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.

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