The Flamboyant Courtship of the Peacock Spider
While color is great, and might offer a stay of execution by newspaper, many might assume this is the end of anything remotely interesting about a bug. After all, it is a spider. But, wait! There is more! The Peacock Spider is a member of the Maratus genus, which means it is a jumping spider. However, before retrieving the newspaper and assuming the swatting position, wait to hear what they do with this skill. It is used as part of an elaborate Rainbow Dance, which is performed to make the ladies swoon.
The Peacock spider has big, penetrating, doe-eyes, and it bounces around with legs displaying acrobatic prowess, while sporting a fanciful plumage displayed like an elaborate headdress. What woman could turn away from such an outlandish show? The amount of effort put forth shows that size is relative, as there is nothing small about the confidence, effort, or sportsmanship of this dance. Of course, nature has given the male an incentive. Should the male not project adequate enthusiasm, the female might strike out and kill him. While this insect might appear superficially as just a spider, it is another display of nature in all of her glory.
Animals do not have to be endangered to learn how to appreciate their contributions to the world, or to understand the importance of preserving exotic indigenous species. They can awe, inspire, astound, and create a moment that turns into a memory, thereby enhancing the journey of life. Embrace the beauty, and thank the little spider for providing a moment of wonder.
This is Deb Duxbury, for Animal Life, reminding you to please spay or neuter your pet.
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