Thursday, February 21, 2008

Camel Spider Bite-Photos,Solifugae

Solifugae - Camel Spider

A Solifugid (plural form Solifugae) is an arachnid belonging to the order Solifugae. The name Solifugae comes from Latin and means "flee from the sun", a reference to their nocturnal nature. The order is also known by the names Solpugida, Solifugae, Solpugides, Solpugae, Galeodea, and Mycetophorae. The order includes 900 known species of wind scorpions, sun spiders and camel spiders.
Most solifuges live in tropical or semitropical regions, where they inhabit warm and arid habitats. Some species however also live in grassland or forest habitats. The most distinctive features of solifuges is their large chelicerae. Each of the two chelicerae are composed of two articles forming a powerful pincer; each article bears a variable number of teeth. Males in all families but Eremobatidae possess a flagellum on the basal article of the chelicera. Solifuges also have long pedipalps, which function as sense organs similar to the insects antennae. Pedipalps terminate in eversible adhesive organs.
Solifuges are carnivorous or omnivorous, with most species feeding on termites, darkling beetles and other small arthropods. Prey is located with the pedipalps and killed and cut into pieces by the chelicerae. The prey is then liquified and the liquid ingested through the pharynx.