What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange insect found in back yard
Location: 39°31′38″N 119°49′19″W
July 12, 2011 11:54 am
My daughter found this strange insect in my parents back yard this morning.
It has 6 legs attached to the thorax, and long thin antenna and what appear to be large mandibles. At first glance we thought it may be some over-sized wolf spider but upon closer inspection that is clearly not the case.
The temperature out side was 42* and we are in a high desert valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. We are currently in our summer months.
Signature: Justin K

Solifugid

Hi Justin,
This is an arachnid, not an insect, and it is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  Despite having venomous relatives, the Solifugids do not have any venom or poison.  They are fierce predators, and they might bite a person if they were carelessly handled, but they are not considered dangerous.  We are translating your coordinates to read the Reno area of Nevada.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Nevada

3 Responses to Sun Spider

  1. Troy says:

    I seen one just like this when I lived in Fallon, NV. It was big. The body was about half the size of a 12oz soda can. I seen it at night in the summer, but I never seen one that big after that.

  2. Reverend Fox says:

    A friend of mine had a Solifugid in a lizard tank. The thing was about six inches long and had red-tipped mandibles. We speculated that it was a mutation that resulted from nuclear testing near Fallon.

    • bugman says:

      Could it have been smuggled in from the Middle East? You did not provide a location for the sighting, but we know of no Solifugids that size in North America.

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