Vampire Spiders love to drink Human Blood!!

The Vampire Spider. Merely saying the name is enough to send a shiver down anyone’s spine. Could a creature like this actually exist? Do you have to be careful of every spider you pass and fearful it might suck your blood like a vampire? The answer is simple: yes, vampire spiders are real, and can be found in Africa!

The Vampire Spider is more formally known as Evarcha culicivora, and it is a species of jumping spider that inhabits east Africa. This spider got it’s name because when it comes to meals – there’s one meal it loves above all others – human blood!!  The reason for it’s love of human blood is that the blood creates a scent which attracts potential mates!

The unusual thing however about this spider is that despite how much it would love to be able to jump on a human and sink it’s fangs into human flesh and drink to it’s heart’s content, it is unable to because it’s mouth cannot penetrate human skin! While this is a great relief to humans everywhere, it puts the spider in a bind – how can it get it’s most favorite meal? The solution? It can eat mosquitoes who have already drunk human blood!

Quick Facts About the Vampire Spider:

  • Love human blood, but can’t pierce human skin!
  • Not dangerous to humans!
  • Very dangerous to mosquitoes!

The Vampire Spider can actually identify mosquitoes who have consumed blood – it does this by noting the position of the abdomen of a female Anopheles mosquito who has already slurped up some human blood. Once the spider spots it’s mosquito prey, it jumps on it and makes a meal of it! In an instant, the mosquito and (and the human blood it has consumed) become the meal of the spider!  An unusual solution, but it works!

In summary: while the very idea of the Vampire Spider is chilling, the truth is that although they love human blood, they pose very little risk to humans as they will simply get the blood from mosquitoes – the real vampires !! 😉

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