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7 new types of spider discovered in Australia


Seven new types of spider have been discovered around Australia as described in newly published research.

The article appears in the latest issue of Zootaxa, a peer-reviewed journal on animal taxonomy, authored by Museums Victoria arachnologist Joseph Schubert.

He said the new spiders were captured or photographed in the wild, with many sent in by “citizen scientists” around Australia.

The majority of specimens came from Western Australia, where five of the tiny spiders were found.

The other two were found in Victoria and South Australia.

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Peacock spiders are known for their intricate patterns, which they use as part of their mating rituals to attract a mate, similar to peacocks.

Of the new discoveries, Mr Schubert has his favourite: the Maratus constellatus, which he found in Kalbarri on the coast of WA.

He named the spider for its resemblance to the Vincent van Gogh painting The Starry Night.

The other new spiders are Maratus azureus, Maratus laurenae, Maratus noggerup, Maratus suae, Maratus volpei, and Maratus inaquosus.

“A few of the spiders were named after the people who discovered them,” Mr Schubert said.

“Considering how many peacock spiders have been discovered in the past few years I certainly think there are more out there to be found.”

The seven new species of peacock spider brings the total to 86 known types.

Mr Schubert has named 12 of them.



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