Like the harvestmen we covered last week, the solifugids (better known as camel spiders, wind scorpions, or sun spiders) are subject to many misconceptions and are regarded as vicious, lightning-fast predators. While they are predators, and they can be extremely fast (clocking in at 10 mph) they are not a threat to humans.
The appearance of camel spiders can be somewhat alarming; they resemble spiders, but something’s… off. They appear to have 5 pairs of legs, but the large pair near their chelicerae are actually their pedipalps – leg-like projections that help them manipulate their food items. The chelicerae are MASSIVE, further contributing to their frightful reputation. The chelicerae are powerful, but resemble the mouthparts of scorpions and harvestmen; this means they have no fangs, which makes them – you guessed it – nonvenomous.
Solifugid Fun Fact! The word “Solifugid” has latin roots, meaning “those that flee from the sun.” They will actively seek shade, including the shadow of a person; this shade-seeking behavior is another contributor to their fierce-some reputation. Many people have reported being chased down by a camel spider, when in fact, it was only after some relief from the sun.