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.
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.
Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: Kestrad