Rio Rancho NM Bug
Please help! I do not know what the bug is that you see in the attached pictures. It was crawling around on the floor in our kitchen. I noticed it because my kitty was playing with it. I initially thought it was a scorpion but do not think so anymore. Should I be worried, is it poisioness? Do you think there are more? Help!! Thank you,
Katie White

Hi Katie,
Your creature is a Solpugid, sometimes known as a Wind Scorpion or a Sun Spider. Solpugids are Arachnids, so they are related to both spiders and scorpions, but unlike spiders or scorpions which are both venomous, Solpugids do not have venom. They are harmless predators that are very efficient at killing and eating small creatures like their relatives the spiders and scorpions, as well as insects like cockroaches. We have heard that the Solpugid is also called by the much cuter name of Sand Puppy in some parts of the country, but this might cause confusion since we have also heard that Potato Bugs or Jerusalem Crickets, which bear a superficial resemblance to Solpugids, are also called Sand Puppies. Since we do not believe in Spontaneous Generation, there is a good chance that your Solpugid has siblings in the vicinity.

11 Responses to Solpugid: AKA Sand Puppy

  1. christian says:

    Yes this one too , we always called this a sand puppy to we used to catch them when we were little , here in Utah . haven’t seen one in year’s though . They were pretty big to i remember 🙂 Anyway love the sight , it was helpful and you really never here or see these thing’s around here anymore .

    • sdnb says:

      We just found one in our driveway, during the middle of the day, in Clinton, UT! I hadn’t seen one in over 20 years! It’s alive, but seems to be injured…

  2. Nichole Williamson says:

    We see them all of the time down where we camp near the sand dunes at Cherry Creek which is located in Juab County, Utah. We also just ran into a few at Goblin Valley (also in Utah) just this past April 2015 when we went camping over Easter weekend. They still exist in the gully that is behind my Parents house which is in Sandy, UT. We also used to find them ALL of the time in the back field leading down into the gully when we were younger and would dig underground caves to make “huts” when we were younger. They are nasty looking and still scare me to death to this day.

  3. Robyn says:

    I live in Kearns utah when my mom let the dog in this big ugly bug had hitched a ride on Trina ‘s back which is our great pyrenees. Dog. I had never ever seen one be for and hope I never do again .my niece and nephew wanted to keep it as a pet. When mom asked her what she would do with it she sweetly replied I would just Love it grandma. We chose to let my husband take it on a road trip and he let it go in the Nevada desert.

  4. Morgan says:

    This website was really helpful in identifying the bug we saw on our pre-camp trip. When one of our leaders first saw it she decided to show us all. I freaked out but one of the other girls picked it up, proceeding to chase me. The only reason I freaked out was because I had never seen the kind of bug before. I had no clue if it was poisonous or not, so I asked the leader who took it away from my “friend” to please look for bugs that had the same description as this bug. She found this site and emediately called me over to look at the picture of the Sand Puppy. I’m glad we found this site, because I now know that the bug wasn’t poisonous, but it was creepy. Thanks!

  5. Woody says:

    I have seen one last year and one again this year in Southern BC Area.
    I am thankful to find out they are not poisonous but have not seen any outside , just in our house

  6. Woody says:

    I have seen one last year and one again this year in Southern BC Area.
    I am thankful to find out they are not poisonous but have not seen any outside , just in our house

  7. Josie says:

    Don’t these often carry a parasite that emerges when you try to kill the sand puppy?

  8. Bobby Copper says:

    That is NOT a sand puppy. I’ve seen actual sand puppies and they are not arachnids. They have a long worm parasite in them. They are actually called Jerusalem Crickets. These solpugids aka camel spiders aka wind scorpions aka sun spiders are NOT sand puppies.

    • Bobby Copper says:

      Also, those two from limbs on the solpugid above are pedipalps, not legs, so this is an arachnid. They, as well ac actual sand puppies are not venomous, but have nasty bite. I have killed sand puppies with my father, and he killed a solpugid today, so he knows the difference very well. Sand puppies are usually about 4 inches long, but solpugids tend to be just a little bigger.

  9. Cammeron Harris says:

    My chickens like to eat them in Plymouth Utah. I have seen three this year.. And I haven’t seen them before, for 20 years.. I’m not sure if they are poisonous I’ve heard to stay away from there Pinchers.. the one we have is a lot more fatter and definitely not 4 inches maybe 2..

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