Fact: Male Maratus species mostly display to the females, in courtship dances, brilliantly coloured upper surface of their abdomen, often with extensions and fringes. Colours are produced by two main methods using scales (or modified hairs). One mechanism uses pigments to produce reds, whites, and creams in barbed scales that help scatter light. To produce blues the spiders use arrays of nanostructures reflecting light of particular wavelengths, in the case of Maratus splendens a shiny, sometimes violety blue. The nanostructures are embedded in flat, convex, sac-like scales, amplifying reflected light, according to University of Groningen’s Doekele Stavenga. This is the only animal where this kind of reflection has been shown. Stavenga compared Maratus colours with patterns on butterfly wings, the colors of flowers, and the feathers of the parotia bird. The blues produced by nanostructures in Maratus do not fade over time, unlike the normal pigmenting method. Other blue animals, like beetles, are rare but also use nanostructures. Nathan Morehouse of the University of Pittsburgh found Maratus volans have four different photoreceptors (tetrachromats) allowing them to see red, blue, green, and ultraviolet and also resolve the intricacies of the male’s display designs
The colored males have flap-like extensions of the abdomen with white hairs that can be folded down. They are used for display during mating: the male raises his abdomen, then expands and raises the flaps so that the abdomen forms a white-fringed, circular field of color. The species, and indeed the whole genus Maratus have been compared to peacocks in this respect. The third pair of legs is also raised for display, showing a brush of black hairs and white tips. These legs are also used in a clapping motion to further attract a female's attention. While approaching the female, the male vibrates his abdomen while waving raised legs and tail, and dances from side to side.