Peacock spider or Gliding spider (Maratus volans) is confined to eastern parts of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales).
Although tiny, male spiders have an iridescent colouring of red, green and blue. Females are dull, brown drab coloured creatures.
Mature spiders are small with a length of between 4 and 5 mm.
The brilliant colouring is not just for decoration. The peacock spider has earned its name when he courts with his mate.
He raises his abdomen vertically, expands his flaps and displays them like a peacock’s tail. He also raises his third legs which have a brush of black bristles and the white-tipped ends.
While vibrating his raised legs and tail, he starts dancing from side to side or rolls as a sailor as he approaches the female.
Altogether a spectacular courtship dance. After mating the male repeats the performance and dancing with other females.