Solifugid, AKA Sun Spider

Subject: Orange bug in Texas
Location: Austin, TX
September 28, 2016 6:48 am
Hello. I found a bug which looks like an ant with big abdomen and large antennae. Soft bodied. Not sure what this is? (See image). Can you identify?
Signature: Kevin Urban


Dear Kevin,
This is a Solifugid, a predatory Arachnid that is sometimes called a Sun Spider or a Wind Scorpion, though it is not closely related to either.  Solifugids differ from both Spiders and Scorpions in that they have no poison or venom, hence they are considered harmless to people, though it is possible that a bite might occur after an encounter with a large individual.  What you have mistaken for antennae are actually pedipalps, a pair of appendages defined on BugGuide as being:  ” the second set of mouthpart-like appendages in arachnids (spiders and allies). Male spiders have the last segments modified into organs for the transfer of sperm.”  BugGuide describes Solifugids as being:  “Eight-legged, somewhat scorpion-like, but lacking the tail. Elongated pedipalps look like an extra set of legs, but are used as sensory organs, similar to antennae.”

Awesome.  Thanks for the ID.  I know bugs but this was new to me.
Appreciate your help.

Leave a Comment