Evarcha culicivora

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Evarcha culicivora
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Salticidae
Genus: Evarcha
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 one of the only two known animals that select its prey based on what the latter has eaten, along with Cratena Peregrina[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

Further reading[edit]

  • Nelson, X.J.; Jackson, R. R. & Sune, G. O. (2005). "Use of Anopheles-specific prey-capture behavior by the small juveniles of Evarcha culicivora, a mosquito-eating jumping spider". Journal of Arachnology. 33 (2): 541–548. doi:10.1636/05-3.1. PDF fulltext
  • Nelson XJ, Jackson RR (2006). Tregenza T (ed.). "A Predator from East Africa that Chooses Malaria Vectors as Preferred Prey". PLoS ONE. 1 (1): e132. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000132. PMC 1762417. PMID 17205136. open access
  • Jackson RR, Nelson XJ, Sune GO (2005). "A spider that feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by choosing female mosquitoes as prey". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102 (42): 15155–60. doi:10.1073/pnas.0507398102. PMC 1257728. PMID 16217015.
  • "Proxy Vampire: Spider eats blood by catching mosquitoes: Science News Online, Oct. 15, 2005". Archived from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  • "Warum Springspinnen auf Blut stehen: Bild der Wissenschaft, Oct. 27, 2009". Retrieved 2009-10-27.

External links[edit]