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Peacock Spider #1334

General

Legend has it that long ago, a spider could not attract any mates, and in his despair, offered himself up as a meal to a peacock. However, the peacock took pity on his plight, and instead of eating him, granted him a tiny fraction of its beauty. Thus peacock spiders came into being. These spiders certainly are reminiscent of the birds they are named for - males of the species hide a gorgeous, colorful eyespot within the folds on their back, which they unfurl and display to prospective mates. They dance as they display, a strange, mesmerizing shuffle, punctuated by rhythmic clapping from their raised third legs. A female indicates interest by joining in, the two spiders performing a synchronized clapping dance before mating. This dance can also be used as a defense mechanism - when feeling threatened, a male peacock spider???s dance will cause their perceived attacker to hallucinate a dazzling array of colors, allowing him to jump away to safety. Female peacock spiders don't have this ability, and rely on delivering painful venomous bites to defend themselves instead. This venom seems to be exclusive to female spiders and causes the same hallucinations as the male's dance. Some people get bitten on purpose, but this practice is heavily frowned upon among magi, as the spiders only bite when they feel trapped and threatened, and so the experience is very stressful for them.

Egg

This small egg has a beautiful, colorful pattern on it reminiscent of a peacock tail.

Hatchling

Peacock spider hatchlings are inquisitive and friendly creatures, often too curious for their own good. They love anything with bright colors, whether that's a magi's robes or a talvar's feathers, and as a result make easy snacks for hungry birds. Hatchlings have a shadow of the abilities they will have as adults, and are capable of jumping large distances to get away from danger, but wild peacock spider hatchlings have an unfortunate tendency to get eaten by insectivores. This is theorized to be because, unlike most magical creatures, which tend to be considerably less prolific breeders than their non-magical counterparts, peacock spiders are capable of producing hundreds of eggs in quick succession. Magi raising a peacock spider therefore need to keep a careful eye on their hatchling, though usually offering it lots of brightly colored scraps of cloth to play with is enough to keep it occupied and out of trouble.

Adult

Adult peacock spiders are usually about the right size to fit in a child's palm. They retain the same friendliness and inquisitiveness they had as hatchlings, but those that survive to adulthood generally are far more cautious about who and what they approach. Peacock spiders dance not only for courtship displays, but sometimes just for pleasure as well, and seem to particularly enjoy being near xisitaks and their musical webs. Xisitaks seem to enjoy this as well, building even more complex musical webs when peacock spiders are nearby. Alvean thornweb spider communities will also produce their signature color-changing displays when peacock spiders are dancing nearby, and so spider enthusiast magi have been known to keep all three types of spiders together and put on elaborate spider dance shows.

Notes

Obtained from: Stream (uncommon)
Breeding: No
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Release date: July 15th 2022

Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: Kestrad

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