The male peacock spider knows when and where their angles would look good to show off this:
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Credit: Flickr.com / Jean and Fred[/caption]
These Australian native spiders raise their thing — to be more accurate, some sort of flap on their behind — up towards the sky and then shake it to attract their females. Icky hair-like scales cover them all over and produce vibrand colors mimicking what is done by actual peacocks for courting.
University of Groningen’s Doekele Stavenga together with his colleagues have collected Maratus splendens, also known as
peacock spiders from a park just outside Sydney. The crew’s intent is to study the scales as close as they can by zooming in real hard, ScienceNews.com reports
Via spectrometry, microscopy, and some other techniques, the team has found out that the spiders’ colorful scales only rely on 2 pigments, xanthommatin and 3-OH-kynurenine, to broadcast their colors. Even the white output contain low level pigmentation. In short, spines angled perfectly reflect different colors but are synchronized well enough to produce attractive images.
Blue scales, now these work differently as they’re are transparent and pigment-free. They instead emit purple and iridescent blue hues. Each peapod-like scale is being lined up with very small ridges outside and a layer of fibers inside. Fiber spacing is the key t determining whether the scales would lean to the blue or purple sides of the spectrum.
This looks wonderful to us humans but the question still remains if whether or not the female spiders themselves see this – talk about male effort in courtship. Stavenga and his crew even wrote about this August Journal of the Royal Society Interface
. Provided that these type of spiders produce more than just black and white, the theory leans more on them seeing different colors.
Watch them in action here:
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