My mission to find a Maratus Peacock Jumping Spider
My mission to find a Maratus Peacock Jumping Spider continues… I’ve spent months, many days, for many hours now walking at a snail’s pace, searching for the tiny cute little critters. My son Toby would come along when he could or when the skatepark wasn’t calling his name to get photos for his major Year 6 macro photography exhibition project.
We have been in touch with the ultimate Peacock Spider expert, who was kind enough to offer some advice to help us find one. We’ve looked in areas of Hunters Hill, Lane Cove National Park and also various areas around the Barrenjoey Peninsula on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Plenty of interesting little creatures and other little jumping spiders which are always fun to photograph. But alas, no Maratus.
Just when we were beginning to think this is mission impossible, our friendly peacock spiderman reached out very kindly, to check if Toby had any luck finding a Maratus yet!? When I told him no, sadly not, he gave me one very specific location where we could find the Maratus volans species if I swore to keep it a secret. I was so excited!
Toby was busy so I decided to scope out the secret spot to see if I could find one. My mum came along to keep me company. And exactly where he was supposed to be, there was Volans! It seemed so surreal to be suddenly looking at a peacock spider after all this time. My mum actually gets the credit, she spotted it first while I was distracted by a different jumping spider! Heart racing, I scrambled to get the shot while I could, but in the end, we were able to spend about an hour with this little spunk while he was perfectly positioned and being a superb super model.
Maratus volans male
He didn’t spot any females to dance for while we were there, so that gives me a good reason to go back! To see him in full display mode.
Meanwhile Toby reached the point of having to wrap up his project. But it seems finding Maratus has become more my hobby than his! The mission to find one on my own continues. Hopefully more Peacock Spider stories to come!
Hi, my name is Bianca and I live in Sydney. I’m new to bug life. I’ve always loved animals and nature but my buggin’ and macro photography story really only started this year. I’ve been helping my son Toby do a major Year 6 project, producing an insect-themed macro photography exhibition. My photography experience is very limited, I’m learning as I go. Bridgette, my sister, from Aussie Macro Photos played a part in both our journeys as she was already an experienced photographer in this field. She inspired and very patiently guided us to this point.
My main interest has become not an insect, but a spider. Maratus to be exact, and I’m on the hunt for them! They are commonly known as a Peacock Jumping Spider. A bit surprising as I’ve always considered myself somewhat of an arachnophobe. But now I enjoy photographic little jumping spiders. I was surprised at how cute they are when you zoom in, and the Maratus spider species would have to be some of the cutest and most fascinating! As I learned more about these incredible tiny creatures, I started thinking about how amazing it would be, if I could one day actually find one! But these are rare and usually very difficult to find. A needle in a haystack. And you need to first find the right haystack! Maratus are usually only discoverable in the latter part of their life cycles at the end of spring, and being only millimetres in size, this is a mission that I thought could maybe even take me years to accomplish! Hopefully, if and when it does happen, I will be able to get a photograph. I look forward to sharing my journey with you!
Meanwhile here are a couple of shots of a Servaea species jumping spider that I found just outside my house.