• Once bitten…

    Once bitten…

    Arachnophobia is fairly common. However, a fear of spiders generally pales in comparison to the dangers of malaria. Now mosquito-eating spiders – Evarcha culicivora, to be precise – may actually aid in combating deadly malaria in East Africa.

    Arachnologists from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya have found that this particular species of spider (indigenous to the area around Lake Victoria and also known as the ‘vampire spider’) has adapted to hunt female Anopheles mosquitoes – which transmit malaria parasites.

    ‘This is unique. There’s no other animal that targets its prey based on what that prey has eaten,’ Fiona Cross, co-author of the study, was quoted in a SciDev.net report.

    That said, there’s no need to worry, people. These eight-legged creepy crawlies may be out for blood (literally) but they pose no danger to us as their mouths are unable to pierce human skin.

    18 August 2015
    Image: Gallo/GettyImages