Camel Spiders: All You Need to Know for a Close Encounter with These Desert Dwellers

Camel spiders, often misunderstood and feared, are fascinating creatures found in desert environments. These arachnids, also known as wind scorpions or sun spiders, have a unique appearance and possess intriguing attributes worth exploring.

Despite their name, camel spiders do not actually belong to the spider family. They are part of the Solifugae order, which is a separate group within the arachnid class. They have an unusually large central pair of jaws and can grow up to six inches in length.

As predominantly nocturnal hunters, they commonly feed on insects, small rodents, and even other arachnids. Their astonishing speed – reaching up to 10 miles per hour – and ability to withstand harsh desert conditions make camel spiders truly remarkable members of the animal kingdom.

What Are Camel Spiders?

Arachnid Classification

Camel spiders belong to the class Arachnida, which also includes scorpions, ticks, and mites. These creatures are arthropods, meaning they have exoskeletons and jointed legs. Some notable features of arachnids are:

  • Eight legs
  • Two main body parts (cephalothorax and abdomen)
  • No wings or antennae

Camel spiders, also known as solifuges, sun spiders, or wind scorpions, are not true spiders (order Araneae). They belong to the order Solifugae within the class Arachnida.

Taxonomy and Species

The order Solifugae contains more than 1,000 species of camel spiders. These creatures are most commonly found in deserts and arid regions around the world. Some characteristics of camel spiders include:

  • Large, forward-facing, chelicerae (jaws)
  • No venom glands
  • Hairy, spider-like appearance
  • Long legs, which aid in running and capturing prey

Here is a comparison between camel spiders (Solifugae) and true spiders (Araneae):

Feature Camel Spiders (Solifugae) True Spiders (Araneae)
Venom glands No Yes (in most species)
Silk glands No Yes
Wings No No
Antennae No No

In conclusion, camel spiders are fascinating arachnids that differ significantly from true spiders. Their unique features and characteristics set them apart from other members of the class Arachnida.

Appearance and Anatomy

Size and Coloration

Camel spiders, also known as solifuges, are quite peculiar creatures. They are usually 0.5 to 6 inches in length, depending on the species. Their coloration ranges from beige to brown, helping them blend in with their sandy environments.

Chelicerae and Pedipalps

Camel spiders have distinctive chelicerae and pedipalps:

  • Chelicerae: These are impressive, oversized mouthparts which can be as long as one-third of their body length. They are filled with sharp teeth that grind prey into a paste for easy consumption.
  • Pedipalps: Positioned near the mouth, pedipalps are leg-like appendages that are tipped with adhesive pads used to grasp prey. They also hold the female’s eggs during mating.

Examples:

  • Galeodes arabs is a species found in the Middle East that reaches a length of up to 6 inches.
  • Eremobates pallipes, also known as the American Desert Camel Spider, is typically beige and measures about 3 inches in length.

Comparison Table:

Feature Camel Spiders True Spiders
Size 0.5 to 6 inches (depending on the species) Varies greatly, from less than 1mm to 11 inches
Chelicerae Large, elongated, and quite robust Smaller, often less noticeable in many species
Pedipalps Leg-like, with adhesive pads on the tips More similar to legs in males, used in copulation

Characteristics:

  • Hairy body to deal with harsh desert climates
  • Quick, agile, and nocturnal predators
  • Non-venomous and not harmful to humans

Habitats and Behavior

Geographical Distribution

Camel spiders, also known as solifugae, are arachnids found in various habitats around the world, except for Australia and Antarctica. They are most commonly associated with the Middle Eastern deserts, but they have also been reported during the Gulf War and Iraq War.

Nocturnal Lifestyle

These creatures are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. Their preference for the night helps them avoid the scorching daytime temperatures in deserts, and they tend to seek out shade during the day.

Speed and Movement

Camel spiders are known for their remarkable speed and agile movements. Typical speeds vary, but they can reach up to:

  • 10 miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour) for short periods
  • Crawl or run up to 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) per hour on average

These speeds allow them to actively hunt prey and escape predators.

Feeding Habits

Camel spiders are carnivores, mainly feeding on insects, small rodents, and other arachnids. Some examples of their prey include:

  • Termites
  • Beetles
  • Lizards

Their feeding habits involve catching the prey with their pedipalps (appendages near their mouth) and using their strong jaws to crush and consume it.

Characteristics Camel Spiders
Habitat Deserts, grasslands, and various arid habitats
Distribution Middle East, parts of Africa, Asia, North and South America; not found in Australia, Antarctica
Activity Period Nocturnal (active during the night)
Speed Up to 10 miles per hour (16 km/h) for short bursts
Diet Carnivorous (insects, small rodents, and other arachnids)

In summary, camel spiders are fast-moving nocturnal arachnids that inhabit arid environments such as deserts. They are carnivorous and have adaptable feeding habits to survive in their harsh environments.

Dispelling Myths about Camel Spiders

Screaming and Hissing

Many believe that camel spiders can scream and hiss, but this is a myth. Camel spiders do not have vocal cords, so they cannot produce sounds like screaming or hissing. Their biology does not support this ability.

Jumping Abilities

  • Camel spiders are not known for their jumping abilities
  • Unlike jumping spiders, camel spiders don’t possess the adaptations required for jumping long distances

For more context:

Jumping Spiders Camel Spiders
Known jumpers Cannot jump
Short jumps Crawling

Disemboweling Prey

Another myth surrounding camel spiders is that they can disembowel prey. This claim is also untrue. Camel spiders are not predators capable of such actions. They primarily feed on smaller insects and other arthropods.

Attacking Sleeping Soldiers

The urban legend of camel spiders attacking sleeping soldiers has no basis in fact. While camel spiders may bite if threatened, they are not aggressive towards humans, especially sleeping individuals. The photos shared in this context are often misleading or taken out of context.

Camel Spider Bites and Venom

Bite Mechanics

Camel spiders, also known as camel crickets, have a unique set of features that distinguish them from other spiders:

  • Slightly humpbacked appearance
  • Long legs, giving them a spider-like look
  • Lack of wings in the adult stage

Despite their name, camel spiders are not true spiders but are actually solifugae, a separate order of arachnids.

Venom Content

Camel spiders do not possess venom glands, unlike many other spiders. As a result, their bite is not venomous. They rely on their strong jaws and speed to catch and consume their prey, which primarily includes small insects and other arthropods.

Effect on Humans

Since camel spiders do not have venom, their bites are generally harmless to humans. However, a bite from a camel spider can still be painful and cause some discomfort. In case of a bite, it is advised to clean the wound and apply an ice pack to help reduce pain and swelling. Contacting a healthcare professional is always a wise choice if you’re unsure about the severity of a bite.

Remember, camel spiders are not dangerous to humans, and their bite is not venomous. So there is no need to fear these creatures.

Camel Spiders as Pets

Housing and Care Requirements

Camel spiders, also known as wind scorpions, are desert-dwelling arachnids. They require a dry, warm environment to thrive. To simulate their natural habitat, a well-ventilated terrarium with a heat lamp is essential.

To house them, consider the following:

  • A minimum of 5-gallon enclosure
  • Sand, coconut fiber, or a mix as the substrate
  • Rocks and hiding spots to mimic their natural environment
  • Temperature range between 80-90°F (26-32°C)
  • Low humidity (30-50%)

Camel spiders are carnivorous and need a diet of live prey. Feeding them insects like crickets, mealworms, or small lizards can provide proper nutrition. Feed adults every 2-3 days, while juveniles can eat daily.

Do They Make Good Pets?

Camel spiders have a mixed reputation as pets. Pros and cons of owning a camel spider include:

Pros:

  • Unique and fascinating appearance
  • No venom harmful to humans
  • Low allergenic properties compared to other arachnids

Cons:

  • Known for their aggression and agility
  • Can run up to 30 mph (48 km/h) which might make them difficult to handle
  • Limited availability in the pet trade
  • Lack of comprehensive care information

Comparing them to other common pet spiders:

Feature Camel Spider Tarantula Jumping Spider
Average Size 2-6 inches 2.5-11 inches 0.1-0.9 inches
Lifespan

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Solifugid from South Africa or Haarskeerder

 

Subject: Beetle or Spider?
Location: Magaliesburg mountain range, South Africa
January 14, 2013 4:34 pm
We found it in the middle of an open grassland on our hike in October. October is a Spring month in the Southern hemisphere
Signature: Emer Mae Butler

Solifugid or Haarskeerder

Dear Emer,
This is neither a beetle nor a spider.  It is a Solifugid, a member of the order Solifugae.  The Solifugae like spiders and scorpions are classified as Arachnids, however the Solifugids do not have venom, so they are not dangerous to humans, but they do have strong jaws that might inflict a painful bite.  The Agricultural Research Council has an extensive page on Solifugids of South Africa.  That site lists common names like Sun Spider, Wind Spider, “‘jaag’ or ‘jag spinnekop’ (wandering spiders), … romans, derived from the word ‘rooiman’ (red man) and ‘vetvreters’ (fat eaters). This is due to their feeding behaviour to gorge on available food, so much so that they can hardly move afterwards.”  Perhaps the best is this citation:  “Probably the most common name used throughout the country is ‘haarskeerders’ (hair cutters) or ‘baardskeerders’ (beard cutters). This is based on the belief that should a solifugid become entangled in a girl’s long hair, it will cut its way free. However, no scientific evidence exists to support this notion. Other speculations are that the hair is cut by females of some species to use as lining for their retreats. Some evidence for the latter has been found.” 

Letter 2 – Solifugid found in Shower

 

Subject: Insect found in shower
Location: Laredo TX (South Texas)
June 20, 2012 8:49 am
We found this bug in our shower this morning.
Signature: David Menchaca

Solifugid

Hi David,
We are going to surmise that since they can move so rapidly, this Solifugid, which you photographed on some crumbled paper and held, is no longer living.  We are also going to surmise, and please correct us if we are wrong, that it met an untimely death at human hands, so we are tagging it as Unnecessary Carnage.  Though they look quite fearsome, Solifugids are not harmful to humans since they have no venom despite being classed as Arachnids, a class that includes Scorpions and Spiders, both of which are venomous.  Solifugids are beneficial predators that will quickly dispatch and eat any cockroaches or other undesirable insects in the vicinity.  Solifugids are adept hunters and we should be thankful they are small creatures.  If they grew to the size of dogs, we might have something to fear.  In the Middle East where Solifugids grow to about five inches in length, they are known as Camel Spiders.  There are many Camel Spider myths on the internet.

Ed. Note:  We apologize for jumping to conclusions.  We are happy to learn that this Solifugid survived.

We didn’t kill it…it stop moving for a while…but once we took it outside…it started walking away towards plants…thanks for your fast response…and all your information!

Letter 3 – Solifugid from Idaho

 

Subject:  What bug is this???
Geographic location of the bug:  South East Idaho
Date: 08/14/2018
Time: 03:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We saw this crawling across our floor last night.  We have never seen this bug in our area. I’ve lived here 55 years.  Is it dangerous?  We have a baby crawling at home.
How you want your letter signed:  Freaked out Grandma

Solifugid

Dear Freaked out Grandma,
This is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  It is an Arachnid, but unlike Spiders and Scorpions, it lacks venom so it is harmless, though a large individual might deliver a painful bite.  Middle Eastern members of the order are much larger and are called Camel Spiders.  According to BugGuide, they are reported from Idaho and we have reports in our own archive of a Solifugid from Idaho.

Letter 4 – Solifugid from Greece

 

Subject: Camel Spiders
Location: Northern Greece
September 1, 2012 6:09 am
Dear Sir,
congratulations for your amazing web site!
I have found this camel spider and I would like to know the scientific name of it.
Found in Northern Greece, altitude 350 m.
Thank you in advance.
Regars,
Medousa
Signature: Medousa

Solifugid

Dear Medousa,
Alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to identify this Solifugid or Camel Spider beyond the order Solifugae.

Letter 5 – Solifugid Carnage in Sedona

 

bug found in az resort in sedona
Location: sedona az
August 8, 2011 11:32 pm
Would like you to let me know what this bug is. Found about 6 of them in our resort room in sedona az this past weekend.
Signature: ? not sure what you mean

Solifugid Carnage

Dear not sure …,
We frequently get negative feedback when we plead for tolerance against the unnecessary carnage of stinging insects like Cicada Killers and Great Golden Digger Wasps, which theoretically might sting a person.  The justification we seem to always hear is that a person might die from an allergic reaction to a sting.  We are uncertain when so many people became deathly allergic to stings and we are beginning to believe that half of the [educated?] world is suffering from hysterical and imagined allergies.  When it comes to Solifugids, commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, there is no justification for the carnage.  It truly is unnecessary since Solifugids do not have any venom and they do not sting.  We suppose they might bite a person, but that would merely be a skin pinch that is unlikely to even draw blood.  The same harmlessness does not apply towards other arthropods with regards to the Solifugids.  They are vicious hunters and they will easily dispatch most insects and spiders that cross their paths.  They are fast and their jaws are quite formidably adapted to hunting.  According to Charles Hogue in his excellent book, Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “All of our species are nocturnal, wandering by night in search of the small invertebrate animals that are their prey.  They are extremely voracious carnivores and crush and tear captive organisms to shreds with their huge jaws.”  While we understand that prior to our response, you knew nothing of the potential danger that Solifugids might present, we hope that in the future you will let them wander about the resort so that they can feed on cockroaches and other night time foragers that may also be sharing your room.

Letter 6 – Solifugid from Zambia: Killed during ambush

 

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.

Letter 7 – Solifugid

 

Solifugid Question
Location: Laughlin AFB, TX
May 7, 2012 9:02 am
Hi Bugman!
My children found a Solifugid about two weeks ago, and while it scared me half to death, after doing some research on these crazy looking critters I realized what good bugs they are to have around. We have since ”adopted” it and my husband lovingly named it ”Ed”. We see much smaller versions all over out here in Del Rio, TX, our ”Ed” is pretty big. ”He” is about 2.5” long in the body. I was wondering how you tell a male from a female and what the lifespan is on these guys. The photos aren’t the greatest, I took them with my phone.
Signature: Renee

Solifugid

Hi Renee,
We have to confess that we don’t know anything about the longevity of Windscorpions as members of the order Solifugae are commonly called, nor do we know how to sex individuals.  BugGuide does not offer any information on either of those items, however, BugGuide does admit:  “The order is currently under revision” as well as “They lack venom, but the strong jaws may inflict a sharp bite in self-defense if handled. The most common species are quite small and can hardly be felt except for a slight “pinch”. Larger members (e.g., Eremorhax spp.) have been known to draw blood. Immediately disinfect the bite. ‘Solifugae are the subject of many urban legends and exaggerations about their size, speed, behavior, appetite, and lethality.’ (Wikipedia)”  We would urge you to handle Ed with extreme caution.  Though we generally don’t quote
Wikipedia, it does offer this information:  “Males are usually smaller than females, with relatively longer legs.[8] They also bear a pair of organs, one on each chelicera. The organs are called flagella, meaning whips, referring to their shape. In the accompanying photograph of a male Solifugid, one flagellum is just visible near the tip of each chelicera. The flagella sometimes are called horns, and bend back over the chelicerae. They are believed to have some sexual connection, but their function has not yet been clearly explained.[7]”  Based on that information, we suspect Ed might actually be Edwina.  Because you did not succumb to your fright with the typical smash reaction, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian award.

Thank you for the information!!  We have not actually handled “Ed/Edwina” with our hands because of the potential for a serious bite…I have seen what she is capable of!!  She is in a 5 gallon fish tank with sand and rocks until we get moved into a house…once there, we will set her free so she can feast on all of the resident bugs in that area 🙂  Thank you for giving us the humanitarian award, this little critter has grown on us all a little!
Renee

Additional Information forwarded by Liz
Reply to Renee’s questions on solifuges
May 9, 2012 3:24 pm
Hi Daniel,
I forwarded Renee’s questions to Paula Cushing at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since she studies solifuges. Her is her reply.
Liz

Dear Renee,
Ed certainly is a solifuge. These arachnids are in the arachnid order Solifugae. You can find out a lot of information about this group of arachnids from our NSF-funded website www.solpugid.com. The animal you have is a female. In North America solifuges are either in the family Eremobatidae or Ammotrechidae. The animal you have is an eremobatid. Although most male solifuges have distinctive flagella on their chelicerae, the flagellar complex on the chelicerae (jaws) of eremobatid males are pretty inconspicuous. However, in this family, you can tell males and females apart by the chelicerae themselves. Females and juveniles have distinctive teeth on both the upper (fixed finger) of the chelicerae as well a the lower (movable finger) whereas males eremobatids have teeth only on the lower movable finger. The upper fixed finger of the chelicerae is smooth and a bit longer and narrower than the analogous jaw of the female. Females also have hardened (sclerotized) chitinous plates
around their genital opening on the underside of the abdomen.
Solifuges are fairly aggressive and can give you a nip if you try to handle them. However, lacking venom, the worse they could do is scare the bejeezes out of you or give you a tiny cut.
To keep these animals in captivity is a huge challenge. They are voracious predators and they REALLY do not like captivity. Your best bet is to put the solifuge in a box/jar/container half filled with sand (they are burrowers). Then crumple up paper towels and put on top of the sand. This gives the solifuge lots of places to hide. They do not seem to take to open soil very well. Keep them well fed with crickets or other small insects (not ants). Add a few droplets of moisture now and then but do not keep the container too wet.
My lab is very involved in research on these animals and I’d be interested in receiving solifuges with good collecting data (date collected, collecting location, and name of collector). Solifuges can be sent alive to my lab. For more information about these beasts feel free to contact me or check out my website.
Paula E. Cushing, Ph.D.
Curator of Invertebrate Zoology
Paula.Cushing@dmns.org
Work  303.370.6442
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO  80205       Fax 303.331.6492
http://www.dmns.org/science/museum-scientists/paula-cushing
http://spiders.dmns.org/default.aspx

Letter 8 – Solifugid

 

Subject: 10 appendages
Location: south Texas, Laredo
April 23, 2013 6:40 pm
This is an odd looking spider ? Comes out at night, fast ground runner and aggressive when cornered. About a inch and a half long.
Signature: C. Ritchie

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear C. Ritchie,
Though these creatures are sometimes called Wind Scorpions or Sun Spiders, they are in their own Arachnid order Solifugae, so Solifugid is a more correct common name.  In some parts of their range, they are called Sand Puppies.  Though they are related to both spiders and scorpions, Solifugids do not have venom, so they are harmless, though the bite of a large Solifugid might draw blood.  In the Middle East where they are known as Camel Spiders, they grow much larger than they do in North America, and despite the numerous myths associated with they, they are nonetheless not dangerous creatures.  As your email indicates, they are nocturnal and they are hunters that will quickly dispatch much larger prey.  We receive many photos of dead Solifugids because they appear so frightening.  See BugGuide for additonal information.

Letter 9 – Possibly Teddy-Bear Solifugid from Namibia

 

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

Letter 10 – Solifugid

 

What in the world is this???
Location: Arizona
April 13, 2011 10:53 pm
I found this critter just inside our front door. We live in Arizona, so at first I though it was a baby scorpion. Upon closer inspection, I realized that there was no stinger. It’s about 3/4 of an inch long and seems to either have 8 legs and a pair of antennae or 6 legs, a pair of antennae and a pair of feelers. My daughters are totally grossed out and hope there are no more in the house. Help!!!
Signature: Kids Are Freaking Out

Solifugid

Dear Kids Are Freaking Out,
This is a Solifugid, and though they are commonly called both Sun Spiders and Wind Scorpions, unlike their distant relatives spider and scorpions, they do not possess venom.  They are nonetheless magnificent hunters.  Your kids have nothing to fear from this diminutive species, though if carelessly handled, it is entirely possible that they might bite.

Letter 11 – Solifugid

 

Some Kind of Spider Thing
Location: Colorado Springs
July 8, 2011 11:10 pm
This little guy scared us something scary tonight! Have no idea what it is.
Signature: Sincerely, Me

Solifugid

Though they are scary looking, Solifugids, commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, are not dangerous because they have no venom, either in fangs or stingers.  They are adept nocturnal hunters that will keep the Cockroach population in control.  It is possible that larger Solifugids might bite, though that would only happen if they were carelessly handled.

Letter 12 – Solifugid

 

Subject: What’s this bug??
Location: North Dakota
October 10, 2013 8:42 pm
Found this in the bathroom and another today. Any idea what this is?
Thanks for the help!
Signature: does not matter

Solifugid
Solifugid

Hi does not matter,
This is a Solifugid, a member of one of the Arachnid orders, which means it is classified along with venomous spiders and scorpions, however, Solifugids do not have venom, so they are harmless to humans, though large Solifugids from the Middle East, which are commonly called Camel Spiders, might deliver a painful bite.  Solifugids are sometimes called Sun Spider or Wind Scorpions.

Letter 13 – Solifugid

 

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.

Letter 14 – Solifugid

 

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.

Letter 15 – Solifugid

 

Subject: What is this ??
Location: Escalon ca
July 23, 2015 9:31 pm
We live in Escalon California, walked into our bathroom and found this!!!
Signature: Manuel Freitas

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Manuel,
This is a predatory Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  Though classified as an Arachnid along with scorpions and spiders, Solifugids lack venom, so they are not considered dangerous to humans, though large individuals are capable of biting.

Letter 16 – Solifugid

 

Subject: What type of critter is this?
Location: South California dessert-Imperial Valley
August 21, 2015 12:27 pm
Hello from the Imperial Valley’s dessert area of southern California. Brawley CA to be exact. My name is Al and I would like to know if you can please help in identifying this critter. My 5 year old daughter found it while we were walking at the park one night. I have seen a couple of scorpions crawling here and there but I don’t believe I have ever seen this type of critter before. Your response will be appreciated. Thank you.
Signature: Al

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Al,
This fierce predator is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but unlike its venomous Arachnid relatives, the Solifugid does not have a venomous bite or sting.  A large Solifugid might give a person a painful bite if it is carelessly handled, but despite that, it is considered harmless.

Thank you very much Mr.Marlos for responding ! And a very quick response indeed. Yes like I wrote earlier my 5 year old daughter was the one to see it first. She will be starting kinder next month and this will be one of her first lesson in the crawling critters world. I will explain to her your expert response. I have encountered a couple of scorpions in two different ocassions at this particular park this past year. I have just let them go their way. This park is near a river with fields all around. The color of these two scorpions were yellowish/tan, about 4 to 5 inches long. I did a little research but still do not know what species they are. A bark scorpion maybe? Again thank you very much for your help in identifying this critter. I have saved your link to show my son and daughter .

Letter 17 – Solifugid

 

Subject: Please help with this giant ant/spider look-a-like.
Location: San Diego, CA
November 20, 2015 7:44 pm
Hello,
I am stumped with this bug and saw it for the first time in early spring in Southern California and just and now again at the end of fall. I’ve seen smaller versions which were hairy that looked like a small tarantula mixed with an ant, which made me think it was some type of velvet ant. It moves very fast and looks similar to a pseudoscorpion. The one pictured is the largest I have seen and has two very small eyes on top of its head, and crawled out from underneath my house. Thanks in advance for any help.
Signature: Stumped

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Stumped,
This is a predatory Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but unlike its Arachnid namesakes, the Solifugid lacks venom, so it is not considered dangerous to humans.  They do have strong mandibles and we would not recommend handling larger individuals which are capable of biting.

Letter 18 – Solifugid

 

Subject: What is this?
Location: Walnut Creek california
May 14, 2016 12:16 am
Found in California. Never seen any spider like this.
Signature: John

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear John,
This Arachnid is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, and though it is distantly related to both Spiders and Scorpions, it is classified in a different order.  Solifugids do not possess venom, and even though they are very adept predators, they pose no threat to humans.

Letter 19 – Solifugid

 

Subject: First time we have seen this!
Location: Southeast Idaho
October 8, 2016 1:31 pm
Hey bugman! This has been a year of first bugs for us in our neck of the woods. We had a beetle you identified for us earlier in the summer, and now we have discovered several of these in our home. Any help??
Signature: Christine

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Christine,
This is a Solifugid, a member of order Solifugae, a group whose members are frequently called Windscorpions or Sun Spiders.  Here is a very similar looking individual from BugGuide.  While Solifugids, Scorpions and Spiders are all classified together as Arachnids in the same taxonomic class, Solifugids differ from both Scorpions and Spiders in that they do not have any venom, but they are still fierce predators that will help keep your home and property free of other, less desirable, and potentially dangerous creatures.
It is worth noting that Solifugids from the Middle East are called Camel Spiders and they are much larger than our North American species, and though they do not have venom, they can still deliver a painful bite.  Many years ago we posted an image of two Camel Spiders that was widely circulated on the internet that caused much hysteria.

Letter 20 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  Potato bug with pinchers?
Geographic location of the bug:  California, santa barbara
Date: 06/21/2018
Time: 01:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman!
We’ve been seeing these bugs around the house. Like a cross between a scorpion and a potato bug. Not slow and sluggish like a PB, it has pinchers and goes into attack mode if you come near.
Should we be afraid?  Are bugs cross breeding now?
Thanks for your help in IDing these “buggers”.
How you want your letter signed:  Deligrrl

Wind Scorpion

Dear Deligrrl,
This is a Solifugid, an Arachnid in the order Solifugae, and your observation that it resembles a Scorpion is due to both being classified as Arachnids.  Solifugids do resemble Potato Bugs.  Solifugids are commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, though they are truly neither.  Additionally, though Spiders and Scorpions are both venomous, Solifugids have no venom and they pose no threat to humans.  They are fierce predators that will eat, tearing apart their prey with their strong mandibles, most anything up to and possible even larger than their own size.  Middle Eastern Solifugids are much larger in size and they are commonly called Camel Spiders.

Oh my goodness that was fast!
Thank you so much for your help identifying this bug which is a spider.  Maybe it’s trying to eat the mice we keep catching in our car port!  We’ve lived here for 20 years and they only just started showing up.
Thanks again, and have a great weekend.

You are welcome, but you misunderstood.  Solifugids are Arachnids, but they are neither Scorpions nor Spiders.  They are classified in a different order.

Letter 21 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  What kind of bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Utah
Date: 09/03/2018
Time: 11:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We have no idea what kind of bug this is we found in our living room last night
How you want your letter signed:  Ben

Solifugid

Dear Ben,
This beneficial, predatory Solifugid lacks venom, so it is no danger to humans nor pets, though a large individual with powerful mandibles might nip at any perceived threats.

Letter 22 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 10/03/2018
Time: 11:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  The cat was playing with this bug in the hallway. Can you help me identify it please? Are they poisonous?
How you want your letter signed:  Afraid to walk in the dark

Solifugid

Dear Afraid to walk in the dark,
This is a predatory Solifugid, sometimes called a Sun Spider or Wind Scoripion, but unlike its venomous relatives, the Solifugid is venomless, meaning it is no threat to you or your cat.  We should caution you that they have strong mandibles, and they might bite if carelessly handled.

Letter 23 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  Strange Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Big Bear City, CA
Date: 10/23/2019
Time: 01:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in house, while moving boxes. Put it in a slick glass to take photos. It looked mostly black with brownish legs and big angled antennae. Small pinchers on face.
Good climber, so I rubbed orange oil around inside top of glass to confine it. Hope there aren’t more.
How you want your letter signed:  Betty Arnold

Solifugid

Dear Betty,
This fascinating creature is a harmless, predatory Solifugid, a type of Arachnid.  What you have mistaken for antennae are actually pedipalps.  Solifugids are considered harmless to humans because unlike other venomous Arachnids like Spiders and Scorpions, Solifugids have no venom.  They do have powerful mandibles and they might bite if carelessly handled.

Thank you for your quick reply. I was uneasy about thinking that one would crawl over me as I slept last night. Thanks for your quick reply.
Betty

Letter 24 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  Is this guy on record yet?
Geographic location of the bug:  West Texas
Date: 08/14/2021
Time: 09:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I looked up venigarone, and did not find any pictures of this guy.
How you want your letter signed:  Kenneth Peeples

Solifugid

Dear Kenneth,
This is not a Vinegaroon.  It is a predatory Solifugid, sometimes called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but unlike both Spiders and Scorpions, Solifugids have no venom and pose no threat to humans, though large individuals including Camel Spiders from the Middle East, might deliver a painful bite that draws blood.  The much smaller North American Solifugids pose no threat to humans.

Letter 25 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  Bug Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Idaho, USA
Date: 09/22/2021
Time: 04:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug on the garage floor and have never seen anything like it.  It’s about 1 inch from mouth to rear.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks!

Solifugid

This is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  Though related to both Spiders and Scorpions, Solifugids lack venom and though they are predators, they are not considered dangerous to humans.

Letter 26 – Solifugid from Botswana

 

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.

Letter 27 – Solifugid Carnage

 

Subject: Bug Carnage
Location: North-central Montana near Havre
August 24, 2012 8:50 pm
Stepped on this scary-looking critter in my bedroom in North-central Montana this August. I’m sure I’ve seen those frightening mandibles somewhere before.
Signature: Sandra R

Solifugid Carnage

Hi Sandra,
Thank you for recognizing that this is carnage.  Though it was frightening looking, this Solifugid was perfectly harmless to you because of its small size as well as its lack of venom.  Unlike other arachnids like spiders and scorpions, Solifugids, which are commonly called both Sun Spider or Winds Scorpions and Camel Spiders in the Middle East, lack any venomous fangs or stingers.  If Solifugids were larger, like the size of a German Shepherd as one Desert Storm veteran pointed out in a largely exaggerated account in our archives, they would pose a threat.  Interestingly, they have never, to the best of our knowledge, been the subjects of a horror film, though many of their characteristics can be seen in CGA movie monsters.
  The mandibles are able to open in all directions, as this photo from our archive demonstrates.

Horror Movie Camel Spider
Subject: Horror Movie “Camel Spiders”
August 27, 2012 1:08 am
Here’s the IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1618372/  A friend of mine saw the movie and he said it was horrible.
Signature: Jim

Thanks Jim,
The tagline for the movie is sensational.  It reads “Based on actual creatures that for years have tormented our armed forces in the Middle East, these creatures have now invaded the southwestern deserts of the United States.”
   We imagine that many of our service personnel have been horrified upon first viewing the large Solifugids from the Middle East, known as Camel Spiders, which are reported to have a leg span of five inches or more.   Camel Spiders might have mandibles big enough to bite the careless handler, but they are still lacking in venom, hence they are basically harmless to people.  They are formidable predators, however, and anything small enough to be captured will most likely be eaten in a most gory manner.

Letter 28 – Solifugid Carnage

 

Subject:  What bug is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Borrego Springs
Date: 09/09/2021
Time: 11:16 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I am house/pet sitting in this area which I’m fairly new to. This bug was inside the house.
How you want your letter signed:  Babs

Solifugid

Dear Babs,
This is a predatory Solifugid and it appears dead with its guts showing indicating it was likely squashed.  Solifugids do not have venom or poison, so they pose no threat to humans.  It is possible to get bitten and a large individual might draw blood, but again, they pose no threat to humans.

Letter 29 – Solifugid Carnage in San Diego

 

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.

Letter 30 – Solifugid drowned in Key West

 

scary bug found in shower
Location: Key West
February 17, 2011 11:31 am
Help me bros, this bug scared the bejeezus out of me this morning! I was taking a shower all calm and that’s where I found it. Luckly I was already in the shower or I would’ve messed my pants!!!
It was able to walk up tile and walls until condensation formed and it couldn’t climb no more. Drowned itself in shower water.
Has antennas, 6/8 legs. And a little over 1/2” long.
Please tell me was this nightmare is?!?!?!?!?!
Signature: Thanks bros, Key West Kenny

Solifugid drowned in shower

Dear Key West Kenny,
You encountered a harmless Solifugid which lacks venom of any sort despite its common names of Sun Spider and Wind Scorpion.  We were not aware that Solifugids were found in Florida as we think of them as being desert species, but BugGuide substantiates that they have been reported in Florida.  Solifugids are Arachnids like Spiders and Scorpions, but while Spiders and Scorpions both have venom, the frightening Solifugid lacks the means to poison either its prey or its predators.  That said, they are formidable hunters.  We are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage because its drowning was avoidable.  If you think this little creature is a nightmare, you should check out its massive Middle Eastern relative known as a Camel Spider.  The Camel Spider image we have in our archives went viral on the internet several years ago and there is much web chatter including a considerable amount of misinformation regarding the danger it poses to humans and camels.

Letter 31 – Solifugid Eats Cricket in South Africa

 

Solifugae spotted in the Waterberg
Location: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa
January 16, 2011 10:25 am
Hi WTB
Spotted this little guy having a meal while hiking in the Waterberg this December, South Africa. We spent quite some time watching him literally devour his meal.
Signature: TwistedLizzard

Solifugid Eats Cricket

Dear TwistedLizzard,
Thank you for sending us these marvelous Food Chain images of a Solifugid eating a Cricket.

Solifugid Eats Cricket

Letter 32 – Solifugid from Canada

 

weird spider scorpion thingy :S
Location: Canada, house
March 7, 2011 12:21 am
i was working in the bathroom today removing old grout, and on a piece of sticky tack, i found what i think were spiders (3)…. they had 6 legs and 2 pincers similar to a scorpion or i guess a crab it was idn about 1/8 of an inch and brown obv they were dead n had been there for some time, but i have seen them in my house alive before
what is it?? and should i be concerned
Signature: The Frannuman

Solifugid

Dear Frannuman,
Most of the North American reports of Solifugids, commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, that we receive come from the arid Southwest.  BugGuide indicates sightings from British Columbia.  Solifugids are fierce predators, but since they do not contain venom, they are not considered to be dangerous to humans, though we imagine they might produce a painful bite if carelessly handled.

Letter 33 – Solifugid from India

 

Subject:  i wish to know what bug this is
Geographic location of the bug:  new delhi, India
Date: 10/01/2017
Time: 10:02 AM EDT
Hey there. I have seen this unusal bug for the first time today and i am quite intrigued by its behaviour. It behaves like a scorpion by raising its hind parts and usig the front two claw like things. I would like to know which species this bug is. Thank You for the help.
How you want your letter signed:  Revanth

Solifugid

Dear Revanth,
Commonly called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion, this Solifugid is a non-venomous relative of both Spiders and Scorpions that is classified in the order Solifugae.  Your individual looks very different from North American Solifugids.  We found a similar looking individual from India, that is not identified beyond the order level, on the Animal Photo Album site.

Solifugid

Letter 34 – Solifugid from Nicaragua

 

Subject: Solifugid in Nicaragua
Location: Leon, Nicaragua
June 19, 2013 8:48 pm
Hello good people at What’s That Bug?
Jay from San Francisco here again (last year I submitted a photo in August of a neon orange colored Lubber Grasshopper from Ometepe Island in Nicaragua). I’m back in Nicaragua again and I was in my kitchen in Leon when i spotted this 3/4” bug that appears to be a Solifugid of some sort sitting on the sink counter top. I perhaps have answered my own question by identifying it as a Solifugid (looks like a tiny camel spider), but i’m a stickler for species specific identification and would appreciate any help WTB staff can offer (as i tried to identify it on my own with no success). What I know about it in the 5 minutes i observed it is that it was first sitting in the dark (shortly after dusk) and was incredibly still, until an ant bumped it from the rear and it took off at lightning speed. This pic was shot on a Samsung S4 on Jun 19th, 2013. There are many awesome insects in Nicaragua that I hope to be sharing with your staff soon (I know your staff rece ive many requests, so I will limit it to the insects that truly stand out to me). Thank you once again!
Signature: Jay from San Francisco

Solifugid from Nicaragua
Solifugid from Nicaragua

Hi Jay,
Thank you for contributing to our archive of creatures from Nicaragua.  Alas, we are unable to assist with a species identification on this Solifugid.  Even with BugGuide, we are unable to identify North American Solifugids to the species level.  Please include the location Nicaragua in your future submissions.  Summer is an especially heavy submission time and we don’t want to miss your future documentations.

Letter 35 – Solifugid from Niger

 

Subject:  Weird spider scorpion
Geographic location of the bug:  Niger
Date: 07/21/2018
Time: 03:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this on our aircraft and have been flying around central Africa.  This one we’ve never seen before and are interested in finding out what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Chelsea

Solifugid

Dear Chelsea,
This is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion, though it is neither a Spider nor a Scorpion.  It is an Arachnid, and unlike its venomous relatives, Spiders and Scorpions, the Solifugids do not have venom nor poison.  They do have powerful mandibles and a large individual might inflict a painful bite.  Large Solifugids in the Middle East are commonly called Camel Spiders.

Letter 36 – Solifugid from Panama

 

Subject:  ? Spider/scorpion ? Or what
Geographic location of the bug:  Panama, western highlands
Date: 01/08/2019
Time: 09:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  First looked like scorpion, which we have here, was moving 2 pinchers which were short and flush with head, but had long torso, more like a bee? 4 legs on each side plus long feeler type front legs. Total lenght maybe 1 1/2 inches.
How you want your letter signed:  Confused

Solifugid

Dear Confused,
You do not seem confused to us at all.  What you described as a “? Spider/scorpion ? Or what” is a Solifugid, a non-venomous Arachnid that is related to both Spiders and Scorpions, but lacking a venomous bite or sting.  Solifugids are sometimes called Wind Scorpions or Sun Spiders.  We frequently get identification requests from the Southwestern parts of North America.  Middle Eastern Solifugids are much larger in size, are commonly called Camel Spiders and were the result of some internet hysteria several years ago.

Wow!
Thank you so much for the info and for responding. We have lots of bugs here in the highland sof Panama and I find them intriquing and fun.
This one was different as it was on my pillow.
No longer confused.
Nancy

Letter 37 – Solifugid from Sudan

 

Subject: whats that bug
Location: sudan
April 3, 2015 1:50 pm
i found this one at my house and i want to know what does it called.
Signature: M. hider

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear M. hider,
This is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion.  Though it is an Arachnid, unlike both Spiders and Scorpions, the Solifugid does not have venom, and though its jaws are capable of a painful bite, it is not considered dangerous.  The body on your individual is longer and less streamlined than most individuals we have seen.  Species found in the Middle East grow quite large and they can run quickly, earning them the common name Camel Spider, and there is much false information about Camel Spiders on the internet.

Letter 38 – Solifugid from Tanzania

 

Subject:  Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Tanzania
Date: 03/05/2018
Time: 09:23 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a camel spider?
How you want your letter signed:  Rebecca Jackson

Solifugid

Dear Rebecca,
Camel Spider is a common name used in the Middle East for a member of the order Solifugae.  Other common names are Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, though Solifugids are neither true spiders or scorpions, nor are they venomous. 

Letter 39 – Solifugid from United Arab Emirates

 

Subject: Very unusual
Location: Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
September 4, 2015 4:30 am
This insect is very odd, is it a spider?
Signature: Gavin

Solifugid
Solifugid

Hi Gavin,
Though it is common called a Sun Spider in North America and a Camel Spider in the Middle East, this Arachnid is not a true spider, but a Solifugid, a member of the order Solifugae.  Though formidable predators, they are not dangerous to humans as they do not have venom.

 

Letter 40 – Teddy Bear Solifugid from Kenya

 

Subject: Solifugid ID
Location: Dorob National Park, Namibia
October 7, 2015 1:43 pm
Habitat: Dry riverbed in rocky gorge, near Messum crater
Weather: Dry Arid
Time: Daylight
Size: 3-5cm
Observation: It was seen moving about the rocks and sand. Once it sensed danger it burrowed itself beneath the sand.
I believe I have narrowed down this solfugid to the Hexisopodidae family. I am leaning towards Hexisopus genus over Chelypus genus based on the absence of of well-developed spines on the pedipalps but am not confident I can I can tell based on my photos.
Any help on narrowing down identification or tidbits on natural history would be much appreciated. This was such a neat find!
Signature: Michael Kent

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Michael,
This is the strangest looking Solifugid we have ever had submitted to us.  Its legs are so compact, it most likely does not run as quickly as other members of the order Solifugae.  Your observations that it buried itself in the sand are quite interesting, and that might be an adaptation to not being able to run quickly.  Alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to determine a more specific identity, and it sounds like your own research was quite thorough.  We will be posting all of your wonderful images and perhaps an Arachnologist will see the posting and be able to contribute a future comment.  Are there any Solifugologists out there???  As a side note, we appreciate your naming convention for the digital files.  All we had to do was add you name to the file name you provided to maintain our own naming convention.

Solifugid
Solifugid
Solifugid
Solifugid

Update:  November 22, 2019
See this great article that includes Michael Kent’s images and observations on Arthropod Ecology where it states:  “More chelicera than cephalothorax, the Solifugae or ‘those who flee from the sun’ look like a reckless arachnid bulldozer that could star in Mad Max. Otherwise known (incorrectly!) as camel spiders, whip scorpions, and my personal favourite baarskeerders (Afrikaans for beard cutters), solifugids are often one of the dominant arthropod predators in arid ecosystems. They ruthlessly chase, hunt, stalk, and scavenge using their leg-lengthed pedipalps to snatch prey while using their jaw-like chelicera and digestive juices to masticate their invertebrate and small vertebrate victims to a pulp.”

Letter 41 – Solifugid from South Africa

 

Subject: Citrusdal, Çape town, south africa
Location: Citrusdal south africa
December 30, 2016 11:03 pm
Hi. Got home and this guy came with. Just wondering if he’s dangerous as we go to the same spot annually !!
Signature: Steven

Solifugid

Dear Steven,
This Solifugid is commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion in parts of North America, where our native individuals are much smaller than African or Middle Eastern individuals.  Like spiders and scorpions, Solifugids are Arachnids, but unlike their venomous relatives, Solifugids do not contain venom or poison, but they do have powerful mandibles that can draw blood if a bite occurs.  Large Middle Eastern Solifugids are known as Camel SpidersISpot uses the common name Roman on several of its postings.

Letter 42 – Solifugids spared Vacuum Cleaner in the future

 

Sun spiders
July 9, 2011 10:53 pm
Thank you for your website! I may be able to sleep tonight since finding the picture of the insects that completely creeped me out  for the last couple of nights. And, they would thank you if they could type because I promise I will stop vacuuming them ASAP. A friend told me they were “earth babies” but although I looked at every potato bug pic on the site, they just weren’t a match. For some reason I clicked on Solpiguds (because they look exactly like that word sounds!) and there they were! Thx again!
Signature: KYMBERLIE DREYER

Solifugid

Hi Kymberlie,
We dug up an especially frightening photo of a Solifugid (newer accepted spelling) to illustrate your comment.  Though they look frightening, Solifugids do not have venom despite having common names that reference other venomous arachnids like Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  Since they are adept nocturnal hunters, they will help keep the home free of unwanted guests like Cockroaches.

Letter 43 – Solifugud

 

Subject: Don’t know if this bug is dangerous
Location: Burbank CA
May 2, 2017 8:13 am
Hi
I live in Southern California and found this big on my balcony. Would like to know what kind of spider it is and is it dangerous. I have a two year old son who likes to play on that balcony. I don’t want him or is for that matter to get bitten by dangerous spider.
Thanks
Signature: Andrew Warzocha

Solifugid

Dear Andrew,
This predatory Arachnid is a Solifugid, and it is commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but that should not be of any concern for you.  Though both Spiders and Scorpions are venomous, Solifugids do not.  They do have strong mandibles that are used to crush prey, and a large Solifugid might bite a person who carelessly handled it, but our North American Solifugids do not pose any threat to humans.  Solifugids from the Middle East are commonly called Camel Spiders.  They are considerably larger and a bite might cause some concern.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Solifugid from South Africa or Haarskeerder

 

Subject: Beetle or Spider?
Location: Magaliesburg mountain range, South Africa
January 14, 2013 4:34 pm
We found it in the middle of an open grassland on our hike in October. October is a Spring month in the Southern hemisphere
Signature: Emer Mae Butler

Solifugid or Haarskeerder

Dear Emer,
This is neither a beetle nor a spider.  It is a Solifugid, a member of the order Solifugae.  The Solifugae like spiders and scorpions are classified as Arachnids, however the Solifugids do not have venom, so they are not dangerous to humans, but they do have strong jaws that might inflict a painful bite.  The Agricultural Research Council has an extensive page on Solifugids of South Africa.  That site lists common names like Sun Spider, Wind Spider, “‘jaag’ or ‘jag spinnekop’ (wandering spiders), … romans, derived from the word ‘rooiman’ (red man) and ‘vetvreters’ (fat eaters). This is due to their feeding behaviour to gorge on available food, so much so that they can hardly move afterwards.”  Perhaps the best is this citation:  “Probably the most common name used throughout the country is ‘haarskeerders’ (hair cutters) or ‘baardskeerders’ (beard cutters). This is based on the belief that should a solifugid become entangled in a girl’s long hair, it will cut its way free. However, no scientific evidence exists to support this notion. Other speculations are that the hair is cut by females of some species to use as lining for their retreats. Some evidence for the latter has been found.” 

Letter 2 – Solifugid found in Shower

 

Subject: Insect found in shower
Location: Laredo TX (South Texas)
June 20, 2012 8:49 am
We found this bug in our shower this morning.
Signature: David Menchaca

Solifugid

Hi David,
We are going to surmise that since they can move so rapidly, this Solifugid, which you photographed on some crumbled paper and held, is no longer living.  We are also going to surmise, and please correct us if we are wrong, that it met an untimely death at human hands, so we are tagging it as Unnecessary Carnage.  Though they look quite fearsome, Solifugids are not harmful to humans since they have no venom despite being classed as Arachnids, a class that includes Scorpions and Spiders, both of which are venomous.  Solifugids are beneficial predators that will quickly dispatch and eat any cockroaches or other undesirable insects in the vicinity.  Solifugids are adept hunters and we should be thankful they are small creatures.  If they grew to the size of dogs, we might have something to fear.  In the Middle East where Solifugids grow to about five inches in length, they are known as Camel Spiders.  There are many Camel Spider myths on the internet.

Ed. Note:  We apologize for jumping to conclusions.  We are happy to learn that this Solifugid survived.

We didn’t kill it…it stop moving for a while…but once we took it outside…it started walking away towards plants…thanks for your fast response…and all your information!

Letter 3 – Solifugid from Idaho

 

Subject:  What bug is this???
Geographic location of the bug:  South East Idaho
Date: 08/14/2018
Time: 03:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We saw this crawling across our floor last night.  We have never seen this bug in our area. I’ve lived here 55 years.  Is it dangerous?  We have a baby crawling at home.
How you want your letter signed:  Freaked out Grandma

Solifugid

Dear Freaked out Grandma,
This is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  It is an Arachnid, but unlike Spiders and Scorpions, it lacks venom so it is harmless, though a large individual might deliver a painful bite.  Middle Eastern members of the order are much larger and are called Camel Spiders.  According to BugGuide, they are reported from Idaho and we have reports in our own archive of a Solifugid from Idaho.

Letter 4 – Solifugid from Greece

 

Subject: Camel Spiders
Location: Northern Greece
September 1, 2012 6:09 am
Dear Sir,
congratulations for your amazing web site!
I have found this camel spider and I would like to know the scientific name of it.
Found in Northern Greece, altitude 350 m.
Thank you in advance.
Regars,
Medousa
Signature: Medousa

Solifugid

Dear Medousa,
Alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to identify this Solifugid or Camel Spider beyond the order Solifugae.

Letter 5 – Solifugid Carnage in Sedona

 

bug found in az resort in sedona
Location: sedona az
August 8, 2011 11:32 pm
Would like you to let me know what this bug is. Found about 6 of them in our resort room in sedona az this past weekend.
Signature: ? not sure what you mean

Solifugid Carnage

Dear not sure …,
We frequently get negative feedback when we plead for tolerance against the unnecessary carnage of stinging insects like Cicada Killers and Great Golden Digger Wasps, which theoretically might sting a person.  The justification we seem to always hear is that a person might die from an allergic reaction to a sting.  We are uncertain when so many people became deathly allergic to stings and we are beginning to believe that half of the [educated?] world is suffering from hysterical and imagined allergies.  When it comes to Solifugids, commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, there is no justification for the carnage.  It truly is unnecessary since Solifugids do not have any venom and they do not sting.  We suppose they might bite a person, but that would merely be a skin pinch that is unlikely to even draw blood.  The same harmlessness does not apply towards other arthropods with regards to the Solifugids.  They are vicious hunters and they will easily dispatch most insects and spiders that cross their paths.  They are fast and their jaws are quite formidably adapted to hunting.  According to Charles Hogue in his excellent book, Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “All of our species are nocturnal, wandering by night in search of the small invertebrate animals that are their prey.  They are extremely voracious carnivores and crush and tear captive organisms to shreds with their huge jaws.”  While we understand that prior to our response, you knew nothing of the potential danger that Solifugids might present, we hope that in the future you will let them wander about the resort so that they can feed on cockroaches and other night time foragers that may also be sharing your room.

Letter 6 – Solifugid from Zambia: Killed during ambush

 

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.

Letter 7 – Solifugid

 

Solifugid Question
Location: Laughlin AFB, TX
May 7, 2012 9:02 am
Hi Bugman!
My children found a Solifugid about two weeks ago, and while it scared me half to death, after doing some research on these crazy looking critters I realized what good bugs they are to have around. We have since ”adopted” it and my husband lovingly named it ”Ed”. We see much smaller versions all over out here in Del Rio, TX, our ”Ed” is pretty big. ”He” is about 2.5” long in the body. I was wondering how you tell a male from a female and what the lifespan is on these guys. The photos aren’t the greatest, I took them with my phone.
Signature: Renee

Solifugid

Hi Renee,
We have to confess that we don’t know anything about the longevity of Windscorpions as members of the order Solifugae are commonly called, nor do we know how to sex individuals.  BugGuide does not offer any information on either of those items, however, BugGuide does admit:  “The order is currently under revision” as well as “They lack venom, but the strong jaws may inflict a sharp bite in self-defense if handled. The most common species are quite small and can hardly be felt except for a slight “pinch”. Larger members (e.g., Eremorhax spp.) have been known to draw blood. Immediately disinfect the bite. ‘Solifugae are the subject of many urban legends and exaggerations about their size, speed, behavior, appetite, and lethality.’ (Wikipedia)”  We would urge you to handle Ed with extreme caution.  Though we generally don’t quote
Wikipedia, it does offer this information:  “Males are usually smaller than females, with relatively longer legs.[8] They also bear a pair of organs, one on each chelicera. The organs are called flagella, meaning whips, referring to their shape. In the accompanying photograph of a male Solifugid, one flagellum is just visible near the tip of each chelicera. The flagella sometimes are called horns, and bend back over the chelicerae. They are believed to have some sexual connection, but their function has not yet been clearly explained.[7]”  Based on that information, we suspect Ed might actually be Edwina.  Because you did not succumb to your fright with the typical smash reaction, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian award.

Thank you for the information!!  We have not actually handled “Ed/Edwina” with our hands because of the potential for a serious bite…I have seen what she is capable of!!  She is in a 5 gallon fish tank with sand and rocks until we get moved into a house…once there, we will set her free so she can feast on all of the resident bugs in that area 🙂  Thank you for giving us the humanitarian award, this little critter has grown on us all a little!
Renee

Additional Information forwarded by Liz
Reply to Renee’s questions on solifuges
May 9, 2012 3:24 pm
Hi Daniel,
I forwarded Renee’s questions to Paula Cushing at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since she studies solifuges. Her is her reply.
Liz

Dear Renee,
Ed certainly is a solifuge. These arachnids are in the arachnid order Solifugae. You can find out a lot of information about this group of arachnids from our NSF-funded website www.solpugid.com. The animal you have is a female. In North America solifuges are either in the family Eremobatidae or Ammotrechidae. The animal you have is an eremobatid. Although most male solifuges have distinctive flagella on their chelicerae, the flagellar complex on the chelicerae (jaws) of eremobatid males are pretty inconspicuous. However, in this family, you can tell males and females apart by the chelicerae themselves. Females and juveniles have distinctive teeth on both the upper (fixed finger) of the chelicerae as well a the lower (movable finger) whereas males eremobatids have teeth only on the lower movable finger. The upper fixed finger of the chelicerae is smooth and a bit longer and narrower than the analogous jaw of the female. Females also have hardened (sclerotized) chitinous plates
around their genital opening on the underside of the abdomen.
Solifuges are fairly aggressive and can give you a nip if you try to handle them. However, lacking venom, the worse they could do is scare the bejeezes out of you or give you a tiny cut.
To keep these animals in captivity is a huge challenge. They are voracious predators and they REALLY do not like captivity. Your best bet is to put the solifuge in a box/jar/container half filled with sand (they are burrowers). Then crumple up paper towels and put on top of the sand. This gives the solifuge lots of places to hide. They do not seem to take to open soil very well. Keep them well fed with crickets or other small insects (not ants). Add a few droplets of moisture now and then but do not keep the container too wet.
My lab is very involved in research on these animals and I’d be interested in receiving solifuges with good collecting data (date collected, collecting location, and name of collector). Solifuges can be sent alive to my lab. For more information about these beasts feel free to contact me or check out my website.
Paula E. Cushing, Ph.D.
Curator of Invertebrate Zoology
Paula.Cushing@dmns.org
Work  303.370.6442
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO  80205       Fax 303.331.6492
http://www.dmns.org/science/museum-scientists/paula-cushing
http://spiders.dmns.org/default.aspx

Letter 8 – Solifugid

 

Subject: 10 appendages
Location: south Texas, Laredo
April 23, 2013 6:40 pm
This is an odd looking spider ? Comes out at night, fast ground runner and aggressive when cornered. About a inch and a half long.
Signature: C. Ritchie

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear C. Ritchie,
Though these creatures are sometimes called Wind Scorpions or Sun Spiders, they are in their own Arachnid order Solifugae, so Solifugid is a more correct common name.  In some parts of their range, they are called Sand Puppies.  Though they are related to both spiders and scorpions, Solifugids do not have venom, so they are harmless, though the bite of a large Solifugid might draw blood.  In the Middle East where they are known as Camel Spiders, they grow much larger than they do in North America, and despite the numerous myths associated with they, they are nonetheless not dangerous creatures.  As your email indicates, they are nocturnal and they are hunters that will quickly dispatch much larger prey.  We receive many photos of dead Solifugids because they appear so frightening.  See BugGuide for additonal information.

Letter 9 – Possibly Teddy-Bear Solifugid from Namibia

 

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

Letter 10 – Solifugid

 

What in the world is this???
Location: Arizona
April 13, 2011 10:53 pm
I found this critter just inside our front door. We live in Arizona, so at first I though it was a baby scorpion. Upon closer inspection, I realized that there was no stinger. It’s about 3/4 of an inch long and seems to either have 8 legs and a pair of antennae or 6 legs, a pair of antennae and a pair of feelers. My daughters are totally grossed out and hope there are no more in the house. Help!!!
Signature: Kids Are Freaking Out

Solifugid

Dear Kids Are Freaking Out,
This is a Solifugid, and though they are commonly called both Sun Spiders and Wind Scorpions, unlike their distant relatives spider and scorpions, they do not possess venom.  They are nonetheless magnificent hunters.  Your kids have nothing to fear from this diminutive species, though if carelessly handled, it is entirely possible that they might bite.

Letter 11 – Solifugid

 

Some Kind of Spider Thing
Location: Colorado Springs
July 8, 2011 11:10 pm
This little guy scared us something scary tonight! Have no idea what it is.
Signature: Sincerely, Me

Solifugid

Though they are scary looking, Solifugids, commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, are not dangerous because they have no venom, either in fangs or stingers.  They are adept nocturnal hunters that will keep the Cockroach population in control.  It is possible that larger Solifugids might bite, though that would only happen if they were carelessly handled.

Letter 12 – Solifugid

 

Subject: What’s this bug??
Location: North Dakota
October 10, 2013 8:42 pm
Found this in the bathroom and another today. Any idea what this is?
Thanks for the help!
Signature: does not matter

Solifugid
Solifugid

Hi does not matter,
This is a Solifugid, a member of one of the Arachnid orders, which means it is classified along with venomous spiders and scorpions, however, Solifugids do not have venom, so they are harmless to humans, though large Solifugids from the Middle East, which are commonly called Camel Spiders, might deliver a painful bite.  Solifugids are sometimes called Sun Spider or Wind Scorpions.

Letter 13 – Solifugid

 

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.

Letter 14 – Solifugid

 

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.

Letter 15 – Solifugid

 

Subject: What is this ??
Location: Escalon ca
July 23, 2015 9:31 pm
We live in Escalon California, walked into our bathroom and found this!!!
Signature: Manuel Freitas

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Manuel,
This is a predatory Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  Though classified as an Arachnid along with scorpions and spiders, Solifugids lack venom, so they are not considered dangerous to humans, though large individuals are capable of biting.

Letter 16 – Solifugid

 

Subject: What type of critter is this?
Location: South California dessert-Imperial Valley
August 21, 2015 12:27 pm
Hello from the Imperial Valley’s dessert area of southern California. Brawley CA to be exact. My name is Al and I would like to know if you can please help in identifying this critter. My 5 year old daughter found it while we were walking at the park one night. I have seen a couple of scorpions crawling here and there but I don’t believe I have ever seen this type of critter before. Your response will be appreciated. Thank you.
Signature: Al

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Al,
This fierce predator is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but unlike its venomous Arachnid relatives, the Solifugid does not have a venomous bite or sting.  A large Solifugid might give a person a painful bite if it is carelessly handled, but despite that, it is considered harmless.

Thank you very much Mr.Marlos for responding ! And a very quick response indeed. Yes like I wrote earlier my 5 year old daughter was the one to see it first. She will be starting kinder next month and this will be one of her first lesson in the crawling critters world. I will explain to her your expert response. I have encountered a couple of scorpions in two different ocassions at this particular park this past year. I have just let them go their way. This park is near a river with fields all around. The color of these two scorpions were yellowish/tan, about 4 to 5 inches long. I did a little research but still do not know what species they are. A bark scorpion maybe? Again thank you very much for your help in identifying this critter. I have saved your link to show my son and daughter .

Letter 17 – Solifugid

 

Subject: Please help with this giant ant/spider look-a-like.
Location: San Diego, CA
November 20, 2015 7:44 pm
Hello,
I am stumped with this bug and saw it for the first time in early spring in Southern California and just and now again at the end of fall. I’ve seen smaller versions which were hairy that looked like a small tarantula mixed with an ant, which made me think it was some type of velvet ant. It moves very fast and looks similar to a pseudoscorpion. The one pictured is the largest I have seen and has two very small eyes on top of its head, and crawled out from underneath my house. Thanks in advance for any help.
Signature: Stumped

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Stumped,
This is a predatory Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but unlike its Arachnid namesakes, the Solifugid lacks venom, so it is not considered dangerous to humans.  They do have strong mandibles and we would not recommend handling larger individuals which are capable of biting.

Letter 18 – Solifugid

 

Subject: What is this?
Location: Walnut Creek california
May 14, 2016 12:16 am
Found in California. Never seen any spider like this.
Signature: John

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear John,
This Arachnid is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, and though it is distantly related to both Spiders and Scorpions, it is classified in a different order.  Solifugids do not possess venom, and even though they are very adept predators, they pose no threat to humans.

Letter 19 – Solifugid

 

Subject: First time we have seen this!
Location: Southeast Idaho
October 8, 2016 1:31 pm
Hey bugman! This has been a year of first bugs for us in our neck of the woods. We had a beetle you identified for us earlier in the summer, and now we have discovered several of these in our home. Any help??
Signature: Christine

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Christine,
This is a Solifugid, a member of order Solifugae, a group whose members are frequently called Windscorpions or Sun Spiders.  Here is a very similar looking individual from BugGuide.  While Solifugids, Scorpions and Spiders are all classified together as Arachnids in the same taxonomic class, Solifugids differ from both Scorpions and Spiders in that they do not have any venom, but they are still fierce predators that will help keep your home and property free of other, less desirable, and potentially dangerous creatures.
It is worth noting that Solifugids from the Middle East are called Camel Spiders and they are much larger than our North American species, and though they do not have venom, they can still deliver a painful bite.  Many years ago we posted an image of two Camel Spiders that was widely circulated on the internet that caused much hysteria.

Letter 20 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  Potato bug with pinchers?
Geographic location of the bug:  California, santa barbara
Date: 06/21/2018
Time: 01:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman!
We’ve been seeing these bugs around the house. Like a cross between a scorpion and a potato bug. Not slow and sluggish like a PB, it has pinchers and goes into attack mode if you come near.
Should we be afraid?  Are bugs cross breeding now?
Thanks for your help in IDing these “buggers”.
How you want your letter signed:  Deligrrl

Wind Scorpion

Dear Deligrrl,
This is a Solifugid, an Arachnid in the order Solifugae, and your observation that it resembles a Scorpion is due to both being classified as Arachnids.  Solifugids do resemble Potato Bugs.  Solifugids are commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, though they are truly neither.  Additionally, though Spiders and Scorpions are both venomous, Solifugids have no venom and they pose no threat to humans.  They are fierce predators that will eat, tearing apart their prey with their strong mandibles, most anything up to and possible even larger than their own size.  Middle Eastern Solifugids are much larger in size and they are commonly called Camel Spiders.

Oh my goodness that was fast!
Thank you so much for your help identifying this bug which is a spider.  Maybe it’s trying to eat the mice we keep catching in our car port!  We’ve lived here for 20 years and they only just started showing up.
Thanks again, and have a great weekend.

You are welcome, but you misunderstood.  Solifugids are Arachnids, but they are neither Scorpions nor Spiders.  They are classified in a different order.

Letter 21 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  What kind of bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Utah
Date: 09/03/2018
Time: 11:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We have no idea what kind of bug this is we found in our living room last night
How you want your letter signed:  Ben

Solifugid

Dear Ben,
This beneficial, predatory Solifugid lacks venom, so it is no danger to humans nor pets, though a large individual with powerful mandibles might nip at any perceived threats.

Letter 22 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 10/03/2018
Time: 11:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  The cat was playing with this bug in the hallway. Can you help me identify it please? Are they poisonous?
How you want your letter signed:  Afraid to walk in the dark

Solifugid

Dear Afraid to walk in the dark,
This is a predatory Solifugid, sometimes called a Sun Spider or Wind Scoripion, but unlike its venomous relatives, the Solifugid is venomless, meaning it is no threat to you or your cat.  We should caution you that they have strong mandibles, and they might bite if carelessly handled.

Letter 23 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  Strange Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Big Bear City, CA
Date: 10/23/2019
Time: 01:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this in house, while moving boxes. Put it in a slick glass to take photos. It looked mostly black with brownish legs and big angled antennae. Small pinchers on face.
Good climber, so I rubbed orange oil around inside top of glass to confine it. Hope there aren’t more.
How you want your letter signed:  Betty Arnold

Solifugid

Dear Betty,
This fascinating creature is a harmless, predatory Solifugid, a type of Arachnid.  What you have mistaken for antennae are actually pedipalps.  Solifugids are considered harmless to humans because unlike other venomous Arachnids like Spiders and Scorpions, Solifugids have no venom.  They do have powerful mandibles and they might bite if carelessly handled.

Thank you for your quick reply. I was uneasy about thinking that one would crawl over me as I slept last night. Thanks for your quick reply.
Betty

Letter 24 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  Is this guy on record yet?
Geographic location of the bug:  West Texas
Date: 08/14/2021
Time: 09:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I looked up venigarone, and did not find any pictures of this guy.
How you want your letter signed:  Kenneth Peeples

Solifugid

Dear Kenneth,
This is not a Vinegaroon.  It is a predatory Solifugid, sometimes called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but unlike both Spiders and Scorpions, Solifugids have no venom and pose no threat to humans, though large individuals including Camel Spiders from the Middle East, might deliver a painful bite that draws blood.  The much smaller North American Solifugids pose no threat to humans.

Letter 25 – Solifugid

 

Subject:  Bug Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Idaho, USA
Date: 09/22/2021
Time: 04:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug on the garage floor and have never seen anything like it.  It’s about 1 inch from mouth to rear.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks!

Solifugid

This is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  Though related to both Spiders and Scorpions, Solifugids lack venom and though they are predators, they are not considered dangerous to humans.

Letter 26 – Solifugid from Botswana

 

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.

Letter 27 – Solifugid Carnage

 

Subject: Bug Carnage
Location: North-central Montana near Havre
August 24, 2012 8:50 pm
Stepped on this scary-looking critter in my bedroom in North-central Montana this August. I’m sure I’ve seen those frightening mandibles somewhere before.
Signature: Sandra R

Solifugid Carnage

Hi Sandra,
Thank you for recognizing that this is carnage.  Though it was frightening looking, this Solifugid was perfectly harmless to you because of its small size as well as its lack of venom.  Unlike other arachnids like spiders and scorpions, Solifugids, which are commonly called both Sun Spider or Winds Scorpions and Camel Spiders in the Middle East, lack any venomous fangs or stingers.  If Solifugids were larger, like the size of a German Shepherd as one Desert Storm veteran pointed out in a largely exaggerated account in our archives, they would pose a threat.  Interestingly, they have never, to the best of our knowledge, been the subjects of a horror film, though many of their characteristics can be seen in CGA movie monsters.
  The mandibles are able to open in all directions, as this photo from our archive demonstrates.

Horror Movie Camel Spider
Subject: Horror Movie “Camel Spiders”
August 27, 2012 1:08 am
Here’s the IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1618372/  A friend of mine saw the movie and he said it was horrible.
Signature: Jim

Thanks Jim,
The tagline for the movie is sensational.  It reads “Based on actual creatures that for years have tormented our armed forces in the Middle East, these creatures have now invaded the southwestern deserts of the United States.”
   We imagine that many of our service personnel have been horrified upon first viewing the large Solifugids from the Middle East, known as Camel Spiders, which are reported to have a leg span of five inches or more.   Camel Spiders might have mandibles big enough to bite the careless handler, but they are still lacking in venom, hence they are basically harmless to people.  They are formidable predators, however, and anything small enough to be captured will most likely be eaten in a most gory manner.

Letter 28 – Solifugid Carnage

 

Subject:  What bug is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Borrego Springs
Date: 09/09/2021
Time: 11:16 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I am house/pet sitting in this area which I’m fairly new to. This bug was inside the house.
How you want your letter signed:  Babs

Solifugid

Dear Babs,
This is a predatory Solifugid and it appears dead with its guts showing indicating it was likely squashed.  Solifugids do not have venom or poison, so they pose no threat to humans.  It is possible to get bitten and a large individual might draw blood, but again, they pose no threat to humans.

Letter 29 – Solifugid Carnage in San Diego

 

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.

Letter 30 – Solifugid drowned in Key West

 

scary bug found in shower
Location: Key West
February 17, 2011 11:31 am
Help me bros, this bug scared the bejeezus out of me this morning! I was taking a shower all calm and that’s where I found it. Luckly I was already in the shower or I would’ve messed my pants!!!
It was able to walk up tile and walls until condensation formed and it couldn’t climb no more. Drowned itself in shower water.
Has antennas, 6/8 legs. And a little over 1/2” long.
Please tell me was this nightmare is?!?!?!?!?!
Signature: Thanks bros, Key West Kenny

Solifugid drowned in shower

Dear Key West Kenny,
You encountered a harmless Solifugid which lacks venom of any sort despite its common names of Sun Spider and Wind Scorpion.  We were not aware that Solifugids were found in Florida as we think of them as being desert species, but BugGuide substantiates that they have been reported in Florida.  Solifugids are Arachnids like Spiders and Scorpions, but while Spiders and Scorpions both have venom, the frightening Solifugid lacks the means to poison either its prey or its predators.  That said, they are formidable hunters.  We are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage because its drowning was avoidable.  If you think this little creature is a nightmare, you should check out its massive Middle Eastern relative known as a Camel Spider.  The Camel Spider image we have in our archives went viral on the internet several years ago and there is much web chatter including a considerable amount of misinformation regarding the danger it poses to humans and camels.

Letter 31 – Solifugid Eats Cricket in South Africa

 

Solifugae spotted in the Waterberg
Location: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa
January 16, 2011 10:25 am
Hi WTB
Spotted this little guy having a meal while hiking in the Waterberg this December, South Africa. We spent quite some time watching him literally devour his meal.
Signature: TwistedLizzard

Solifugid Eats Cricket

Dear TwistedLizzard,
Thank you for sending us these marvelous Food Chain images of a Solifugid eating a Cricket.

Solifugid Eats Cricket

Letter 32 – Solifugid from Canada

 

weird spider scorpion thingy :S
Location: Canada, house
March 7, 2011 12:21 am
i was working in the bathroom today removing old grout, and on a piece of sticky tack, i found what i think were spiders (3)…. they had 6 legs and 2 pincers similar to a scorpion or i guess a crab it was idn about 1/8 of an inch and brown obv they were dead n had been there for some time, but i have seen them in my house alive before
what is it?? and should i be concerned
Signature: The Frannuman

Solifugid

Dear Frannuman,
Most of the North American reports of Solifugids, commonly called Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions, that we receive come from the arid Southwest.  BugGuide indicates sightings from British Columbia.  Solifugids are fierce predators, but since they do not contain venom, they are not considered to be dangerous to humans, though we imagine they might produce a painful bite if carelessly handled.

Letter 33 – Solifugid from India

 

Subject:  i wish to know what bug this is
Geographic location of the bug:  new delhi, India
Date: 10/01/2017
Time: 10:02 AM EDT
Hey there. I have seen this unusal bug for the first time today and i am quite intrigued by its behaviour. It behaves like a scorpion by raising its hind parts and usig the front two claw like things. I would like to know which species this bug is. Thank You for the help.
How you want your letter signed:  Revanth

Solifugid

Dear Revanth,
Commonly called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion, this Solifugid is a non-venomous relative of both Spiders and Scorpions that is classified in the order Solifugae.  Your individual looks very different from North American Solifugids.  We found a similar looking individual from India, that is not identified beyond the order level, on the Animal Photo Album site.

Solifugid

Letter 34 – Solifugid from Nicaragua

 

Subject: Solifugid in Nicaragua
Location: Leon, Nicaragua
June 19, 2013 8:48 pm
Hello good people at What’s That Bug?
Jay from San Francisco here again (last year I submitted a photo in August of a neon orange colored Lubber Grasshopper from Ometepe Island in Nicaragua). I’m back in Nicaragua again and I was in my kitchen in Leon when i spotted this 3/4” bug that appears to be a Solifugid of some sort sitting on the sink counter top. I perhaps have answered my own question by identifying it as a Solifugid (looks like a tiny camel spider), but i’m a stickler for species specific identification and would appreciate any help WTB staff can offer (as i tried to identify it on my own with no success). What I know about it in the 5 minutes i observed it is that it was first sitting in the dark (shortly after dusk) and was incredibly still, until an ant bumped it from the rear and it took off at lightning speed. This pic was shot on a Samsung S4 on Jun 19th, 2013. There are many awesome insects in Nicaragua that I hope to be sharing with your staff soon (I know your staff rece ive many requests, so I will limit it to the insects that truly stand out to me). Thank you once again!
Signature: Jay from San Francisco

Solifugid from Nicaragua
Solifugid from Nicaragua

Hi Jay,
Thank you for contributing to our archive of creatures from Nicaragua.  Alas, we are unable to assist with a species identification on this Solifugid.  Even with BugGuide, we are unable to identify North American Solifugids to the species level.  Please include the location Nicaragua in your future submissions.  Summer is an especially heavy submission time and we don’t want to miss your future documentations.

Letter 35 – Solifugid from Niger

 

Subject:  Weird spider scorpion
Geographic location of the bug:  Niger
Date: 07/21/2018
Time: 03:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this on our aircraft and have been flying around central Africa.  This one we’ve never seen before and are interested in finding out what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Chelsea

Solifugid

Dear Chelsea,
This is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion, though it is neither a Spider nor a Scorpion.  It is an Arachnid, and unlike its venomous relatives, Spiders and Scorpions, the Solifugids do not have venom nor poison.  They do have powerful mandibles and a large individual might inflict a painful bite.  Large Solifugids in the Middle East are commonly called Camel Spiders.

Letter 36 – Solifugid from Panama

 

Subject:  ? Spider/scorpion ? Or what
Geographic location of the bug:  Panama, western highlands
Date: 01/08/2019
Time: 09:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  First looked like scorpion, which we have here, was moving 2 pinchers which were short and flush with head, but had long torso, more like a bee? 4 legs on each side plus long feeler type front legs. Total lenght maybe 1 1/2 inches.
How you want your letter signed:  Confused

Solifugid

Dear Confused,
You do not seem confused to us at all.  What you described as a “? Spider/scorpion ? Or what” is a Solifugid, a non-venomous Arachnid that is related to both Spiders and Scorpions, but lacking a venomous bite or sting.  Solifugids are sometimes called Wind Scorpions or Sun Spiders.  We frequently get identification requests from the Southwestern parts of North America.  Middle Eastern Solifugids are much larger in size, are commonly called Camel Spiders and were the result of some internet hysteria several years ago.

Wow!
Thank you so much for the info and for responding. We have lots of bugs here in the highland sof Panama and I find them intriquing and fun.
This one was different as it was on my pillow.
No longer confused.
Nancy

Letter 37 – Solifugid from Sudan

 

Subject: whats that bug
Location: sudan
April 3, 2015 1:50 pm
i found this one at my house and i want to know what does it called.
Signature: M. hider

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear M. hider,
This is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion.  Though it is an Arachnid, unlike both Spiders and Scorpions, the Solifugid does not have venom, and though its jaws are capable of a painful bite, it is not considered dangerous.  The body on your individual is longer and less streamlined than most individuals we have seen.  Species found in the Middle East grow quite large and they can run quickly, earning them the common name Camel Spider, and there is much false information about Camel Spiders on the internet.

Letter 38 – Solifugid from Tanzania

 

Subject:  Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Tanzania
Date: 03/05/2018
Time: 09:23 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a camel spider?
How you want your letter signed:  Rebecca Jackson

Solifugid

Dear Rebecca,
Camel Spider is a common name used in the Middle East for a member of the order Solifugae.  Other common names are Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, though Solifugids are neither true spiders or scorpions, nor are they venomous. 

Letter 39 – Solifugid from United Arab Emirates

 

Subject: Very unusual
Location: Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
September 4, 2015 4:30 am
This insect is very odd, is it a spider?
Signature: Gavin

Solifugid
Solifugid

Hi Gavin,
Though it is common called a Sun Spider in North America and a Camel Spider in the Middle East, this Arachnid is not a true spider, but a Solifugid, a member of the order Solifugae.  Though formidable predators, they are not dangerous to humans as they do not have venom.

 

Letter 40 – Teddy Bear Solifugid from Kenya

 

Subject: Solifugid ID
Location: Dorob National Park, Namibia
October 7, 2015 1:43 pm
Habitat: Dry riverbed in rocky gorge, near Messum crater
Weather: Dry Arid
Time: Daylight
Size: 3-5cm
Observation: It was seen moving about the rocks and sand. Once it sensed danger it burrowed itself beneath the sand.
I believe I have narrowed down this solfugid to the Hexisopodidae family. I am leaning towards Hexisopus genus over Chelypus genus based on the absence of of well-developed spines on the pedipalps but am not confident I can I can tell based on my photos.
Any help on narrowing down identification or tidbits on natural history would be much appreciated. This was such a neat find!
Signature: Michael Kent

Solifugid
Solifugid

Dear Michael,
This is the strangest looking Solifugid we have ever had submitted to us.  Its legs are so compact, it most likely does not run as quickly as other members of the order Solifugae.  Your observations that it buried itself in the sand are quite interesting, and that might be an adaptation to not being able to run quickly.  Alas, we haven’t the necessary skills to determine a more specific identity, and it sounds like your own research was quite thorough.  We will be posting all of your wonderful images and perhaps an Arachnologist will see the posting and be able to contribute a future comment.  Are there any Solifugologists out there???  As a side note, we appreciate your naming convention for the digital files.  All we had to do was add you name to the file name you provided to maintain our own naming convention.

Solifugid
Solifugid
Solifugid
Solifugid

Update:  November 22, 2019
See this great article that includes Michael Kent’s images and observations on Arthropod Ecology where it states:  “More chelicera than cephalothorax, the Solifugae or ‘those who flee from the sun’ look like a reckless arachnid bulldozer that could star in Mad Max. Otherwise known (incorrectly!) as camel spiders, whip scorpions, and my personal favourite baarskeerders (Afrikaans for beard cutters), solifugids are often one of the dominant arthropod predators in arid ecosystems. They ruthlessly chase, hunt, stalk, and scavenge using their leg-lengthed pedipalps to snatch prey while using their jaw-like chelicera and digestive juices to masticate their invertebrate and small vertebrate victims to a pulp.”

Letter 41 – Solifugid from South Africa

 

Subject: Citrusdal, Çape town, south africa
Location: Citrusdal south africa
December 30, 2016 11:03 pm
Hi. Got home and this guy came with. Just wondering if he’s dangerous as we go to the same spot annually !!
Signature: Steven

Solifugid

Dear Steven,
This Solifugid is commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion in parts of North America, where our native individuals are much smaller than African or Middle Eastern individuals.  Like spiders and scorpions, Solifugids are Arachnids, but unlike their venomous relatives, Solifugids do not contain venom or poison, but they do have powerful mandibles that can draw blood if a bite occurs.  Large Middle Eastern Solifugids are known as Camel SpidersISpot uses the common name Roman on several of its postings.

Letter 42 – Solifugids spared Vacuum Cleaner in the future

 

Sun spiders
July 9, 2011 10:53 pm
Thank you for your website! I may be able to sleep tonight since finding the picture of the insects that completely creeped me out  for the last couple of nights. And, they would thank you if they could type because I promise I will stop vacuuming them ASAP. A friend told me they were “earth babies” but although I looked at every potato bug pic on the site, they just weren’t a match. For some reason I clicked on Solpiguds (because they look exactly like that word sounds!) and there they were! Thx again!
Signature: KYMBERLIE DREYER

Solifugid

Hi Kymberlie,
We dug up an especially frightening photo of a Solifugid (newer accepted spelling) to illustrate your comment.  Though they look frightening, Solifugids do not have venom despite having common names that reference other venomous arachnids like Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  Since they are adept nocturnal hunters, they will help keep the home free of unwanted guests like Cockroaches.

Letter 43 – Solifugud

 

Subject: Don’t know if this bug is dangerous
Location: Burbank CA
May 2, 2017 8:13 am
Hi
I live in Southern California and found this big on my balcony. Would like to know what kind of spider it is and is it dangerous. I have a two year old son who likes to play on that balcony. I don’t want him or is for that matter to get bitten by dangerous spider.
Thanks
Signature: Andrew Warzocha

Solifugid

Dear Andrew,
This predatory Arachnid is a Solifugid, and it is commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion, but that should not be of any concern for you.  Though both Spiders and Scorpions are venomous, Solifugids do not.  They do have strong mandibles that are used to crush prey, and a large Solifugid might bite a person who carelessly handled it, but our North American Solifugids do not pose any threat to humans.  Solifugids from the Middle East are commonly called Camel Spiders.  They are considerably larger and a bite might cause some concern.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts

45 thoughts on “Camel Spiders: All You Need to Know for a Close Encounter with These Desert Dwellers”

  1. That is an exceptionally “scary” looking picture of a Solifugid, and looks like it could give someone a very painful bite!

    Reply
  2. found this right after i sent in a picture of it. awesome. don’t worry, i let the fast, little guy romp around on my hand until i got a good picture then let it free.

    Reply
  3. WTB’s efforts to calm fears about solfugids has a new challenge: There’s a new movie out called “Camel Spiders!” (another name for solfugids). The cover has a chilling image of camel spiders crawling all over someone’s face.

    Reply
    • Are you able to supply the link? Sorry about the late response. Your comment arrived when we experienced incredible technical difficulties and we didn’t realize there were so many unapproved comments.

      Reply
  4. Okay so i know they are harmless, but i have found FOUR solifugid bugs in my house in the last two weeks! FOUR! Who wants that (okay besides buf lovers like yourselves lol.) I live in Rio Rancho, NM. I have owned my house and lived in it for 11 years now and I don’t think I have ever seen even one before this! I am wondering if there could be a breeding ground or nest somewhere! Things that come to mind as far as changes are… 1. Two. Years ago reptiles entire house. Had to rip old ones out of the wall And dig a trench in my kitchen and install new pipes and seal it all back up. 2. Wet weather these last few weeks 3. All have been found on a ceiling or wall up high , possibly coming through vents. Please help! I would rather not call an exterminator to spray chemicals throughout my home!

    Reply
  5. I captured a Brazilian Wandering Spider in my house in this manner these days, I’ll attempt to make a video, so people can learn how to catch dangerous creatures safely and take them back to nature.

    Reply
  6. I killed a big one just a few min ago in my bathroom. I feel a bit bad now, but it was very fast, and I didn’t have time to research it before my window of attack closed. I didn’t want to chance that it may be poisonous and threaten me or my roommates while we were sleeping. Next time I know, it’s basically harmless. Scary looking as shit though. May he rest in peace

    Reply
  7. I just had one of those damn wind scorpions sun spiders run down my shirt while I was sitting on my couch. I almost had a heart attack at 28. I’m in central colorado ,I was under the impression they were more of a desert species. I can’t sleep now because I can see his creepy little mandible face …..I know he was trying to kill me. Omg freak out!

    Reply
    • While they are more common in arid location, Solifugids have been reported on BugGuide from most states west of the Mississippi River as well as Florida.

      Reply
  8. we were just finishing our 4th of july bar-b-que, and filling our pool at about 11:30 p.m. , feeling pretty happy that we had all of that finally under our belt, long story, we were sitting there eating some awesome grub, out of the corner of both of our eyes something moving quite quickly came into view, we both almost jumped out of our skin as they say; this thing was three feet long and two feet wide, well not exactly, really only two inches long, but scared the you know what out of us!!! it was a solifugid trying it’s hardest to get under our back door which has an inch gap, that we have been fighting since we moved in !! it’s pretty much blocked but still this guy was trying, i don’t like killing any living thing but, this guy had to go, i mean we’ve had a few in our house already, just babys, compared to this guy so seeing his size and ambition i went into battle ! and this guy did not go easily at all, sparing the details, it took some doing, i have much respect for these earthbound animals!!!

    Reply
  9. 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 !

    Reply
  10. Solifugid-EW!! Found two in the basement. Scary looking. Good to know they aren’t venomous. I’ll toss the next one I see into the garden.

    Reply
  11. Hello, i thought i’d let you know the genus of this windscorpion.

    she’s (its a female) an Eremorhax species, a large bulky genus found in california, new mexico, arizona, and texas. I do not know the species, however.

    The excessively fuzzy body, enormous chelicerae, and short stubby legs- somewhat similar in appearance to the old world genus- rhagodes makes it easy to id to genus.

    Reply
  12. Hello, i thought i’d let you know the genus of this windscorpion.

    she’s (its a female) an Eremorhax species, a large bulky genus found in california, new mexico, arizona, and texas. I do not know the species, however.

    The excessively fuzzy body, enormous chelicerae, and short stubby legs- somewhat similar in appearance to the old world genus- rhagodes makes it easy to id to genus.

    Reply
  13. I live in a little fishing village off the west coast of south Africa called Velddrif and these “spiders” are everywhere. I believe they feed on termites, which makes sense here because there are termite mounds absolutely everywhere.

    Reply
  14. I think I found a sun spider do I have to worry about my sisters kittens they are very tiny still? Are they a hazard to chicks?

    Reply
  15. Do not be afraid it is helpful creature. Before we forced into this insanity, never a problem.
    Nice bug.
    Do not be afraid. We like these bugs
    We are curious what you call them?
    This one looks like trouble.
    Bugs or not we are here.

    Reply
  16. Do not be afraid it is helpful creature. Before we forced into this insanity, never a problem.
    Nice bug.
    Do not be afraid. We like these bugs
    We are curious what you call them?
    This one looks like trouble.
    Bugs or not we are here.

    Reply
  17. I know this is a very old post and you’re probably very well aware of all of this info by now, but there was never any follow-up on this post so I assume commenting with this info won’t hurt. these guys are often referred to as Teddy Solifugids or Mole Solfugids. If you want more info, all of this poster’s attached images go on the appear in this article:

    https://arthropodecology.com/2015/10/16/the-natural-history-of-teddy-bear-solifugids-cuddly-wonders-of-the-desert/

    Reply
  18. I know this is a very old post and you’re probably very well aware of all of this info by now, but there was never any follow-up on this post so I assume commenting with this info won’t hurt. these guys are often referred to as Teddy Solifugids or Mole Solfugids. If you want more info, all of this poster’s attached images go on the appear in this article:

    https://arthropodecology.com/2015/10/16/the-natural-history-of-teddy-bear-solifugids-cuddly-wonders-of-the-desert/

    Reply
  19. We live in a basement apartment in Mountain Home Idaho. Had one in shower this morning. Then found one on the wall tonight.

    Reply
  20. 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.

    Reply
  21. Just from killing one
    What medication can we use to kill them because this is the second one I have killed in my house in less than 2 weeks

    Reply

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