Young scientist describes 7 new species of dancing peacock spiders

Museum Victoria’s arachnologist Jospeh Schubert is just 22 and has discovered 12 species of dancing peacock spiders. Australia is the only country these adorable, colourful and unique little spiders are only found and they are made for memes!

Dancing peacock spiders have inspired dozens of internet memes bopping along to ‘YMCA‘ and ‘Staying Alive‘.

Just today, Joseph has released a scientific paper in the journal Zootaxa describing seven new species of Peacock Spider in the Maratus genus.

“Some of the species in this paper were discovered by citizen scientists who documented the localities and sent images to me – their help is so important for this kind of research.”

“I would have to say Maratus constellatus is my favourite by far,” says Jospeh. “It’s such a nice looking species, the pattern reminds me of The Starry Night by Van Gough. Plus I travelled a very, very long way to find it!”

Want to do some citizen science? Check out these dog DNA and FrogID projects!

Or, head to the App Store or Play Store and search for iNaturalist. You might event find some new species of dancing peacock spiders!

Most importantly, Joseph often adds the name of the locality and citizen science discoverer of the latest dancing peacock spiders he describes.

“I don’t think we are anywhere near done yet, considering how many species have only recently been discovered and how many sites are yet to be explored – I’m still actively on the hunt for new species of peacock spider!”

Head to our YouTube channel for more fun, STEM-themed videos.

Heather Catchpole

Author: Heather Catchpole

Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs


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