Currently viewing the category: "Solpugids and Camel Spiders"

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.

Subject: Spawn of Satan
Location: Latrobe, PA
July 15, 2013 9:19 pm
This dude was found in Latrobe, PA. I was born and raised there and have never seen anything like it. Hope you can help
Signature: Dave

Female Dobsonfly

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Dave,
We believe “Spawn of Satan” is an awfully harsh name for this female DobsonflyMale Dobsonflies are even more frightening looking, and both are perfectly harmless, though a female might give a pinch if carelessly handled.  Dobsonflies are not uncommon in your area.  Lay off the Rolling Rock and try to familiarize yourself with more of the natural world around you.

Lol love the rolling rock reference.  Thanks guys. I’ve been living in vegas for the past 8 years and have been seeing “camel spiders” lately. Heard a rumor that they are native to the middle east and were  brought here by G.I.’s. Can you shed any light on this?

Yes we can.  There are large Camel Spiders in the Middle East, and there was some internet hysteria caused by a hoax inspired by a wide angle photograph that distorted the perspective and scale of two Camel Spiders held by a wrench that made the viral internet rounds many years ago.  North American species are considerably smaller, and by chance we profiled the Sun Spider of North America as our Bug of the Month last month.  Sun Spiders or Wind Scorpions as the North American Solifugids are commonly called are often victims of Unnecessary Carnage.

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.

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: San Marcos, CA
May 29, 2013 10:04 pm
I found this guy crawling up the wall in my house. It’s about 3/4 inch long and liked to make quick, jumpy movements. Thanks for the ID, bugman!
Signature: redfive

Wind Scorpion

Wind Scorpion

Dear redfive,
This nonvenomous arachnid is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion, though it is neither a spider nor a scorpion.  Despite not having venom, they are fierce predators that can capture and dispatch large prey.  Even though they are perfectly harmless, the frightening appearance of Solifugids leads to much Unnecessary Carnage.  We are tagging your entry as the Bug of the Month for June.

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.

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.”