Structurally Assisted Super Black in Colourful Peacock Spiders

May 15, 2019
Illustrations for McCoy Proceedings of Royal Society B Paper

Peacock spiders, known for their elaborate mating dances, use incredibly dark, “super black” patches on their body to enhance nearby colors. This makes colors look impossibly bright, or even glowing, an optical illusion also used by birds-of-paradise.The spider evolved microlenses on its body surface, which manipulate light in the same way human-made materials do.

PhD Student, Dakota McCoy (David Haig Lab) documents a remarkable convergence of form, between nature and engineering, and function, between two groups of highly ornate, sexually selected animals, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  Coverage in the New York Times

Image courtesy of Dakota McCoy.  Photographer, Jurgen Otto granted permission for Dakota to use his images of Maratus karrie and Maratus speciosus in her paper.
See also: Graduate News, 2019