If any animal ever needed some good PR, it would be the spider.

And now, they might just have some, with a new Australian species of peacock spider being named after beloved children’s movie Finding Nemo.

Museum’s Victoria’s Joseph Schubert has released new research establishing the existence of Maratus nemo.

A new Australian species of spider has been named after Finding Nemo. (Museums Victoria)

“It has a really vibrant orange face with white stripes on it, which kind of looks like a clownfish, so I thought Nemo would be a really suitable name for it,” Mr Schubert said.

Mr Schubert, 23, is a proper arachnid aficionado, having scientifically described 12 new species of Maratus spiders – the peacocks – and five species in the Jotus genus of jumping spiders.

But Mr Schubert had some help finding Nemo, with an ecological field officer for Nature Glenelg Trust stumbling across the colourful spider near Mount Gambier in South Australia.

Joseph Schubert is a spider researcher who has classified numerous new species. (Museums Victoria)

Sheryl Holliday posted pictures of the spider to Facebook, where Mr Schubert saw them and reached out to the photographer.

Ms Holliday was able to send Mr Schubert some live specimens to study.

“It’s really important that citizen scientists get out there and are looking for things because scientists like myself can’t be everywhere at once,” Mr Schubert said.

The peacock spider Maratus nemo has a bright orange-and-white head, colouring similar to a clownfish. (Museums Victoria)

“Roughly only 30 per cent of Australia’s biodiversity has been formally documented scientifically, so this means we could be losing species before we even knew that they existed.”

Mr Schubert said he was currently working on identifying even more peacock spider species.

“I think peacock spiders have captured the public’s attention because they’re really, really cute – they’ve got these massive forward-facing eyes and you can kind of relate to them more than you could like a huntsman,” he said.



This content first appear on 9news

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