Rooi roman - Arachnid Solifugae - Red Roman

Rina Greeff

Jansenville, South Africa

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’n Foto van ’n jong rooi roman teen ’n muur van ons huis op Jansenville in die Oos-Kaap van Suid-Afrika.
A young Red Roman against a wall in our house at Jansenville in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Arachnid solifugae, of die rooi roman, sonspinnekop, jagspinnekop of haarskeerder, is NIE ‘n spinnekop of ’n skerpioen nie. Hulle is glad nie giftig nie en dus onskadelik vir die mens. Hulle is baie aggressiewe alleenloper-jagters en alle insekte, muise, klein voëltjies, spinnekoppe en ander romans is hul prooi. Die prooi word lewendig opgevreet en die sagte maag kan vir ‘n ongelooflike groot ete plek maak.
Dit lyk asof die sonspinnekop vyf paar pote het, maar die voorste paar is nie pote nie. Dit is voelers of ledemate met taai suiers wat hom in staat stel om teen mure op te skarrel, om sy slagoffer vas te suig, en wat ook gebruik word vir eet en drink, asook paring.
Hulle lewe vir so 12 maande en vervel sowat agt tot tien keer. Hulle verkies warm areas met laer reënval. Die Latynse ’solifugid’ beteken letterlik ‘om uit die son te vlug’, ’n heel gepaste naam vir diere waarvan die meeste spesies snags jag.

Solifugae are an order of Arachnida, known as camel spiders, wind scorpions and sun spiders or solifuges, comprising more than 1,075 described species, of which 153 species occur in South Africa and are divided into two groups – nocturnal and diurnal.
Arachnid Solifugae is NOT a spider as the various common names (e.g. sun spider, red roman, wind scorpion, wind spider, camel spider or jerrymander) would suggest. The only similarity Solifugids share with spiders is the fact that they have eight legs. They have no venom glands and are not a threat to man although they are very aggressive and fast-moving and can inflict a painful bite. The term ‘red roman’ probably originates from the Afrikaans word ‘rooiman’ (red man) due to the red-brown colour of some species.
Solifugids appear to have 10 legs but in fact, the first pair of appendages are the pedipalps that are very strong and are used for various functions such as drinking, fighting, feeding and mating.
They vary in size and can reach 70 mm and with legs included, can measure 160 mm. The head is large, supporting large strong jaws. The 11 segmented abdomen is soft and expandable that enables the animal to eat large amounts of food.
Solifugids are found mostly in the hot arid regions and prey on various insects, spiders, scorpions, small reptiles, dead birds and even each other.

Kamera: CanonEOS 500D Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens

Artwork Comments

  • Maree Clarkson
  • Rina Greeff
  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
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