The protuberances on the peacock spider make the dark spots very dark

The protuberances on the peabad spider make the dark spots very dark

Specimens Credit: Mary K. Salcedo and Mara Laslo

A team of researchers with members of Harvard University, the University of Bonn, the University of Denmark and Yale University has identified bulges in the abdomen of male peabad spiders that make their dark patches still visible darker In his article published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their study of the potholes and what they learned about them.

The Maratus or peabad spider, native to Australia, is small (only 4 to 5 mm long) and is known for the bright coloration of the male abdomen. The males use the colorful display as part of a dance they perform to attract the females. The colorful abdomen attracted the attention of the researchers due to its intensity. Some descriptions say that it seems to shine. Previous research had shown that yellow and red tones were due to pigmentation, while blue and purple tones were due to scales like hairs. To better understand how the tiny spider could create such a vibrant screen, the researchers looked at several specimens under an electron microscope.

The researchers report that part of the reason why the colors were so striking in the abdomen was because the black and velvety parts that were next to them were incredibly black. When they closely observed the black parts, they observed protuberances with a unique structure. When they reproduced the bulks in a simulation, they found that they manipulated light in two ways to reduce reflection. First, its curved surfaces caused the light to bounce off in random directions, directly reducing reflection. And second, they discovered that each of the bundles was a tiny microlens: each forced light entered to take a longer path as it interacted and, ultimately, was absorbed by the black melanin pigment. Together, the characteristics of the packages reflected less than 0.5 percent of the light that hit them.

The researchers point out that spiders are not the only creatures that manipulate light to create exceptionally striking colors, previous research has shown that the rich colors exhibited by birds of paradise, for example, are also due to small structures, this time in their feathers. making the black parts blacker.

The protuberances on the peabad spider make the dark spots very dark

Illustrations and SEMs. Credit: Kay Xia

Peabad spiders show preference for multimodal courtship

More information:
Dakota E. McCoy et al. Super black structurally badisted in colorful peabad spiders, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1098 / rspb.2019.0589

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The protuberances in the peabad spider make the dark spots very dark (2019, May 15)
recovered on May 16, 2019

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