“Vampire” jumping spiders from East Africa identify their mosquito victims by their antennae, research has revealed.
A team led by scientists from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand studied the “unique” arachnids.
They used model “Frankenstein mosquitoes” and 3D animation to investigate the spiders’ diet.
Results showed that spiders could see minute differences in body and antennae appearance when choosing their prey.
“The thing that really amazed me is that I couldn’t actually see the difference [in antennae] when I was looking at the screen”, said Dr Ximena Nelson from the University of Canterbury.
Evarcha culicivora spiders live in Kenya and are part of the jumping spider family (Salticidae), which is best known for agile movement and incredible vision.
- Vampire jumping spiders identify victims by their antennae (phys.org)
- Vampire jumping spiders identify victims by their antennae (eurekalert.org)
- How Vampire Spiders Choose a Blood Meal (livescience.com)
- Vampire Spiders Select Insect Victims Based on Antennae (theepochtimes.com)
- Vampire jumping spiders identify victims by their antennae (scienceblog.com)