Moths That Drink Blood?

Categories: Did You Know
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moths-bloodIn nature there are many kinds of organisms that drink blood—mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, some flies and gnats, some other insects, leaches, and vampire bats. But vampire moths? It’s true—there is a group of moths in the genus Calyptra that are known as vampire moths because they are capable of drinking blood.

Vampire moths normally pierce fruit to suck the juice, but they will also drink blood from humans. Vampire moths can pierce even the tough hides of animals like elephants and buffalos, so our skin is easy for them to penetrate. Interestingly, only the males drink blood. They have been recorded to continue sucking blood for almost an hour if left undisturbed! Plus, the place where they bite becomes red and sore.

Fortunately, these moths are not found in the Americas, but in parts of Europe and other areas of the world. There is one species of vampire moth here in North America, but unlike its cousins, it apparently does not feed on blood. That’s one less pest to be concerned about!