Arachnologist of Victoria named Maratus nemo in the paper entitled “Maratus nemo: the latest species of the colorful peacock spider

Meet the latest species of the colorful peacock spider, Maratus nemo.

Those who do not live in Australia might find the place a bit scary with all the extraordinary wildlife living there, such as big spiders that eat possums and trees that can kill using a spider-like venom.

In one week, the country has witnessed a veritable tsunami of funnel-web spiders and the discovery of a new species of the colorful peacock spider that has been named after the popular Disney Pixar Movie, Finding Nemo.

Nemo Found In Australia

According to IFL Science, Maratus nemo was discovered in Mount McIntyre and Nangwarry, South Australia. This new species of peacock spider has the same color as the clownfish which is popularly associated with Nemo in Disney Pixar’s movie.

Also, a surprising fact about them is that their habitats in the wild are mainly in marshy vegetation in wetlands which is a moist choice compared to other species of peacock spiders.

Arachnologist Joseph Schubert of Museums Victoria named and described Maratus nemo in the paper entitled “Maratus nemo: A new wetland species of peacock spider from South Australia (Araneae, Salticidae, Euophryini)” and published the findings in the journal Evolutionary Systematics.

Maratus nemo is about the size of a grain of rice and like all male peacock spiders, males perform a little dance when they are impressing their mate.

Citizen Science and Describing Maratus nemo

The new species was first spotted by citizen scientist Sheryl Holliday walking in Mount Gambler. Holliday posted some of the pictures on Facebook where Schubert saw them and reached out to her, 9 News reported.

“He had a plain back but his orangey-red face is what stood out and I hadn’t seen anything like it before, so I knew it had to be a new one,” Holliday said. “The fact that I was doing some fish sampling out at Mount Burr Swamp where I found them, it just fits.”

Holliday then sent the specimens to Schubert for further study who acknowledged the importance and contribution of citizen scientists, such as Holliday, in looking for things that scientists cannot find everywhere at once.

“I’m spending a lot more time in the lab than I usually would and I’m not able to do as much fieldwork as usual,” Schubert said.

Holliday said that the species appear to be quite widespread as she has already seen around 40 of them in three different locations, Museums Victoria reported. She is sure that more of them are in the southeast of South Australia and western Victoria as well.

She added that there was even one time when she was bitten by the peacock spider bug a few years ago when M. nemo first started gaining popularity in social media.

Schubert first discovered his new species of Maratus in 2016 and has since become a renowned arachnologist. His other discoveries include the Starry Night spider, which resembles Van Gogh’s painting.

Originally published at Science Times