Spider finds captured on camera
An Albany macro photographer has captured a rare peacock jumping spider on camera.
The spiders are known around the world for their tiny size and colourful mating ritual. Some species are only found in the Great Southern.
Ross Ramm, who travels around the Great Southern to take photos of native orchids, said he was thrilled to see the spider’s bright colours on display.
“You need to get organised and get down on the ground trying not to disturb him and get the camera ready to take picture,” he said.
“They are only 3-5mm long, so it’s very difficult to get the shot. I take up to 200 shots on an outing and only end up with a dozen photos that might be useful to edit.”
Paul Irvine, another macro photographer, who’s working on the University of Western Sydney’s Project Maratus, said a biologist from NSW found another undescribed species in the region only two weeks ago.
“It is truly an area that will continue to yield new finds over the coming years,” he said.
These 3mm to 6mm arachnids continue to attract many fans due to the special dance that the male spiders do to attract the attention of the females’ spiders.
“It’s during this process that we get to see the magnificent colours that many of these guys have,” Mr Irvine said.
“Those that have it, unfurl that flap that is tucked around their abdomen to show off a magnificently coloured and patterned fan.”
Most Maratus species have their own unique coloured flaps that they use to court females.
But Maratus Personatus, a species found near Albany uses their bright blue mask to court females, earning them the nickname “blue face”.
Other peacock jumping spider species that can be found from Walpole to Esperance are Maratus pavonis, karrie, bubo, pardos, melindae and Maratus sarahae which lives in the Stirling Ranges.
A Maratus female. Saskia Adysti
Maratus karrie performs its mating dance.