Robert Jackson; University of Canterbury

ScienceShot: A Spider That Likes Stinky Socks

Jennifer covers palaeontology, evolutionary biology, and science policy from the UK and Canada.

Arachnophobes everywhere will be heading to the laundromat when they hear this. Researchers have found that an East African spider, Evarcha culicivora, is attracted to your stinky socks. By presenting the spiders with a pair of socks worn continuously for 12 hours and a pair of identical unworn socks, researchers showed that the arachnids prefer the smell of human feet. Luckily for us, it’s likely that the spider’s odor detection has evolved not to find humans, but rather to catch the mosquitoes that carry our blood, researchers report online today in Biology Letters. Still, it might not be a bad idea to take your socks off before bed.

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Posted in Plants & Animals