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Camel Spiders (Arachnida: Solifugae)

Members of the order Solifugae, usually referred to as solifuges, solifugids, solpugids or by an assortment of vernacular names that change from one part of the world to another. These regional names include camel spiders, false spiders, haarskeerders, jagspinnekoppe, jerrymanders, roman spiders, sun spiders, Walzenspinnen, wind scorpions, madre de alacran, etc. These arachnids are a diverse and fascinating, yet poorly known, order of specialized, mostly nocturnal, cursorial hunting arachnids notable for their massively powerful two-segmented chelicerae, voracious appetite, and tremendous speed. Many solifuges are able to run at extremely fast speeds (53 cm/sec) and for extended periods. Solifuges vary from a few millimeters to 10 centimeters in length and look superficially like stout, hairy, fast-running spiders with an extra pair of legs (leg-like, sensory pedipalps, held out in front of the body). Because they hold their pedipalps in front of the body while running, they also look a bit like desert zombies! They are found primarily in xeric (desert or semi-desert) habitats throughout the world.

More information about their biology can be found at: http://www.solifugae.info/introduction.html

Credits

Photos by Paula Cushing, Marshal Hedin, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira and Rich Reading