Image of the Day: Rainbow Butt

Scientists explore why male peacock spiders are so colorful. 

Jan 4, 2018
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff

An adult male peacock spider, Maratus robinsoni (a), resting on a human fingernail (b), and an enlarged image of its colorful abdomen (c) JÜRGEN OTTOThe male rainbow peacock spider Maratus robinsoni is only 2.5 mm in size, but uses a complete rainbow of colors to attract potential mates. A team of scientists used a combination of methods including electron microscopy, hyperspectral imaging, and optical modeling to explore how the spider produces its iridescent signal. The researchers believe that studying the spider's color in detail could aid the development of new methods to produce color in technology. 

B. Hsiung et al., “Rainbow peacock spiders inspire miniature super-iridescent optics,” Nat Commun, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02451-x, 2017.