Camel Spider… or is it a Wind Scorpion?

Camel spiders are not just known as camel spiders; in fact this spider is also known as a sun spider, sun scorpion and a wind scorpion. Scorpion? I know right, the more crazy fact is that it isn’t even a spider. It is a Solpugae, which is an order of Arachnida. So this in between creature looks similar to both a scorpion and a spider, and scares people just as much as a scorpion or a spider does.

spiders scorpions camel spider

This camel spider was found in New Mexico.

The camel spider is a brown tone and appears to be on the hairy side. They average around 3 to maybe 5 inches, but can be much smaller. Like spiders they have 8 legs, but one pair is smaller than the rest as it is used to help them run. They also have pedipalps, which are similar to the antennae on insects. One differentiating thing about their pedipalps is that they look like really long legs, rather then something sticking off their head. They are used to help find food, capture food, and move around; they even can make a slight sound as the camel spider is moving.

The camel spider is a desert pest, although it can be found as far North as Canada. In the Southwest the camel spider loves the warm weather, as it does for any other desert locations. The camel spider prefers the heat and dry air, and is timid of the cold. While in the desert terrain they often stay underground, unless it is to come out and get food. This usually happens during the night time, as they rest underground or at least in the shade during the day. They will leave the burrows in the summer more often. Summer time is usually when homeowners actually start to notice them.

When a homeowner sees a camel spider they usually freak out, because they can’t decipher what it actually is. Since it has legs that look like a spider and a weird body that could be anything people assume that it is a scary desert vermin. It does look creepy and scary, but the camel spider is actually not as bad as you’d think. It can bite a person, but that is a rare occurrence, but it does not have any poison in it. Although many people have a hard time believing it when they hear one of the many names it can be called like wind scorpion. Learn about all of the camel spider myths people believe in.

spider scorpion camel spider

Here is a camel spider that got caught on a sticky trap at an office in North Scottsdale, AZ.

Not having any poison in them is actually a somewhat bad thing for the camel spider. Without poison it can not attack its prey in that manner. Rather, the camel spiders have to be more aggressive hunters. They will stalk their prey and then attack. Some of the camel spiders many legs are very helpful during hunting and feeding time. The bottoms of them are sticky, so they help trap the prey and also help keep the food in place while devouring it. Another bizarre thing they do when eating is that they will literally stuff themselves, to the point where their bellies are so full they don’t move for some time. The camel spiders eat different kinds of insects, beetles, small lizards, and even scorpions.

In any case this creature is not very harmful and is more afraid of you than you are of it. To keep them from getting in your home, have a pest company treat your home for other insects and vermin. In most cases it will make its home near where its food is living.

Picture by Dolor Ipsum from www.creativecommons.org. Picture from Arizona resident Jenna.

13 Responses to “Camel Spider… or is it a Wind Scorpion?”

  1. Jenna says:

    I have seen this creepy critter in the flesh. It was on a sticky trap that pest control set up in my Scottsdale home. It truly resembles a scorpion from afar. Do not be fooled!

  2. Andrew says:

    I’ve seen 3 of these in my house in Youngtown, AZ in the past week! My cat keeps finding them and I did not know what they were until now. A camel spider? Creepy! Time to call the bug man again. Ha ha.

  3. Jenna says:

    This week I came across a camel spider at my office, in North Scottsdale. Just like at home this guy got stuck on a sticky trap. Everyone freaked out because these things are so gross looking and resemble scorpions so much. I’ll email the picture I took on my phone, maybe you can put it on your site.

  4. lauren farley says:

    I have had 2 of these in my bathroom and they look a lot like scorpions it freaked me out, it actually ran away when I tried to kill it with my shoe. I think it was after a beetle on my tile.

  5. It will not be necessary to wash dishes or bedding exposed to fumigation gases. Nor will it be necessary to remove makeup, soaps, detergents, etc. These items, even when used after exposure to fumigation gasses, are not likely to cause you harm.

  6. kristal says:

    i have found three of these in the last few days in my home. Talk about freak out mode and confused all at the same time. Just thinking about it all over again gives me the chills. These creatures are fast . I live in New Mexico and have never seen one of these ever!!! and now three in three nights. I have heard and seen a child of the earth in lower parts of where i live but in the mountains… i think these bugs are confused and so am i. conflicted more like. how do i keep them away for my kids sake and my own reservations of these creatures. I dont know but my curosity of these creatures have me glued to my computer today and the never ending goose bumps…

  7. Katie says:

    Even though camel spiders are super creepy looking they can be harmless. Camel Spiders are not known for biting people, unless they were to maybe be provoked. The best thing to do would be call your local pest control service to come out and do a thorough check around your house.

  8. D. Reed says:

    We visited mom in law at golden shores for one week,after unpacking the suitcase here in Dallas we got a major shock a thing was in the bottom of my case .
    I don’t think it liked flying AA or it might had been the baggage handler ,it was dead and for us that’s a good thing!!!! I don’t want to sound negative but anything with double fangs still reminds me of my X .
    Dearl from Dallas {•:

  9. Kaylyn says:

    Wow I thought it was a small tarantula when I found it in my house last night until I googled it this morning. They are disgusting looking, and this one was about the size around of an apple. I also read that they can run at speeds of up to 10 mph which is very fast for such a small creature and are also known to charge if they feel intimidated. Either way I dont want them in my house thats for sure. Yuck! They are also commonly confused with the Child of the Earth which is actually a cricket, aka the Jerusalem Cricket, resembling a human baby. Also a creepy looking bug.

  10. Michael says:

    I just saw one of these guys today, it does run from you, kinda cool that something so freaky looking is afraid of big ol’ us :)

  11. Debra says:

    we found 2 in our home in Roswell NM. The first one was found then 2 days later the other. First my husband was looking it up and came across all kinds of scarey things that were apparently myths but talk about freaking out at first. I’m glad i found this sight makes me feel better instead of the sites that talks about how they take down camels and kill them.

  12. Violet says:

    I live in southern nm, walked out onto the back porch, just about to slip my ‘ outside shoes’ on….. One minute later and this thing would have been in my shoe! Yikes!i trapped it to show the hubby , after that I’m letting it go( in the field across from my house). These are so creepy looking! Glad to know they are not poisonous though. It must have been really full cause it didn’t seem to want to move at all.

  13. wummy says:

    Saw dis in my friends room last nyt…urgh. Very creepy. 1st glance, we tot it was ą scorpion

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