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Maratus volans

Fact Box
Species:
Maratus volans
(previously identified by Ramon Mascord as Saitis volans)
Family:
Salticidae
Body length:
female: about 7 mm
male: 5 mm
Habitat:
The male of this species is quite often found but the female is less often noticed, perhaps because of its different colour scheme (it is mostly brown and lacks the bright colours of the male)
Toxicity:
The toxicity of this species to humans is unknown but it may be too small to be a serious hazard
Maratus volans
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Another view
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Front view
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The female
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Other views

Another unusual characteristic of the male of this species is the presence of side flaps attached to the upper sides of the abdomen, these spreading sideways like a fan when the male is courting the female. This fan display is thought to be induced hydraulically, although the spider also tends to extend the abdomen and each Leg III upwards and to the rear as part of its courtship behaviour. The female lacks both these abdominal flaps and the bright colour scheme that characterizes the male. This therefore is an excellent example of sexual dimorphism among spiders.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Other Maratus species, especially Maratus pavonis.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 8 February 2012.