Everyone talks about blood-loving mosquitos, but does anyone talk about the blood-loving spiders? Evarcha culicivora, also called vampire spiders, are a type of spider that feeds on blood. They are called mosquito terminators.
Evarcha likes both animal and human blood. Vampire spiders cannot bite through skin or animal hide because their mouthparts are not built for this ability.
Vampire spiders depend on mosquitoes to get the blood they desire. Their favorite types of mosquitoes are Anopheles, which are the main malaria spreaders in Africa. This mosquito species sits with its bottom sticking up in the air, while the majority of mosquitos sit with their bottoms on the floor. Their posture is an advantage for baby spiders. They can crawl under the mosquito’s abdomen, jump up, then grab onto the mosquito. While it flies away, the little spiders hang on to the mosquito and inject it with their venom. They then have a big feast. Vampire spiders live by Lake Victoria in the nations of Kenya and Uganda in the eastern part of Africa.
Anopheles mosquitoes are important for Evarcha culicivora, but they are not limited to mosquitoes for their source of blood. Vampire spiders could adapt to life without them and learn to depend on other types of animals.
[Source: Science News explores]