Three new species from southwestern Western Australia

Three new species of peacock spider were named in a paper published by university student Joseph Schubert on 5 March. The species are Maratus aquilus, Maratus felinus and Maratus combustus. The names are aptly chosen: aquilus is latin for “eagle” and refers to the pattern on this spider’s abdomen which resembles an eagle’s face, felinus is derived from the latin name for cat and refers again the the male’s abdomen which reminded Joseph of a cat’s face, combustus, you probably guessed is a reference to fire, the male of this species carries a pattern on his abdomen that looks like flames. One of the species, Maratus aquilus, is also illustrated on this website in photographs and videos. The three species were discovered by a group of photographers and peacock spider enthusiasts from eastern Australia and Scotland. Yes indeed, peacock spiders now attract overseas visitors who want to search for them.