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"Peacock spider"

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Uploaded on Mar 23, 2011

Courtship of peacock spider Maratus volans from Australia, one of the most amazing spectacles in the animal world, filmed, edited and narrated by myself (Jurgen Otto). This was the FIRST EVER footage of this spider and I don't know anybody who has actually seen this behaviour in this species before I did ! But what I am mostly proud of its that I was able to shoot the entire video in the wild, and with a very simple setup (Canon 7d SLR), in contrast to other footage that has been published recently in BBC "Life Story" which was all shot indoors and with much more expensive equipment. I am also proud of f the fact that with this video I introduced David Attenborough to peacock spiders a couple of years ago !

If you watch the episode courtship in "Life stories" you might get the impression that the female of this species eats the male after they mated. This is "artistic licence". I watched them mating countless times and have not once observed the male being eaten by the female after they mated. Males get eaten by females, but this does not seem to involve the male they actually mated with. It is also not correct that females eat males they don't like the performance of. From what I have seen virgin females will mate with pretty much every male they come across and it seems to be more a matter of the right place and time rather than the performance of the individual male whether they are going on to mate. The female certainly does not decide to eat those she isn't impressed by. If females eat males it is after they have mated and carry fertilised eggs, but not every male becomes a victim.

Check out my other movies Peacock Spider 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 which show a couple of different species http://www.youtube.com/user/Peacocksp.... For updates on my peacock spider filming or photography visit http://www.facebook.com/PeacockSpider

For still photographs of this species visit my flickr album
http://www.flickr.com/photos/59431731...

Related species
http://www.flickr.com/photos/59431731...

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