Chapter 1. Creepy crawlies

Just as we humans have individual, sometimes unusual, tastes—such as liverwurst, Jell-O with shredded carrots, and stinky cheeses—our eight-legged friends have theirs. Although spiders mostly dine on whatever potential prey comes their way, some spiders find mosquitoes particularly pleasing to the palate.

One species, a jumping spider from East Africa, seems to have a special preference for female mosquitoes that have had a recent blood meal. In laboratory studies, ...

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