A Spider's Taste for Blood

Certain jumping spiders prey on mosquitoes that have drawn blood from animals.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM October 13, 2005

An East African jumping spider has eight legs, plenty of eyes, the hunting prowess of a cat, and a taste for blood.

An extensive series of tests has shown for the first time that these spiders don't just eat the blood of vertebrates. They like it more than other types of food.

This small jumping spider prefers to stalk and pounce on blood-engorged mosquitoes.

There are at least 5,000 species of jumping spiders. Unlike many of their relatives, these spiders don't build webs. Instead, they hunt the way cats do. They stalk midges, ants, spiders, and other prey, creeping to within...

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