What do Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and spiders have in common?
Up until recently, nothing, but that all changed when a new species of spiders that resembles the famous masterpiece was discovered.
The “Starry Night” resemblance comes from the spiders' purple-ish, blue front speckled with yellow dots that resemble stars in the sky.
The species was one of seven identified by Joseph Schubert of Australia’s Museums Victoria.
While looking at spiders might not be on your list of favorite things to do, this particular species, known as “Peacock” spiders, might grab your attention because of their stunning, colorful exteriors.
“Last year I travelled the country collecting specimens of these new peacock spiders (some discovered by citizen scientists!) and spent countless hours in the lab studying them,” Schubert shared on Twitter on March 26.
“Some welcome news in tough times,” the entomology and arachnology expert at Melbourne Museum said referencing the current global coronavirus pandemic.
The spider is part of the Maratus constellatus and was discovered in Western Australia.
The 22-year-old expert also discovered four other colorful species: the Maratus azureus, Maratus laurenae, Maratus noggerup and Maratus suae. findings have been published in the published in the journal Zootaxa.
In 2019, he discovered five new species in the Peacock family, which brings his total finds up to 12 total.