Strange insect found in back yard
Location: 39°31′38″N 119°49′19″W
July 12, 2011 11:54 am
My daughter found this strange insect in my parents back yard this morning.
It has 6 legs attached to the thorax, and long thin antenna and what appear to be large mandibles. At first glance we thought it may be some over-sized wolf spider but upon closer inspection that is clearly not the case.
The temperature out side was 42* and we are in a high desert valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. We are currently in our summer months.
Signature: Justin K


Hi Justin,
This is an arachnid, not an insect, and it is a Solifugid, commonly called a Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion.  Despite having venomous relatives, the Solifugids do not have any venom or poison.  They are fierce predators, and they might bite a person if they were carelessly handled, but they are not considered dangerous.  We are translating your coordinates to read the Reno area of Nevada.

Location: Nevada

3 Responses to Sun Spider

  1. Troy says:

    I seen one just like this when I lived in Fallon, NV. It was big. The body was about half the size of a 12oz soda can. I seen it at night in the summer, but I never seen one that big after that.

  2. Reverend Fox says:

    A friend of mine had a Solifugid in a lizard tank. The thing was about six inches long and had red-tipped mandibles. We speculated that it was a mutation that resulted from nuclear testing near Fallon.

    • bugman says:

      Could it have been smuggled in from the Middle East? You did not provide a location for the sighting, but we know of no Solifugids that size in North America.

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