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home : features : nature May 23, 2016

7/11/2014 6:01:00 AM
Kingman Photos: Wind Scorpion: The Inside Scoop

JC Amberlyn
Staff Photographer

Something fast and vaguely dangerous looking zips by your foot. As the creature stops, you see it looks something like a tailless scorpion. Are you in danger? If it's a wind scorpion, also known as a Solifugae, camel spider, or sun spider, you can at least take comfort that despite its fearsome appearance, it doesn't actually present much threat to humans. Wind scorpions are not venomous, though if provoked their jaws would be capable of delivering an unpleasant bite. Wind scorpions are arachnids, in the same class of animals as spiders and scorpions. Most species live in dry climates and feed on insects, other arachnids, and other small animals. The largest Solifugae grow to 5 inches, including legs, but that size is not often seen here. They appear to have five pairs of legs, but actually have four like other arachnids. The front "pair" are actually elongated pedipalps that aid in sensing prey, fighting, and movement. Male wind scorpions are usually smaller than females. After mating occurs, the female will dig a burrow and lay 50-200 eggs, which she then guards until they hatch.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2014
Article comment by: Just A. Citizen

For about twenty years I called this little critter a 'vinegaroon' because that's what everyone else called it.
I stumbled onto it's real name and spent another twenty years arguing with various people about it.
Thank you for this article Ms. Amberlyn.
I sure wish you would've called me prior to it going to print as I could have won some bets.

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