The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Maratus pavonis

Fact Box
Maratus pavonis
(Note: This identification is based on advice given by Dr. D.E. Hill)
Body length:
female: about 5 mm
male: 4.5 mm
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)
The toxicity of this species is unknown but it may be too small to be a serious hazard
Maratus pavonis
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Another view

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, a phenomenon that is even more pronounced on the closely related species, Maratus volans. 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.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Maratus volans.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 7 December 2011.