5 Animals That Feed On Blood

Most of these species are small in size and, unfortunately, through their bite, they usually transmit infectious diseases; some of them are serious for pets and humans.
5 animals that feed on blood

Animals that feed on blood are known as hematophagous and, although they are not abundant on the planet, they are worth mentioning. Some are surrounded by legends, others harass our pets and there are those who transmit disease. Learn more about them in this article.

What are the animals that feed on blood?

Most animals that feed on blood  are parasites and small in size.

It is worth noting that the bloodsucker  often transmits infectious diseases such  as malaria, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, yellow fever and Chikungunya.

Among these species, we find:

  1. vampire bat

All species of vampire bats (common, furry-legged and white-winged vampire bat) are native to Latin America and can be found in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile mainly.

These feed on blood, unlike others of their kind, which can consume fruits or insects.

Vampire bats (image at the top of this article) have a short snout, a  nose with thermoreceptors to sense the prey’s infrared radiation, small ears and special front teeth to pierce the skin.

Your digestive system has adapted to a warm, liquid diet, and through your saliva it prevents the blood you’ve ingested from clotting.

They only hunt at night and directly attack a hairless area. It is the most agile of all bats.

  1. Tick

It is one of the blood-feeding animals that is a vector of infectious diseases, including typhus and Lyme disease.

The  ticks are mites that attack mammals such as dogs, cats and humans.


Your body is made up of two parts: a mouthpart and a chest. It has eight legs – four on each side – very sensitive.

Once attached to the host, they pierce the skin and suck blood after anchoring all of its limbs. 

The ‘saliva’ you produce during eating can cause skin diseases.

  1. Mosquito

Only females of these insects, of the order of  Diptera,  bite and feed on blood. Its mouth is made up of a kind of sharp proboscis to pierce the skin of mammals and suck out the plasma.

Their saliva acts as an anticoagulant and causes irritation or swelling in those who are bitten.


Female mosquitoes need blood to start their reproductive cycle and lay their eggs  in an aquatic environment such as a swamp, a bucket of water or a lake. The bite transmits diseases such as Nile fever and dengue.

  1. Flea

Another of the animals that feed on blood, within the group of parasites, which mainly affect our pets (and, in some cases, people).

Among its striking features, we can say that it  can jump several times its size. This is thanks to its long hind legs, which work like a spring.


Although in many cases the presence of the flea is just a nuisance for the host,  its bite can cause diseases such as black plague, typhus or worms. 

This small, wingless insect, no more than four millimeters in length, is brown or black, its body is covered in thorns, and it moves easily between the animals’ fur, fur or feathers.

  1. Lice

Finally, we have to talk about the famous (especially in children) lice, which infest the heads of humans, other mammals and birds, and feed on their blood.

Eggs are called nits and adhere to the host’s hair.


They spend their entire life cycle in the host and can multiply quickly.

Lice measure no more than eight millimeters,  are brown or almost transparent, and the body is “swollen” when they feed.

In some cases, you can see the blood they ingested, as with mosquitoes.

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