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      A spider that feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by choosing female mosquitoes as prey

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      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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          Abstract

          Spiders do not feed directly on vertebrate blood, but a small East African jumping spider (Salticidae), Evarcha culicivora, feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by choosing as preferred prey female mosquitoes that have had recent blood meals. Experiments show that this spider can identify its preferred prey by sight alone and by odor alone. When presented with two types of size-matched motionless lures, E. culicivora consistently chose blood-fed female mosquitoes in preference to nonmosquito prey, male mosquitoes, and sugar-fed female mosquitoes (i.e., females that had not been feeding on blood). When the choice was between mosquitoes of different sizes (both blood- or both sugar-fed), small juveniles chose the smaller prey, whereas adults and larger juveniles chose the larger prey. However, preference for blood took precedence over preference for size (i.e., to get a blood meal, small individuals took prey that were larger than the preferred size, and larger individuals took prey that were smaller than the preferred size). When presented with odor from two prey types, E. culicivora approached the odor from blood-fed female mosquitoes significantly more often the odor of the prey that were not carrying blood.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Interacting Phenotypes and the Evolutionary Process: I. Direct and Indirect Genetic Effects of Social Interactions

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            A Model for Certain Types of Selection Experiments

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              Comparative biology ofPortia africana, P. albimana, P. fimbriata, P. labiata, andP. shultzi, araneophagic, web-building jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae): Utilisation of webs, predatory versatility, and intraspecific interactions

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                October 18 2005
                October 18 2005
                October 10 2005
                October 18 2005
                : 102
                : 42
                : 15155-15160
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.0507398102
                1257728
                16217015
                © 2005
                Product

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