Jumping Spiders Feeding on Mosquitoes

Inside homes spiders are common mosquito predators. But how effective are they at controlling mosquitoes? How many mosquitoes can a spider eat per day? These are valid questions if we seriously want to consider spiders as a biological control agent. To shed some light on these question we did a series of experiments using different species of jumping spiders. We investigated the mosquito feeding rate of these species by releasing mosquitoes and spiders within a closed environment. After 24 hours we counted the number of remaining mosquitoes. We found that female jumping spiders feed on more mosquitoes per day than their male counterparts. Of the 3 species we studied Plexippus paykulli had the highest predation rates. Predation rates were strongly dependent on mosquito density, which significantly increases the catching rate. The predation rates that we observed are similar to that found of other common mosquito predators, which leads to the conclusion that jumping spiders have the potential to be valuable biological control agents for mosquitoes.

You can read the complete study here.

Posted in Publications.