The camel spider – a brutal hunter
The name “camel spider” derives from the false legend that Camel spiders eat the stomachs of camels and lay their eggs there, hence the name.
Appearance and characteristics
The camel spider has neither the scorpion's venomous stinger nor the spider's venomous fangs and spinning ability, but it has something that allows it to kill and eat both spiders and scorpions of its own size - huge and double jaws!
Like all arachnids, the camel spider has eight legs, but it only uses four of them for walking and running. The first pair of legs is used instead as feelers.
The camel spider breathes with tracheas. These air ducts make breathing very efficient and the scorpion spider is therefore both fast and durable. It can come up at a speed of 16 km/h which is a lot for such a small animal.
There are about a thousand species of camel spiders and they vary in size from a few mm to up to seven cm in body length. Twice as much if you count the legs. Camel spiders live in hot and dry areas and can live up to twelve months in average. The groups scientific name Solifugae means "sun avoider" because they avoids direct sunlight.
Feeding and catching
With these powerful jaws, the camel spider easily crushes and dismembers its prey and therefore does not need any poison.
It can also bite through the skin of a human being. It's not dangerous but very painful. The jaws can be as long as the thorax and also have a saw function that allow the camel spider to cut its prey to pieces. By rubbing the jaws against each other, it can also produce sounds that are used primarily to scare attackers.
Camel spiders primarily feed on insects, scorpions and spiders, but they can also take smaller reptiles and rodents.