I just hope she doesn’t get a taste for human blood

2020 December 13

On June 29, 2019, a mosquito had gotten into the house, probably bitten somebody, and then tried to escape through a window screen. She didn’t make it, though, because we have friends.


That’s a Zebra Jumping Spider, Salticus scenicus, looking out for her own interests while also simultaneously looking after ours. They hang around on our window screens and nab things like this mosquito that try to get through.

The mosquito has a distended abdomen in that first picture, and the immediately following picture shows the abdomen deflated.


I thought at first that the mosquito abdomen was distended because she had taken a blood meal from one of us in the house, and the spider was drinking it. Which would suggest that the spider was getting to drink some human (or maybe dog) blood by proxy. But then, in the following pictures, the abdomen reinflated again! These pictures were all taken over the span of about a minute, by the way.




What I now think was happening, was the spider was injecting digestive juices, sucking them back out, and then reinjecting/sucking out juices multiple times to dissolve whatever was missed the first time. So while the mosquito might have had a load of mammal blood to start with, by the time we spotted it the blood hand been removed already. By this time, the mosquito’s exoskeleton was just being rinsed out a few times to get the last few scraps of nutrition.

So anyway. This is probably the only way that a spider could get human blood: by killing and eating something that had already bitten us. And this is one more reason to not worry about having spiders around the house. We need all the allies we can get.

3 Responses
  1. Anne Bingham permalink
    December 13, 2020

    That’s what they WANT you to think.

  2. Kathleen Bradley permalink
    December 14, 2020

    Fabulous! Please share with the Ohio Spiders Facebook page!

    Merry Christmas!

    Kathleen Bradley- Ohio

  3. Sandra L Eisele permalink
    December 14, 2020

    So the spider is like a kid drinking through a straw? Blowing bubbles then sucking them back up?
    Also, is a spider drinking human blood the flip side of spider man? Like he’ll get human powers? Human-spidey, doing the things a human can. Then there’s a cut scene of him with reading glasses and tax forms.

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