Currently viewing the category: "Solpugids and Camel Spiders"
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Subject: Unknown Spider
Location: Malawi, Africa
December 25, 2014 10:52 pm
I live in Malawi, Africa. Recently I have moved to a more rural part of the country than what I have been previously acquainted with. There are many unknown bugs to me here. Although I do not have a particular fondness of these creatures, my curiosity has got the better of me. Attached is a picture of a large spider. I believe it is typically nocturnal. It moves very fast and has dangerous fangs. The largest one I know of was three inches. The people here do not have a name for it in English, in the native tongue it is called “Chichotsa Mfumu”. Which being translated means, “The Thing That Drives the Chief From His Chair”. Like I said earlier, I am curious and would like to know if it has an English name.
Thank you for your time,
Signature: Sarah – Malawi, Africa

Solifugid:  The Thing that Drives the Chief from His Chair

Solifugid: The Thing that Drives the Chief from His Chair

Dear Sarah,
We love your exotic letter with its colorful, local vocabulary.  This Arachnid is a Solifugid in order Solifugae, and though the members are commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions in North America, they are neither spiders nor scorpions with which they are classed in Arachnida.  In the Middle East they are called Camel Spiders and there is much internet hysteria surrounding their alleged traits.  Solifugids, including your local Things that Drive the Chief from His Chair, are formidable predators, and though they lack venom, we would not welcome a bite from a large individual.  We are featuring your submission and dubbing it our favorite end of the year posting.

Thank you for your prompt reply and for your assistance in helping me identify this creature. I am so pleased with your services I may call on them again. Thank you very much.
Sarah Sjoblom

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Subject: I found this spider 4 times
Location: Botswana, palapye
October 24, 2014 1:52 pm
I just want to know it’s dangerous or not… It moves very fast.
Signature: Don’t know

Solifugid

Solifugid

This is a Solifugid, and though they are commonly called Camel Spiders or Sun Spiders, and though they are Arachnids, they are not true spiders.  They do not have venom, but a large individual might bite a human, and they have powerful mandibles.  Solifugids are fierce predators, and we would encourage you to allow them to keep your surroundings clear of unwanted insects like Cockroaches.  As it appears the individual in your image has bee sprayed with insecticide, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

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Subject: is it poisonous
Location: kingsburg, ca
October 3, 2014 6:05 pm
I get a few of these around the house, this one was hiding in a pot. Is it poisonous? What is it?
Signature: nancy

Solifugid

Solifugid

Dear Nancy,
Though this Solifugid is related to both venomous spiders and scorpions, it is a harmless creature that does not have any venom.  Solifugids are sometimes called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions.  Though lacking in venom, a large individual might deliver a painful bite if carelessly handled.

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Subject: Giant Spider
Location: North Scottsdale, Arizona
September 16, 2014 10:26 am
Can you tell me what this poor guy was? My neighbor found it in her garage, I wasn’t sure if it was dead or if it was poisonous, so I killed it (it was already dead.)
My friends have suggested a “Child of the Earth,” Hobo Spider or Solpugid? This was found in North Scottsdale where we’ve had record amounts of rain in the last few weeks.
What do you suggest we do if we find more, given that we’re expecting a lot more rain?
Thanks!
Signature: Becki

Solifugid

Solifugid

Dear Becki,
One of your friend’s suggestions is actually sort of correct.  Solpugid is a name that can still be found in literature, but it has fallen into disuse and has been replaced by Solifugid, a member of the order Solifugae, commonly called Sun Spider or Wind Scorpions.  Solifugids are Arachnids, but they are neither Spiders nor Scorpions, and unlike those orders of Arachnids, they do not have venom.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: San Diego
May 16, 2014 9:26 pm
Dear BugMan,
What is this bug? He was FAST! Found him in an upstairs spare room. It’s been HOT here lately, 100+, not sure if that helps any.
Signature: Julie

Solifugid Carnage

Solifugid Carnage

Dear Julie,
Though it is an Arachnid, the class of creatures that includes venomous spiders and scorpions, this Solifugid is harmless as it does not have any venom.  That does not in any way inhibit the ability of a Solifugid to hunt prey, and they can help rid the home and yard of other undesirable creatures, including cockroaches and bed bugs.  We would encourage you to have more tolerance in the future and allow any Solifugids you encounter to live.  If found indoors, they can be trapped in an inverted glass and then taken outdoors by slipping a postcard under the glass to contain the creature inside.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Yuck! What is it?
Location: Pasadena Ca USA
May 3, 2014 12:50 am
Found three of these in my house tonight . I might have stepped on the first smaller one. Then caught two more with my hand held vacuum and cups. They are so fast and creepy! Can you please tell me what they are?
Signature: Calujan

Wind Scorpion

Wind Scorpion

Dear Calujan,
Commonly called a Wind Scorpion, this arachnid lacks venom, so it is not really considered dangerous, however, even without venom, they are adept predators that will help keep your yard free of other unwanted creatures.  Though they don’t have venom, a large specimen might deliver a painful bite if carelessly handled.  We suspect the recent heat wave in the Los Angeles area is the reason you have suddenly noticed these Wind Scorpions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination