about our little fancy dancing friends.
If disco is your thing, enjoy these spideys dancing to the Bee
Gees’ “Staying Alive”:
Back to the Christmas spirit with the Dance of the Sugarplum Peacock Spiders:
Here is some great information about these flashy spidies, via Mental Floss:
They’re fuzzy, they’re flashy, and they’ve got great moves.
1. They’re small, but they’re scrappy.
Peacock spiders (genus Maratus) cram a whole lot of swagger into a teeny-tiny package. The biggest Maratus species can reach 0.3 inches—about the size of a pencil eraser.
Like almost all spiders, peacock spiders are venomous. But that doesn’t mean they’re dangerous to humans: Their little jaws are so tiny that they couldn’t even puncture our skin.
We’re safe, but crickets and other spiders are not. Like all jumping spiders, the peacock spiders don’t build webs. They stalk their prey like lions. When the time comes, they pounce, and can take down prey three or four times their size.
2. Each species has its own dance—and house mix.
Female peacock spiders are the Tina Belchers of the animal kingdom. To impress them, you need two things: a terrific butt, and a talent for shaking it.
To fulfill these requirements, male peacock spiders have evolved spectacular iridescent fans on their butts, and fancy dances to show them off. The dance of each species is unique, but most of them involve sensual leg waving and booty shaking.
As if that wasn’t enough, a male also periodically pauses his dance to drum on the ground, and occasionally on the female’s head. Spiders don’t have ears like we do, and instead hear through organs on their legs. The drumbeats’ vibrations travel across the ground and up the legs of the female, which is apparently super-hot. If the male’s little vaudeville routine is satisfactory, the spiders get down to business.
Unpopular Science can tell you more about these and a few other kinds of special spiders, HERE.
I hope you enjoyed the cute spiders, my kids and I sure do – and it is nice to get away from the news once in a while, especially near Christmastime.
MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals.