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Camel Spider

Updated on February 23, 2016

Order Solifugae

Image courtesy of United States Marine Corps.
Image courtesy of United States Marine Corps.

Description

 Due to the love they have for the sunlight and the heat, the Camel Spider is often known as the Sun Spider. For those that don’t consider them to be a real Spider but rather a Scorpion though they call it the Wind Scorpion. There is plenty of controversy about which category it belongs in. There seems to be so many elements of it that are fitting of either a species of Spider or Scorpion.

You haven’t lost your mind when you see the appearance of one either. They do not have 10 legs even though that is what many people report. All Spiders have 8 legs. These do look like there are extras though due to the sensory elements called pedipalps. They extend out in the front and may often be similar to having an extra pair of legs.

They can grow to be about 3 inches in length. They have an internal system that is very highly developed, beyond that of other species of Spiders. They feature eyes that are very large too compared to other species. The males are significantly smaller than females. So small in fact that when you see them you  may think you are looking at immature rather than mature Spiders.

The color of the Camel Spider will vary depending on where they are living. They have the ability to blend into where they are living so that they can avoid being detected most of the time. They are often dark brown, medium brown, or a light tan coloration. There are black areas on the tips of their limbs as well that give them the distinct look.

Behavior

 
Due to the coloring blending so well to the surroundings, these Spiders may be very hard to locate. Many experts have struggled to identify the regions where they live, even with more knowledge about them than the average person has. The Spiders also stick to areas that are dark and that are unusually not disrupted.

That is why they often find their way into sheds, garages, closets, and even crawl spaces. They have been known to live in yards under piles of rocks or wood. They are also found in clothing so you do need to be careful when you bring out items that you have put a way seasonally.

The Camel Spider is able to move fast when you compare the movements to other types of Spiders. They are able to go about 10 miles an hour when they have to. Most of the time though they will be seen moving along much slower than that.

They create nesting areas out of various items they find including the hair of humans. This allows them to be able to create an environment that works well for them to be safe and to find food.

Once you have these Spiders around though they are hard to get rid of. They adapt to changes well in an environment so they won’t be easy to scare off. Even with various chemicals released many of them will continue to thrive as they have quite a tolerance for such products.

They can make a hissing sound that is very loud when they feel that they are in danger. This is often a type of warning in the hopes that they can get their problem to retreat and not have to face it head on.

Author Aur-Aelion
Author Aur-Aelion

Habitat and Distribution

 Dry conditions are something that the Camel Spider is quickly drawn to. They enjoy the hot temperatures even though they often stay primarily in the shaded locations. They are able to live in many areas though include desolate desert terrain, grasslands, and the forests. They hide well though so you may not see them even though you are looking for them.

You won’t find this type of Spider living in Australia though. That is something most experts find to be very strange. The climate is right and there are so many other species of Spiders that do thrive there. No one can really figure out why they aren’t there. It has been thought to introduce them but no one wants to risk upsetting the natural balance of things.

Camel Spider Video

Diet and Feeding Habits

 They are mainly going to be out at night looking for sources of food. However, the Camel Spider has been known to venture out during the day to look for food as well. They are very versatile in that regard which allows them to take advantage of the most food offered at all times.

They are very determined and have even been documented chasing their own shadow thinking it was a source of food! They eat as much as they can as often as they can to store up fat for when they can’t. They also eat both live insects and those that they find already dead.

Most of the food they consume is in the form of crickets and cockroaches. They will also eat rodents, lizards, termites, and beetles. They are able to consume items larger than they are due to the power of their venom. It has enzymes in it that liquefy the insides of the prey. Then they suck it all up and leave the rest.

Reproduction

 Mating can be difficult to understand for these Spiders. The females stay in their same habitat and the males come to look for them. During certain periods of time she will emit strong chemicals he is drawn to. She can be very nervous and aggressive in his presence.

To help calm her down the males engage in dancing, offering food, and creating vibrations for the web. She the female decide to mate he will leave sperm for her. She will add it to her body when she is ready the result is from 50 to 200 eggs being created.

She is going to create a burrow to hide her eggs in. It will take a couple of weeks for them to come back out. During that period of time though she doesn’t leave the sight of the burrow. She won’t even leave to eat which is also why they need to eat at every opportunity they have before hand.

Venomous Bite or Danger to Humans

 A Camel Spider has the reputation of being extremely harmful and aggressive. However, they aren’t nearly as dangerous as people are led to believe they are. Instead, they are usually very timid. They don’t make an effort to look for humans to bite.

However, they are going to do what they need to in order to protect themselves. If they are discovered by humans they may bite out of fear. They can’t see well so they have no idea what is around them. Females are very likely to bite is a human gets close to where she has placed her eggs.

Camel Spider Video

Bite Treatment or Care

 Should someone be bitten by a Camel Spider they will need to watch it. They aren’t going to die from the venom though so don’t worry about that. The biggest risk though comes from the risk of an infection. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible will help to reduce the chances of that happening.

If the infection spreads then there can be irreversible damage done to the tissue. This is why the bite area will likely be covered up until it has started the process of healing. Most doctors will prescribe antibiotics and steroids for the treatment to take place. They will also provide medication to take as needed to reduce pain.

Comments

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  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    7 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for such an informative hub. I enjoyed reading and learning from it

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