Camel spiders are critters that are wrongly depicted as monsters that are supposedly chasing humans around, trying to inject their lethal venom.
However, those characteristics are far from reality. And, they are not as fearsome nor as big as some people believe.
Their size and appearance were overly exaggerated to portray them as unusual creatures.
To filter the reality out of fantasy, I gathered 21 facts about the camel spiders. Hopefully, these facts will uncover their true face.
1. Camel Spiders are also known as solifugae, sun spiders, and wind scorpions.
Still, people prefer to call them camel spiders as the word “camel” refers to its perceived large size.
2. Camel spiders are not an actual spider nor a scorpion.
However, as all spiders do, they also belong to the Arachnida class.
But, everything placed in the class of Arachnida is not categorized as a spider.
3. Camel spiders can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) and weigh close to 2 ounces (56 grams).
Of course, that is a big size compared to many other spiders.
However, it is not as big as it was portrayed in social media.
4. The proper scientific name of a camel spider is solifugae which means in Latin “ those who flee from the sun”.
They got such a name because they are considered nocturnal creatures (mostly, active at night).
During the daytime, they protect themselves from the sun.
Nevertheless, they are attracted to light during the night.
5. Solifuges are called camel spiders because they were usually found near the dead camels.
People thought these spiders kill camels in order to lay their eggs inside the camels’ belly.
That speculation, however, was proven to be a myth.
6. Camel spiders are mostly live in the desert areas of the Middle East.
They can also be found in Mexico and the southwestern United States.
Generally, they thrive in the arid and warm environment.
7. Camel spiders are carnivores (animals that eat other animals).
They feed mainly on insects, such as termites and bugs.
Adults also eat larger animals such as snakes and lizards that are already been killed by larger predators.
8. Camel spiders have short lifespan. They live only up to a year in the wilderness.
When it comes to camel spiders, the size does not equate to longevity.
In other words, in the scientific world, it is believed that the larger the creatures are, longer they live.
9. They were also named “wind scorpions” because of their fast speed.
They can run up to 10 miles per hour (16 km/h). It is fast but not as fast enough as once people thought.
Some people think they can run up to 30 mph (48 km/h) and jump up to 3 feet (1 meter). According to Livescience article, they cannot run that fast nor jump that high.
10. Camel spiders are not recommended to be kept as pets.
Because they have only a year to live, and they need that time to reproduce.
11. According to National Geographic, their bite is not deadly.
Although their bite can cause significant pain, camel spiders are not deadly to humans.
In fact, they do not have poison glands nor instruments to inject it.
12. Camel spiders release some sort of liquid.
But it is not considered venomous.
They use that liquid mainly to turn their food into pulp in order to digest it easily.
13. There is an actual horror movie about camel spiders.
It came out in 2011 with the name “Camel Spiders”.
Unsurprisingly, the movie also depicts camel spiders as fearsome beasts to make the movie more appealing to the audience of horror-genre.
14. Their most lethal weapon is their powerful jaws.
They use those jaws to catch their prey and cut them into tiny chunks.
A close-up image below illustrates their aggressive jaws.
15. There are over 1100 species of camel spiders.
That means you will see different-looking camel spiders depending on a geographic location.
Species of camel spiders differ from each other based on their color, size, and behaviors.
16. There are several myths related to camel spiders.
Most of those myths originated on the web.
One of the myths is based on the distorted image of a camel spider that features it about 10 times larger than it actually is.
Supposedly, soldiers in Iraq witnessed huge and aggressive camel spiders while in duty. They even posted an image of a soldier holding one in his hands.
Later, it turns out to be a photoshoped image.
17. People also believe that camel spiders chase humans.
Contrary to such claims, there is no real-life evidence that they chase humans.
According to the LiveScience post, those spiders follow humans only if they feel an urge to use their shades (probably to protect themselves from the sun).
18. In Mexico, camel spiders are called matavenados which in Spanish means “deer killers”.
Here, it was depicted as a killer beast again.
In the Middle East, they supposedly kill camels. And, in Mexico, they are supposedly hunting for deers.
In reality, there is no solid evidence that camel spiders disturb the well-being of camels or deers.
Probably, their aggressive look might have earned them such horrible titles.
19. They are good at hiding.
They like to stay cool, so they hide under bricks and boards. That behavior limits homeowners’ ability to find their hiding places.
According to a report, some of the homeowners were led to leave their homes as they could not completely exterminate those spiders around their homes.
20. Camel spiders are abundant-layers.
Female camel spiders can lay a maximum of 200 and a minimum of 50 eggs in the protected burrows.
Until the eggs completely hatch, the female does not leave the burrow and survive on the food stored in her body.
21. Although camel spiders eat almost any small living creatures except ants.
Scientists are still trying to figure out why they do not have an appetite for ants.