Subject: Solifugid?
Location: -20.726218, 14.682127
June 5, 2017 7:11 am
We saw this spider- or scorpion-like animal at May, 4, 2017 in Damaraland, Namibia. It seems to be the same mentioned in this post 2015/10/09/solifugid-or-windscorpion-from-kenya/ from 2015, although it has a slightly different colour (dark brown with more greyish hair). We saw it at early evening time (05:25 pm), it was about 3 to 5 cm long. Unfortunately the pictures are a bit dark and blurry (it moved pretty quick…)
It burried itself in the sand. For a better camouflage it took a blade of dry gras with it into the hole and covered itself.
We asked the guy from a local village who accopanied us if he knows what it is. He told us that it’s very rare but also poisonous. He actually took a step back when he saw it and told us that he got bitten once and had to go to the hospital.
It would be great to know more about this facinating little animal – i haven’t seen anything like that before.Mayby you got some more information on the species since the post from 2015?
Signature: Bettina

Possibly Teddy-Bear Solifugid

Dear Bettina,
Your images lack critical sharpness, and it is difficult for us to conclusively discern that this furry creature is a Solifugid.  It does seem to resemble the Teddy Bear Solifugids pictured on this Arthropod Ecology page where it states:  “Like most arachnids, solifugids don’t get much positive media attention. Famous on the internet by “forced perspective” photos makes them appear to be much larger and scarier than their modest 15cm maximum. There is even a photo of an intimidating, solifugid-like creature constructed by a talented invertebrate artist that has many fooled. As formidable as they look, they are likely non-venomous, with bites being rare and only resulting in localized pain and swelling in humans (Naskrecki, 2012).”  The site also states:  “Also known as mole solifugids, as soon as it sensed us, it buried itself beneath the sand and disappeared. A member of the family Hexisopodidae, it is characterized by adaptions to a mysterious subterranean lifestyle with fossorial 2nd, 3rd, and 4th legs, with the 4th lacking tarsal claws (Savary, 2009). Overall, not much is known about the life history of the Solifugid order other than some broad generalizations based on detailed observations of just a little more than a handful of different species.”  ISpot has some images of members of the family Hexisopodidae from Namibia.  We don’t know what to make of your guide’s claim that “he got bitten once and had to go to the hospital” but in 1991 when our editorial staff was in the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico to view the total solar eclipse, some locals told us to stay indoors because Scorpions would fall from the sky during the eclipse.

Possibly Teddy-Bear Solifugid

Location: Damaraland, Namibia

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