Friday, June 3, 2011

Noble Sun Scorpion

This is an arachnid from the Order Solifugae. They are found in most of the really dry, hot climates on earth. You don't come across them very often unless you poke around at night with a headlamp, like we do. :-) They are commonly called sun scorpion, wind scorpion, camel spider or false spider.

This one has been living with us for about a week. Why? because they are really fun to watch. They are incredibly active and voracious like you wouldn't believe. This one has been dining on cockroaches and even when she was full to bursting, like a grape, she couldn't resist tearing into yet another roach.

Note the cute little close-together beady eyes on top of her head. The front of her head is two massive chelicerae. The pair of long legs on the front are modified mouthparts called pedipalps. Before she gained all that roach weight she could pull herself up the side of her container using them, and they also are sensory in function, kind of like antennae.

As she fattened up, you could see her fill up with lumpy white tissue. We thought maybe it was eggs, but maybe just fat. The consistency of the white stuff is now much grainier, but we think it is too tiny for them to be eggs, since that would be a thousand eggs, where as they only lay about 100. In any case, she was released today so that she can go do what she needs to do. Good luck, Mabel!

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