Are peacock spiders dangerous

Australia's newest peacock spider is called Nemo

Instead, the male impressed the female by lifting his third pair of legs and vibrating his abdomen on the floor, making an audible sound. It is still unclear whether this is a typical Nemo peacock spider dance, he says.

Schubert noted that Nemo's home is also "quite unusual" because the spider lives in wetlands. Most other known peacock spiders, however, prefer dry bush landscapes.

But peacock spiders always manage to surprise him. In 2020, scientists found a species - Maratus volpei - who lives in a salt lake. “We learned that we should be more open to the types of habitats in which we look for peacock spiders,” says Schubert.

Although peacock spiders, as predators, play a valuable role in controlling insect populations, far too little is known about their role in the ecosystem and their potential threats, he adds.

Spiders for medicine

"Peacock spiders are great because they break that stereotype of spiders being big, hairy and dangerous," says Michael Rix, senior curator of arachnology and research fellow at the Queensland Museum in Australia. He himself was not involved in Schubert's study.

"This is a really great example of how interesting, diverse and still under-explored the Australian spider fauna is," says Rix.

Only about 30 percent of Australia's invertebrates are formally documented, and there could be up to 15,000 species of spiders that have not yet been identified.