Courtesy of Jurgen Otto, we have some spectacular images and video of a the Australian peacock spider, Maratus volans. At only 4 mm long (about one-sixth of an inch), it’s easy to overlook, but how much you would miss if you did!
(Photo by Jurgen Otto)
Otto’s movie of its courtship behavior is nothing short of stupendous. Be sure to watch the whole 6.5 minute clip:
I find it very sad when, at 4:48, the unsuccessful males have to furl their bellyflaps and slink off.
Vibration is clearly important in this courtship, and, as demonstrated by Berkeley researcher Damian Elias, in the courtship of another jumping spider, Habronattas dossenus, recorded by sensitive microphones as a male displays to a dead female. This male is the Gene Krupa of arachnids:
Go here for other amazing spider videos (including more drumming) from the Elias lab.
h/t: Matthew Cobb and Alex Wild