Camel spider in the Namibian desert

Camel spiders

Camel spiders have a nightmarish reputation. Urban legends, fuelled by the appearance of their extra large, powerful mouthparts, their voracious appetite and their tremendous speed, surround these hairy arachnids. However, stories of camel spiders leaping in the air to disembowel camels and of their feasting on sleeping humans remain, as yet, merely stories. They look like 10-legged spiders, but aren't in fact spiders and the 'extra' two legs are large sensory organs. Most of the thousand species hunt only at night and live in hot dry deserts, where they are one of the top predators.

Scientific name: Solifugae

Rank: Order

Common names:

  • Sun spider,
  • Wind scorpion

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Distribution

The Camel spiders can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Indian subcontinent, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Camel spiders distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Desert Desert
Desert and dry scrubland describes any area that receives less than 250mm of rainfall a year. Not just the endless, baking sand dunes of popular conception, it includes arid areas in temperate regions.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Arthropods
  4. Arachnids
  5. Camel spiders

BBC News about Camel spiders

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