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Vampire (Evarcha culicivora)

Vampire spider of the jumping spider family is endemic to Lake Victoria, particularly the parts bordering Uganda and Kenya. Its tendency to feed on blood-sucking mosquitoes, particularly females, gives it the name ‘Vampire.’

Vampire Spider

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Salticidae
  • Genus: Aptostichus
  • Scientific name: Evarcha culicivora

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Females are 0.15 – 0.27 inches (0.4 – 0.7 cm) on an average, while the males measure approximately 0.11 – 0.23 inches (0.3 – 0.6 cm).

Color: Sexual dimorphism is visible when it comes to body color. The adult males have a blood-red face with white patches over their eyes. In contrast, the females appear greyish-brown with red spots.

Other Characteristic Features: They have an overall hairy appearance.

Eggs

Eggs are laid by female spiders and kept inside a silken sac, like other jumping spiders.

Spiderlings

The spiderlings have a close similarity to their parents, while the juveniles come with a grayish-brown face.

The Web

They spin webs that comprise silken tubes within which lies the nest built using dead leaves and grasses. The web is four and six times longer and wider than the spider’s length and width. However, when it comes to capturing prey, they mostly hunt and do not build webs for the purpose.

Are Vampire Spiders Venomous

They mostly bite mosquitoes but are not known to do any harm to humans.

Quick Facts

Distribution Uganda and Kenya
Habitat Tree trunks, walls of buildings
Diet Mosquitoes
Lifespan Not known
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed

Did You Know

  • They use the blood of the mosquitoes as a fragrance to lure their counterpart for mating.

Image Cedits: I1.wp.com

Vampire spider of the jumping spider family is endemic to Lake Victoria, particularly the parts bordering Uganda and Kenya. Its tendency to feed on blood-sucking mosquitoes, particularly females, gives it the name ‘Vampire.’

Vampire Spider

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Females are 0.15 – 0.27 inches (0.4 – 0.7 cm) on an average, while the males measure approximately 0.11 – 0.23 inches (0.3 – 0.6 cm).

Color: Sexual dimorphism is visible when it comes to body color. The adult males have a blood-red face with white patches over their eyes. In contrast, the females appear greyish-brown with red spots.

Other Characteristic Features: They have an overall hairy appearance.

Eggs

Eggs are laid by female spiders and kept inside a silken sac, like other jumping spiders.

Spiderlings

The spiderlings have a close similarity to their parents, while the juveniles come with a grayish-brown face.

The Web

They spin webs that comprise silken tubes within which lies the nest built using dead leaves and grasses. The web is four and six times longer and wider than the spider’s length and width. However, when it comes to capturing prey, they mostly hunt and do not build webs for the purpose.

Are Vampire Spiders Venomous

They mostly bite mosquitoes but are not known to do any harm to humans.

Quick Facts

Distribution Uganda and Kenya
Habitat Tree trunks, walls of buildings
Diet Mosquitoes
Lifespan Not known
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed

Did You Know

  • They use the blood of the mosquitoes as a fragrance to lure their counterpart for mating.

Image Cedits: I1.wp.com

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