Poisonous spider?
Location: Zambia, Africa
December 8, 2010 11:08 pm
I encountered this aggressive spider in Zambia, Africa, in October. It lunged out at me from within my suitcase. I quickly sidestepped it and instinctively killed it by giving it a swift kick. I took a picture of it next to a British ten pence coin, which was all I had near me at the time. (A ten pence coin is roughly the size of a US quarter, or 24mm in diameter.) I’d estimate the length of the spider’s body to be about 60mm from head to thorax. It seemed to only have 2 eyes. One of the local villagers saw the picture and told me that the spider was poisonous, and that a bite could cause my leg to swell up twice its size (or more). Can you identify this specimen?
Signature: Dave

Solifugid: Dead after discovery in suitcase

Hi Dave,
Though we are tagging your posting as Unnecessary Carnage, we want you to understand that we do not blame you for your instinctual reaction, but we want to educate you should you ever again encounter a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpions, or in the Middle East, a Camel Spider.  Tropical specimens can grow quite large.  Despite the common name, Solifugids are neither Spiders nor Scorpions, but they are members of the same taxonomic class, the Arachnids.  Unlike Spiders and Scorpions, Solifugids do not possess venom, so they are not poisonous.  Despite what you have been told by the local villager, if you are bitten, the bite will not result in a swollen leg unless it gets infected.  Solifugids are aggressive predators that are capable of eating small vertebrates including lizards and possibly small mice.  They have amazing jaws that open in multiple directions, and we would not want to be bitten by a large Solifugid.

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Location: Africa

4 Responses to Solifugid from Zambia: Killed during ambush

  1. mark says:

    Lived in Zambia for a couple of years and saw a lot of these. We called them ‘scuttlers’ and their speed was amazing. They could run and dodge with stunning agility. Even the cats had a hard time catching them !

  2. found this type of spider’s in my room.

  3. Practicality says:

    As a Zambian, I must say based off of what I’ve witnessed the sting from these bites are terrible. The Villagers comments might seem like a myth but I dare you to allow it to bite you the next time you have such an encounter. I’ve seen these spiders eat small frogs and they chase people I saw one just yesterday and mistook it for a baby rat because of its speed. So for those who’ve had a real encounter with their aggressive side just be cautious the bites have nasty effects. Stay safe.

  4. Stanley says:

    Have just been bitten by it am really scared

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