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Re: Re[2]: Arachnids and other odd fellows...



> 
>         No (again)...sun spiders are _not_ the same as solifugids!  Sun
> spiders -- I believe that they're called, colloquially, "pedipalps" -- look
> virtually the same as spiders, except that their mouth parts (the
> pedipalps) are enormously enlarged.  They use them to catch and devour
> small lizards and mammals.  I don't know that they're poisonous to people,
> but their bite is extremely painful.
> 
> Jerry D. Harris
> 
> 
Mmmmm, I'm not sure if you're right Jerry. Here is what I picked up
on solifugids in the book _Invertebrates_ by Brusca and Brusca (p. 501):

        "Order Solpugida. Most of the 900 or so species of solpugids
        (or solifugids) live in tropical and sub-tropical desert
        environments of America, Asia, and Africa. In contrast to many
        arachnids, they are often daytime hunters, hence the common
        name 'sun spiders'. They are also known as 'wind spiders',
        because the males run at very high speeds, 'like the wind'.
        Although some are only a few millimeters long, many reach
        lengths of up to 7 cm. The feeding habits of many solpugids
        are unknown. Among those that have been studied, most are
        omnivorous, but they frequently show a preference for termites
        or other arthropods. Lacking poison, they rip their prey
        apart with strong chelicerae."

So, Solpugids = Solifugids = "sun spiders". It is true that the
pedipalps are enlarged, but these have a sensory function. The
enlarged 'mouth parts' are really the chelicerae.

Michel Chartier