Passion doesn’t know any limits. That’s why it’s called passion. You can’t stop it by choice. And the variety of human passion is, at times, intriguing. Take the arachnophiles, for example. Being passionate with spiders is not something that makes you very popular. It’s more like the opposite.
But passion is not a choice, so let’s not be judgmental unless you are an arachnophobe, which gives you the right to be so. Phobia is the other side of passion, so you both have equal rights when it comes to spiders.
But if you are an arachnophobe and more so, if you live in Australia, then maybe you shouldn’t continue to read this article. There is no good news for you. That is if you made it past the title.
If you are one of the fans of the peacock spider and you are familiar with the videos of it, fiery dancing on hits such as The Village People’s YMCA and the Bee Gees’ Staying Alive, then the news is of most interest for you. For the rest of you, the uninitiated know that the peacock spider is a world-known star with hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube.
Joseph Schubert is a Melbourne researcher and former arachnophobe. As I said, a phobia is just an upside-down passion. He became passionate with spiders, with the peacock spider to be more specific, and he is known as a world leader in Maratus’ research. He recently discovered seven more species of it, after he previously found five.
Researchers Identified Seven New Species Of The Peacock Spider
More than 80 species of this genus are known and all except one are found in Australia. The scientific name of the peacock spider is Maratus. Maratus furvus is the Asian one. Any other Maratus is Australian.
The spider got this fancy nick-name due to its iridescent patterns on the upper surface of the abdomen that it can also lift during mating rituals, just like the peacock lifts its shimmering feathery tail. And just like the peacock-bird female, the spider peacock female is tarnished. The creature has a cryptic appearance because she has more important things to do than dance with her bottom up to get attention. Crypsis is an ecologic ability that helps the creatures to become invisible. Camouflage, nocturnality, subterranean lifestyle, and mimicry. It supports either to hunt or not to get hunted. Either way, crypsis helps to protect perpetuation.
Mister Schubert has declared his favorite spider to be Maratus constellatus. He gave the spider its name because the pattern on its upper abdomen reminded him of Van Gogh Starry Night. I don’t know how an arachnophobe and Van Gogh lover would feel about that. Would he start seeing spiders with a different eye, or would he become incapable of looking at Van Gogh’s masterpiece with the same eye?