The Amazing Vampire Spider
The Vampire Spider is also known as the jumping spider can only be found around Lake Victoria which is in Uganda and Kenya in East Africa. They love human blood. However, do not feed off of humans they are known as an indirect vampire. They actually feed off of female mosquitoes to fulfill their cravings for blood. These little spiders are very picky they avoid other insects and male mosquitoes seeking out the females. The spider is able to do this because the female mosquito has a red engorged abdomen, and their antenna is different from that of the male mosquito.
The strange eating habit of these spiders was discovered by Robert Jackson out of the University of Canterbury. Fiona Cross one of Jackson's colleagues learned that blood is not only food for the spiders it is also an aphrodisiac. She conducted a study by feeding four different diets of blood fed mosquitoes, lake flies, male mosquitoes or sugar-fed female mosquitoes for their subjects. She observed that there were more attractions between the two sexes when the spiders were given the blood-fed mosquitoes, even with just one meal. This attraction was noted in both male and female spiders. It appears that blood is used like a perfume to attract a mate. This attraction seemed to leave when the blood -fed mosquitoes were not included for the feedings. This proves that even though this species of spider has remarkable eyesight for attracting a mate, the smell of blood is equally important.
This unique little spider does not have a web to trap its prey. They are similar to a cat because they stalk and jump onto the mosquitoes before taking their first bite. They are capable of jumping about forty times the length of their bodies. These little spiders are very beneficial to the people of the area because these mosquitoes are the main vessel of malaria in Africa.