Wednesday Weirdness


peacock-spider

Image credit Jurgen Otto

 

Okay even for me this is weird. I swear Australia must have been the test lab for evolution because the variety of weirdness in some of our animals that defies classification along normal standards is pretty  impressive. However THIS little honey takes out the Gold Medal in the World of Weird as far as I am concerned.

Even someone as blase as I am about the variety of the strange and the beautiful would be frozen in shock when faced with this little beauty in the flesh. I ask you who has heard of a spider with feathers, let alone feathers resembling the headpiece of a Vegas Showgirl. I swear ONLY in Australia does the wildlife get this bizarre.

This stunning creature was actually first discovered in 1994 at Cape Le Grand in Western Australia, but has now been formally described in the journal Peckhamia by biologist Jurgen Otto and the editor of the journal David Hill. According to Otto, although the distinct spotty pattern is unique to this species, the cat-like behavior is in fact shared by all jumping spiders when they approach prey.[IFLScience] Apparently there are 27 known species of Jumping Peacock Spiders and guess what – they’re all found in Australia. It’s not enough that we have more deadly animals than any other country now they have to be stylish as well.

Our boy Otto managed to capture some film of one strutting its stuff and WOW I’m still not sure if I’m amazed or simply in shock.  It appears that the males are the more exotic of the species and in my opinion could give the boys from Priscilla Queen of the Desert a run for their money. Here you’ll see them attempting to get the attention of the females, some of whom are just not interested but I will say the boys are persistent in their pursuit despite being ignored or attacked.

88 thoughts on “Wednesday Weirdness

  1. I’ve never seen anything like this. The feather things are certainly amazing. But I was also amazed at the jumping–and I would be totally freaked out if one jumped on me. 🙂 It seems to be my day for spiders. This is the second strange spider video I’ve seen to day, and then my cats were climbing all over the kitchen trying to catch an ordinary spider.

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    • This I’d never heard of before – glad it’s in WA not Qld but apparently we’ve got one or two of the 27 types in the rain forest a bit further north. As I said not enough to have all the dangerous weird animals now they’re accessorizing!!

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  2. I think I saw them pulling out teeny tiny cigarettes right at the end, Is that possible? Ha! That’s an amazing video Jenni – I bet that 7 minutes took Otto a long, long time to get. You guys hav esome of the oddest fauna in Australia. Thank you!

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  3. This made me laugh! I totally agree, Australia has like soooo many poisonous, rare, and unique creatures, insects, fish, snakes, mammals, birds, etc. I don’t think I’ll ever visit down under, lol. Although, it is a beautiful country.

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  4. Jenni, What a wonderful post. I had never heard of the peacock spider, so fantastic!
    I also looked at the 10 most venomous spiders, most interesting. I hope you don’t mind if I reblog this post?
    Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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  5. Reblogged this on Barbara Pyett and commented:
    As an Australian, I hadn’t seen this spider, ever! It’s so beautiful, I thank Jenni for letting me share it with you. I also thank Jurgen Otto for his patience in filming this extraordinary event.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LOL … I’m always intrigued by your posts, but you can keep this creepy fella and the like! I’m am absolutely terrified of spiders, though he looks quite fascinating … as long as he stays put on your continent. 😉

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    • Yeah but you gotta admit it’s a bit hard to be scared of something that reminds you of a drag queen doing ABBA while dressed like a Vegas Showgirl.

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      • Ahhh – well then can’t do much about that. I’m that way with those large brown flying beetles that look like a cross between a cockroach and a elephant beetle. They just flat out scare me silly – and I’m talking the whole standing on a chair squealing like some 1950’s female sitcom character.

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      • We have these INSANE flying cockroaches in Qld some about half the length of your hand [length not breadth thank the gods] plus once again they FLY as if they weren’t creepy enough as it was – ewwwww

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      • Yeah I managed to wake people two streets away when I was in boarding school. We were on a hill and it was my first year having my own room as a boarder and they said not to open the window at night [massive but beautiful trees outside] but I thought the nuns were just worried about us sneaking out.

        Wasn’t I wrong – flew right into my face while sleeping and I screamed the place down. My economics teacher asked the class the next day had we heard the yelling at night [lived close to the school] and ‘my friends’ dropped my right in it. To this day it gives me the shivers!!

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    • We are aren’t we. I’m positive Australia was the test lab for evolution as there are too many things here that are just that little bit out of kilter with the rest of nature….. so when god or who/whatever finished experimenting here and moved the final phase to Africa I think someone forgot to clean the lab and voila – Australia home of the weird and wonderful

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  7. If you tell me you share a continent with that spider I promise I’ll never show up there. I deal with little ones and I get creeped out…

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    • It’s in Western Australia – right on the other side of the country with a HUGE desert in between. If it came here the Qld spiders would make fun of it and then eat it.

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      • Oh wonderful.. Mocking Spiders, you call yourself a spider.. Is that a mandible now this is a mandible!

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  8. I can’t even look at an image of a spider without my blood running cold. Maybe I met my end in another life, caught in a web and AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!! Show me puppies! Not spiders! 🙂

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    • Awwww come on – this little [well ok not so little] fellow is obviously a lover not a fighter. A point made clear when the female keeps beating him up.

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      • One time, too long ago now, we were visiting friends in St Kilda. They had a cottage out in the woods somewhere. Wanted us to go for a couple of days. It sounded lovely. Until they let on that the cottage had no plumbing. But there was an outhouse. You had to take a torch, though, because a tarantula lived in the outhouse.

        We stayed in the city that visit.

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      • Lucky it wasn’t a Funnel Web or a Red Back – Tarantulas just look spooky but really don’t pose any threat [except to your nerves] but those other two – not good.

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  9. That’s one of the most surprising, extraordinary, stunning things I’ve ever seen about arachnids. No, I’m wrong: it’s THE most surprising, etc. It’s beautiful. What dear little creatures they are. What other spider is it that attacks them and why ? I have so many questions … but mostly I’m just … gobsmacked. THANK YOU !

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  10. Pingback: Australia – Evolution’s Test Lab | Unload and Unwind

  11. Pingback: The Purple Plankton Eater – Australian Wildlife Just Keeps Getting Stranger | Unload and Unwind

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