Currently viewing the category: "Solpugids and Camel Spiders"
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Subject: First time we have seen this!
Location: Southeast Idaho
October 8, 2016 1:31 pm
Hey bugman! This has been a year of first bugs for us in our neck of the woods. We had a beetle you identified for us earlier in the summer, and now we have discovered several of these in our home. Any help??
Signature: Christine

Solifugid

Solifugid

Dear Christine,
This is a Solifugid, a member of order Solifugae, a group whose members are frequently called Windscorpions or Sun Spiders.  Here is a very similar looking individual from BugGuide.  While Solifugids, Scorpions and Spiders are all classified together as Arachnids in the same taxonomic class, Solifugids differ from both Scorpions and Spiders in that they do not have any venom, but they are still fierce predators that will help keep your home and property free of other, less desirable, and potentially dangerous creatures.
It is worth noting that Solifugids from the Middle East are called Camel Spiders and they are much larger than our North American species, and though they do not have venom, they can still deliver a painful bite.  Many years ago we posted an image of two Camel Spiders that was widely circulated on the internet that caused much hysteria.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange bug in Texas
Location: Austin, TX
September 28, 2016 6:48 am
Hello. I found a bug which looks like an ant with big abdomen and large antennae. Soft bodied. Not sure what this is? (See image). Can you identify?
Signature: Kevin Urban

Solifugid

Solifugid

Dear Kevin,
This is a Solifugid, a predatory Arachnid that is sometimes called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion, though it is not closely related to either.  Solifugids differ from both Spiders and Scorpions in that they have no poison or venom, hence they are considered harmless to people, though it is possible that a bite might occur after an encounter with a large individual.  What you have mistaken for antennae are actually pedipalps, a pair of appendages defined on BugGuide as being:  ” the second set of mouthpart-like appendages in arachnids (spiders and allies). Male spiders have the last segments modified into organs for the transfer of sperm.”  BugGuide describes Solifugids as being:  “Eight-legged, somewhat scorpion-like, but lacking the tail. Elongated pedipalps look like an extra set of legs, but are used as sensory organs, similar to antennae.”

Awesome.  Thanks for the ID.  I know bugs but this was new to me.
Appreciate your help.
Kevin

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Walnut Creek california
May 14, 2016 12:16 am
Found in California. Never seen any spider like this.
Signature: John

Solifugid

Solifugid

Dear John,
This Arachnid is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, and though it is distantly related to both Spiders and Scorpions, it is classified in a different order.  Solifugids do not possess venom, and even though they are very adept predators, they pose no threat to humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please help with this giant ant/spider look-a-like.
Location: San Diego, CA
November 20, 2015 7:44 pm
Hello,
I am stumped with this bug and saw it for the first time in early spring in Southern California and just and now again at the end of fall. I’ve seen smaller versions which were hairy that looked like a small tarantula mixed with an ant, which made me think it was some type of velvet ant. It moves very fast and looks similar to a pseudoscorpion. The one pictured is the largest I have seen and has two very small eyes on top of its head, and crawled out from underneath my house. Thanks in advance for any help.
Signature: Stumped

Solifugid

Solifugid

Dear Stumped,
This is a predatory Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but unlike its Arachnid namesakes, the Solifugid lacks venom, so it is not considered dangerous to humans.  They do have strong mandibles and we would not recommend handling larger individuals which are capable of biting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Solifugid ID
Location: Dorob National Park, Namibia
October 7, 2015 1:43 pm
Habitat: Dry riverbed in rocky gorge, near Messum crater
Weather: Dry Arid
Time: Daylight
Size: 3-5cm
Observation: It was seen moving about the rocks and sand. Once it sensed danger it burrowed itself beneath the sand.
I believe I have narrowed down this solfugid to the Hexisopodidae family. I am leaning towards Hexisopus genus over Chelypus genus based on the absence of of well-developed spines on the pedipalps but am not confident I can I can tell based on my photos.
Any help on narrowing down identification or tidbits on natural history would be much appreciated. This was such a neat find!
Signature: Michael Kent

Solifugid

Solifugid

Dear Michael,
This is the strangest looking Solifugid we have ever had submitted to us.  Its legs are so compact, it most likely does not run as quickly as other members of the order Solifugae.  Your observations that it buried itself in the sand are quite interesting, and that might be an adaptation to not being able to run quickly.  Alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to determine a more specific identity, and it sounds like your own research was quite thorough.  We will be posting all of your wonderful images and perhaps an Arachnologist will see the posting and be able to contribute a future comment.  Are there any Solifugologists out there???  As a side note, we appreciate your naming convention for the digital files.  All we had to do was add you name to the file name you provided to maintain our own naming convention.

Solifugid

Solifugid

Solifugid

Solifugid

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Very unusual
Location: Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
September 4, 2015 4:30 am
This insect is very odd, is it a spider?
Signature: Gavin

Solifugid

Solifugid

Hi Gavin,
Though it is common called a Sun Spider in North America and a Camel Spider in the Middle East, this Arachnid is not a true spider, but a Solifugid, a member of the order Solifugae.  Though formidable predators, they are not dangerous to humans as they do not have venom.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination