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Newly-Discovered "Sparklemuffin" Peacock Spider Is Here To Party

Illustration for article titled Newly-Discovered Sparklemuffin Peacock Spider Is Here To Party

Well, helllooo! Meet one of the only arachnids that we'd actually call "cute," a newly-identified species of peacock spider dubbed "Sparklemuffin." Another new discovery, "Skeletorus" (which is also pretty cute, with added mod-meets-goth flair), is pictured below.

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Illustration for article titled Newly-Discovered Sparklemuffin Peacock Spider Is Here To Party

The petite spiders were discovered in southeast Queensland, Australia, by UC Berkeley grad student Madeline Girard, according to Live Science, which reports:

Girard affectionately gave the nickname Sparklemuffin to one of the species,Maratus jactatus, which has bluish and reddish stripes on its abdomen. She nicknamed the other species Skeletorus for its white markings on a black background, which make it look a bit like a skeleton.

Skeletorus, officially named Maratus sceletus, "looks dramatically different [from] all other peacock spiders known to date, making me think that this group is perhaps much more diverse than we had thought," said Jürgen Otto, an entomologist who specializes in photographing the arachnids and who co-authored the report.

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Peacock spiders are known for their distinctive mating dances — check out Otto's 2013 video of another peacock species doin' its courtship thang below.

Read the full report at Peckhamia.

Photos by Jürgen Otto via Live Science


Contact the author at cheryl.eddy@io9.com.

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DISCUSSION

I'm a life-long arachnophobe. I freeze at even pictures of spiders. But look at these guys, they're just ridiculous. Come on spiders, you just look silly.