The Camel Spider, or Sun Spider, is a general name for insects belonging to the order Solifugae. Other common names are Camel Spiders because of the humped heads. They used to also be referred to as solpugids, because of their former scientific name. These common names can be used to identify over 1000 species of arachnids that inhabit regions that are arid as well as their common coloration of light tan to golden. Though they are similar to both the Spider and the Scorpion these arachnids are in fact, neither.
They are relatively easy to identify. It is commonly believed that Camel Spiders are rather large, they are in fact only about 0.4-3 inches in body length, however their legs can reach several inches making them appear much larger in some cases. They have the rounded abdomen similar to most spiders, while displaying front appendages that are very similar to those of a regular spider.
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While they are generally found all over the world in arid and desert regions and are believed to be endemic to these biomes. However some species of Camel Spider can be found in grassland, forest, and scrub. They more or less inhabit every arid desert and scrublands except for Australia and Antarctica.
Camel Spiders typically reproduce once a year. When mating they can impregnate the female either directly or indirectly, by inserting its spermatophore into the female after flinging her on her back. The female spider then burrows into the earth and lays 50-200 eggs. Some species will guard the den until they hatch, others go about their way. They will undergo many stages of life on the road to maturity, egg, post-embryonic, 9-10 nymphal stages, then finally adults. They tend to live fast die young only surviving about a year in the wild, though some captive spiders may indicate a hibernation that may help them live linger than originally thought.
They have a veracious appetite and is very active in satisfying its hunger. They are fast (up to 10mph). The Camel Spider is unlike others in that it actively moves and hunts instead of the traditional lie and wait tactic. This hunting and agile pattern of movement directly relate to the common name "Wind Scorpion" though its speed is believed by many to have been exaggerated out of fear over time.
They are nocturnal predator, so when the sun goes down keep an eye out. They can and will take the opportunity to find shelter in your home, most likely to escape the harsh cold of the desert winter, or the intense heat of the desert sun.
The Camel Spider prefers arid desert biomes, but species of them can be found across the globe in semi arid, tropical, dry forests and scrub accept for Antarctica or Australia. They will eat mostly other insects and invertebrates, with some of the larger species taking down small vertebrates such as rodents and reptiles. They are known to protect their egg nest, they will stock up on food beforehand as they will not leave their den until the eggs hatch.
Though the Camel Spiders looks like one of the scariest things with 8 legs to ever walk the earth, they pose little to no threat to humans or pets. There are no known species that are venomous, though their large and powerful chelicerae can inflict a decent bite that may hurt a bit but poses no medical threat. The Camel Spiders also lack any way to administer venom, like a sting or fangs.