Sunspider (Windscorpion, Camel Spider)

Kimberly Chadwick

Marana, United States

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Marana, Az
Canon Powershot sx110is

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunspider

Solifugae is an order of Arachnida, known as camel spiders, wind scorpions or sun spiders, comprising more than 1,000 described species in about 153 genera. They may grow to a length of 19 cm (7.5 in), and have a body comprising an opisthosoma (abdomen) and a prosoma (head) with conspicuously large chelicerae, which are also used for stridulation. Most species live in deserts and feed opportunistically on ground-dwelling arthropods and other animals.

A number of urban legends exaggerate the size and speed of Solifugae, and their potential danger to humans.

Quick Facts…

  • Sunspiders are unusual arachnids, relatives of “true” spiders and scorpions. They are sometimes called windscorpions because they are fast moving.
  • Sunspiders eat insects. They have large jaws and will bite if handled. However, they are not poisonous.
  • Sunspiders sometimes wander into homes and other buildings, attracted by lights that attract insect prey.

Sunspiders, also known as solpugids or windscorpions, are unusual arachnids found in many parts of the state. They are particularly common in the southeastern region.

They are very active and have prominent jaws, features which often cause people concern. Nonetheless, they are essentially harmless, although they can bite if handled.
Sun spider

Sunspiders are relatives of other arachnids, such as the true spiders and scorpions. However, they are in a different order

(Solpugida). They have long, leg-like pedipalps on the side of the jaws, which makes it look like they have five pairs of legs.

There are approximately 15 species in the state, all in the genus

Eremobates. The ones typically found in a home range from about 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches and are light brown to reddish brown.

Sunspiders can bite if handled and may break the skin. However, they do not have poison glands, do not attack, and bite only if accidentally restrained.

Artwork Comments

  • Trish Meyer
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