Evarcha culicivora

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Evarcha culicivora
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Salticidae
Genus: Evarcha
Species: E. culicivora
Binomial name
Evarcha culicivora
Wesolowska & Jackson, 2003

Evarcha culicivora is a species of jumping spider found only around Lake Victoria in Kenya and Uganda. It is commonly known as the vampire spider.

It feeds mainly on the mosquito species Anopheles gambiae, the main vector of malaria in the region.

It is the only known animal that selects its prey based on what the latter has eaten[citation needed]. Although jumping spiders are known to rely on their excellent vision, it was shown that this species selects blood-filled mosquitos more often than unfed ones, even more so when only relying on smell (90%, as opposed to 83%):[1] when it came to making a choice based on smell alone, with the two meal options hidden from view, around 90 percent of E. culicivora selected the blood-filled mosquito. However, it seems to select its preferred species by its resting posture, as different kinds of mosquitoes sit in different angles. This has been shown with 3D-animations of different resting postures.[2]

In 2009 it was found that feeding on blood-filled mosquitos changes the smell of E. culicivora, leading specimens to find potential mates more attractive after a blood meal[3]



  1. ^ National Geographic (2005): African Spider Craves Human Blood, Scientists Find (with picture)
  2. ^ Nelson 2006
  3. ^ Bild der Wissenschaft 2009

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