Posted: Aug 14, 2012 12:29 PM by Claire Anderson - MTN News
GREAT FALLS- A Great Falls resident discovered something rather surprising under a flower pot recently: a camel spider.
After talking to an expert, we will have a look at whether you should be concerned about these creatures, hear from the man who found it, and see how his family reacted to it.
The body width of the specimen he found is 1 and a half inches; the main portion of the body is one inch long; from top of head to end of back legs it is two inches long.
Despite their ferocious appearance and contrary to urban legend, camel spiders are not venomous, although they can inflict a painful bite.
And although they are often referred to as "camel spiders" and are related to spiders, they are not truly spiders.
CamelSpider.org states: "The camel spider belongs to the order Solifugae of the class Arachnida. It is related to both spiders and scorpions but is neither."
National Geographic reports:
Not actually scorpions, these predators are solifugids, members of the Arachnida, a class that includes spiders, mites, ticks, and true scorpions. Sometimes known as sun spiders, and called camel spiders in North Africa and the Middle East because of their humped profile, wind scorpions weigh as much as two ounces (56 grams) and can have leg spans exceeding five inches (12 centimeters). Most of the 1,100 species are nocturnal. Racing over the sand in the dark like supercharged dune buggies, they seem to know no fear.