Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sun Spider

Not a true spider nor a scorpion, though it is also called a wind scorpion, but an arachnid (8 legs) called a solpugid. This guy was above the door at the ranger office tonite. I didn't think much of it at first, although even with a flashlight on it it didn't run off. Later I saw it was still there and thought that was odd. It wasn't until I saw the pictures that I realized - and now wish I had stopped again and taken more - that it was molting or shedding its skin. And this guy's already a good sized one!
The very large 'legs' in front are really mouth parts that help catch insects and bring them to the crushing mouth parts. The mouth itself is really interesting. It looks like four claws. I kept one for a while back in my early days as a ranger and they are so fascinating to watch when they eat (I fed it crickets).
If you think this is creepy, don't Google the 'giant egyptian solpugid' or you might have nightmares!

1 comment:

Gail said...

Anna is wondering if that's the itsy bitsy spider??