True vampires

Bats are far from the only creatures to feast on blood

By Roberta Kwok, 17:11 PM October 25, 2013

In 2006, a vampire bit Jennifer Zaspel. No, not the fantasy kind, with a pasty face, black cape and sharp teeth. This vampire was real — and a moth.

Zaspel is a biologist who studies insects at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. She had flown to Russia in search of a moth called Calyptra thalictri. These bugs drink the juice of fruit, such as grapes, raspberries and peaches. To do so, the insect pokes a long, strawlike mouthpart called a proboscis (Pra BOH sis) into the fruit’s skin. On...

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