The Mating Dance: Do Well or Die

Jazz Hands

Jazz Hands

Put a little kick into your Cha-cha-cha, mon amour, or things might get ugly. If you were a spider living in Australia, you’d know what I’m talking about.

A Peacock Spider to be more specific.

I thought it was time for me to post one of my illustrations. You may not be a spider fan, but these spiders are totally cool! The Maratus volans is a tiny jumping spider found only in specific parts of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, and Tasmania). They are only 5 mm in body length when full-grown.

During courtship, the male flips his abdomen up, expands side flaps, and shakes. He also raises his third legs. When the dance is over, if the females says no, he has to high-tail it out of there or risk being her dinner!

Real peacock spiders are very colorful, but none have the peacock-tail coloring (that I’ve seen). I took artistic license here. Clicking the image above will take you to my Zazzle shop where you can see him larger (and higher resolution) — and on shirts and mugs and stuff. I know you all want to walk around with a giant version of this spider on your back.

Check out this video of the dance.

Cute, right? How do you feel about spiders?

illustration by me!

Share! It will make you happy, trust me.

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40 Comments

  1. Oh yeah, just adorable!
    Really glad human men don’t have to risk being eaten to attract a woman.

  2. Ahhh … I had to scroll past that zoomed-in picture of the hairy spider and get it out of sight. I don’t care how colorful he is. Hairy spider. *shudders*

  3. I’ve never been afraid of spiders, but I do think they are fascinating creatures. Love those colors, btw. I may be afraid of the ones in Australia if I ever got around them though. Lol

    1. They are so vivid. It’s probably you’d never notice them in Australia, they are so itty-bitty.

  4. I’ve seen that video. So freaky how they do that dance.

    1. Yeah. They work hard for some lovin’.

  5. Ha! ‘Jazz hands.’ I love it!

    Have you see the video of him dancing to YMCA?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYIUFEQeh3g

    IWSG #215 until Alex culls the list again.

    1. I hadn’t. That was hysterical and get editing. Thanks for that!

  6. Never thought about spiders that much. But the video is cool.

    1. It’s funny I don’t think a lot of people do. 🙁

  7. Oh, gosh. I had to cover my eyes and read through my fingers. Okay, for a spider he’s a very pretty one, but gah! I’m sorry, I have no love for the hairy-legged ones.

    1. Ha! The hairy legs are one of the things I think are so cute.

  8. Lovely illustration! And what a pretty spider. Didn’t know about them.

    I personally don’t have any problems with spiders. They are fascinating.

    1. Thanks. These are in my top favorites. Another cool, yet freaky spider is the Hawaiian happy face spider. They are also tiny but they are kind of translucent, shudder.

  9. Oh my! They are pretty. Love that dance too. I’d be charmed if a guy came up with a cool dance, just for me. Who am I kidding? I married my hubby half because he could dance. 😉

  10. spiders twerk too 🙂

    1. Yes, yes they do. LOL

  11. He can shake some booty, even to a didgeridoo! Wow. And that display and those arms–are they called arms on spiders?

    I don’t have any trouble with spiders. They have lots of legs. It’s snakes that send me up trees or running on the top of water whenever I see one.

  12. Still don’t like spiders. Especially jumping spiders. That tail is wicked!

  13. Sorry, I can’t watch. I’ll have nightmares. I got in trouble for leaving science class once when someone brought in a tarantula. No way was I going to be in the same room as that thing. You made it kind of pretty though.

  14. I’m with Mary. I’m not a fan of spiders. And I live in their zone too! Eeek!

  15. What a FASCINATING clip… So cool! It looks like he as a voodoo type mask printed on his tail. The music was too perfect. I really enjoyed watching the little guy! He really WORKS IT! LOL…

    Thanks for sharing him with us, Holly!

  16. Um. I am so NOT a spider person. But that video was pretty cute and neat. 🙂

  17. I can’t say I love spiders, necessarily, but they don’t bother me either. I’m pretty spider neutral 🙂 and the coloring is gorgeous, whether it’s real or not!

  18. Dance well or die — that little guy’s giving it all he’s got. Very cool peacock effect.

  19. Hi Holly – they are certainly pretty – and amazing you managed to do an illustration for your Zazzle shop … what a delightful creature … I don’t mind them – and usually manage to cope … cheers Hilary

  20. I actually really like Jumping Spiders. They are very smart. And for some reason, they find humans interesting. I’ve had Jumping Spiders follow me around the house.

    1. Yeah! That’s so true. The rotate and follow. I totally forgot about that.

  21. Extraordinary. Absolutely extraordinary.

    Nature at its most bizarre!

  22. PS. I like spiders. I have no problem with them in the slightest.

    Mice on the other hand … well …

  23. “H.R.Sinclair” has been included in Sites To See #377. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2014/06/sites-to-see-377.html

  24. I still say creepy but in an amazing way. No matter how beautiful and colorful they are, spreaders creep me out.

  25. He is so cute!!! The colours and patterns are glorious!

  26. Nice colors, but those eyes and that mouth are scary.

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