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There will be pictures.  You have been warned.

I recently learned of another order of arachnids.  Everyone knows about spiders.  Spiders are boring.  I would hazard to guess that most people know that ticks, mites, and scorpions are arachnids too.  They…are also kind of boring.  Well, scorpions are kind of interesting.  Venomous things are generally interesting to me.  But this post is not about scorpions.  It’s about the Solifugae.  Want to see one?  Photos after the break.

Look at that!  Isn’t it interesting?!  Solifugae kind of look like crickets gone terribly, terribly wrong.  Well, not this one so much.  I don’t know what this one looks like.  But how about this one?

This one definitely looks like a cricket gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Anyway, Solifugae are not spiders, as I had implied above.  They’re their own order in Arachnida.  They are commonly known as camel spiders or wind scorpions, while being neither.  They do share all the common characteristics of arachnids, of course.  You’ll note the eight legs, the cephalothorax, and the abdomen.  What I find interesting is that the abdomen is segmented.  I’m not sure why I find this so interesting.  I guess I’m just too used to spiders.  But a scorpion’s abdomen is also segmented and I don’t find that as interesting.  Hmm…

Other things that are interesting to me are the incredibly long pedipalps that look like an extra set of legs and that they run quite fast, apparently about 10mph.  And they just look…so bizarre.  I can’t believe I didn’t know about these before.

Anyway, I learned about them because a friend’s coworker found one in her house and it actively tracked her movements, which I suppose is disconcerting.  I doubt they’d actively attack you.  The can obviously see that you are much bigger than they are.  They’d probably only attack you in self-defense.  In which case, it serves you right.  Why are you pestering one anyway?  Well you can breathe a sigh of relief as they aren’t venomous (makes them a bit less interesting) but they do have a powerful bite.  Their chelicerae are quite strong and produce a pretty nasty looking wound.  I couldn’t find a good photo of just a bite wound.  Most of the ones that come up when googling it are of wounds that have festered or are otherwise infected.  I guess if you get bitten, make sure you care for the wound.  Otherwise…well you can google “camel spider bite” and see what lovely images come up.  They really are quite lovely.  You should click on the link.  Really.


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