May 23, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
Last week, I was in California visiting my in-laws. My sister-in-law got married, so we made the trek down there in the minivan.

It was a cute wedding, and the reception was particularly fun. However, while at my in-laws house, I stumbled upon this thing:

The picture quality isn't that great, and it's inside a drinking glass.

A little freaked out, I did some research and found these images on a bug-identification site:

Apparently, that's a sun spider. Also known as a wind scorpion. Apparently, it's neither a spider nor a scorpion... but twice as creepy as either of them.

They're apparently non-venomous, but those jaws are just unacceptable. Creepy creepy creepy.


Kristen said:
Yuck! Freaky!
May 25, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
Seriously. This thing freaked me out. I thought about bringing it home with me, but I had already caught a lizard... so my wife made me choose between the lizard and the spider/scorpion thing. I asked my daughter which one she wanted, and she chose the lizard, so that's what we have now.
May 25, 2007

Krystyna O said:
Haha this actually helped me I caught one of these tonight walking across my living room. Little suckers are FAST and they get really irritated when you mess with them but no biggie, it's a normal happening during summer nights.
May 15, 2009

cindy said:
killed one in the livingroom in odessa tx this weekend. kids are keeping the remains in their bug collection. day aw vewy scawey!!
June 22, 2009

luis o. said:
i was sitting down on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette when one of them caught my eye.ive never seen them before and didnt even think it was a spider until i brought it in and took a closer look. its pretty trippy so i kept it.
June 23, 2009

Nick said:
what i wanna know is how does that thing eat? it has like two pairs of jobs
July 02, 2009

Christopher McKay said:
Yes, indeed. I have caught many of these. They are non aggressive and tend to haul across the ground, hence the name "Wind Spider". They are oftenly mistaken as vinegaroons. However, they are not related to them. Infact, it is common for many spiders to be named after, or mistaken as a scorpion such as the vinegaroon a.k.a. whip scorpion.
July 13, 2009

Lennart Donvild said:
On my travels, in tanzania, i found it scurrying around ind the front yard, and i ggot very fascinated, for i had never seen this kind before... sure it is not venomous?

It attacks anything you poke it with... :D and it must eat like a spider, because there is no other means of holding or chewing the food...

July 16, 2009

draconis42 said:
They're not venomous. But they are MEAN like no animal that size I've ever seen. I've seen them charge at people before.

I swear, if these things could fly, mankind would live underground.

July 20, 2009

rouben bedrosian said:
I caught one in my daughters room scaried the hell out of me. Where did you find yours what city in california in in Tujunga.
July 26, 2009

Ryan B. said:
I found one in my home in Las Vegas. It wasn't moving and I thought it was dead. I put it in rocks glass and after a couple days, it started moving slowly. I bought it some crickets and it moved like lightening, biting the head off the cricket in a second flat! This is the best FREE pet I've ever had. I named him Recon cause he's a fast, silent killer.
July 31, 2009

Harv said:
Yeah - these insects are hard core. I live the deserts just outside of Los Angeles and these are commmon. The real name of the insect is "Solifugid", and they are super aggressive. They are mostly nocturnal, and eat whatever they can find, but seem to especially enjoy crickets. I sit out at night and watch them under my porch light. A moth or cricket, etc will hit the ground, and one of these things will come spinning out of the darkness, grab it, cut it in half, and run back into the dark with it...pretty impressive. I think I once read that they are pound for pound the most aggressive and the fastest insect of its type. You can see more here:
When they actually get into the house and I have to confront them - they will actually raise those front pads and challenge me....pretty impressive.

August 13, 2009

oz said:
Got to know these buggers when I lived near Park Hill in San Jacinto in So. Calif.- they are scary fast and fierce no doubt! These things will charge you and I gotta say you will be leaping the first time you try to crunch one and it makes for your feet. Our yard was seriously overrun with the varmints and thankfully it was a short tenure at that house :P The females looked cool and were near twice the width of the males which were skinny
and not nearly as intimidating. Great photo of the jaws- I don't miss them at all!

August 30, 2009

Sam said:
I read that they don't chase people to attack most of the time they are just trying to get on peoples shadows.
September 01, 2009

Sara said:
I live in Needles, CA and we had one of these in our work bathroom today. My coworker has seen them in her house many times, but somehow this was my first encounter with one. Creepy!
September 09, 2009

John said:
We found one at our Fire Station in Magalia, CA. We made its jar the octagon of insect fighting. The Sun Spider took out 2 black widows, a meat be, a daddy long legs, gut finally met its match against a praying mantis. Demented? No, I don't think so, just watching nature at its finest.
September 10, 2009

jordanjerome said:
actually this spider is the result of someone in the military bringing one back from way back during desert storm. They are descended from the camel spider that we in the military see all over Iraq. The person who brought one back as a pet cross bread it with a tarantula and the end result was the Sun Spider. Granted they wont grow as big as the ones from Iraq but this is why customs now checks bagage so people dont dothings like this anymore.
October 09, 2009

jovial_cynic said:
jordanjerome -

You're incorrect. The sun spider isn't a cross-breed of anything; it's its own species, from an entirely different arachnid order: solifugae. No cross-breeding going on.

October 09, 2009

Michael Marshall said:
Saw one of thee at my Job. Didnt know what the hell it was either. In fact, didnt even think they were even from around here. Might of hitched a ride on one of the trucks (Deliveries) that came by.
June 02, 2010

Garret said:
Damn, these things are vicious... I just caught one in my Grandma's backyard, up in Redding, CA. I honestly thought it was venemous for awhile... Finally, I looked it up, just to be safe, and stumbled across this website. The little bugger's sitting in a jar right next to me even as I type this. I guess I'll let him go, now that I know he isn't some foreign killer-bug that'll murder us in our sleep. ^_^
June 22, 2010

Dawn said:
Our house (rental) is infested with these things! My husband was killing one a night, until a few days ago when we killed THREE in one night--all fast and furious as he**. The last straw was the third one, which we found in our bed. We've been staying elsewhere until we get an exterminator. Anyone know how to get rid of an infestation of these?
July 09, 2010

jeff said:
basically after the 4th of july every year they swarm my house for close to a month, then tehy are gone, but i would like to know how to keep them out of my house? my house definitely isnt sealed, its old and hard to get all those cracks filled, but is there any chemical, sevin maybe? that might deter them from entering my home? i know they are mostly harmless but my irrational fear of spiders kind of ruins any connection i might have to them. i just want them gone, helpful or not, i cant sleep with these things around. and my anxiety level is through the roof. any info would help, i just want them gone. thank you very much.
July 19, 2010

Bob said:
I'm visiting my sister in law in Vegas and she has killed 4 this week, then tonight we found an inch and a half long scorpion in the sink, I'll be checking the bedding closely, and my shoes in the morning!
July 19, 2010

duke said:
jordanjerome... is it actually possible that you are that stupid? what a freakin idiot.
July 26, 2010

NoOneInParticular said:
Harv, you kept calling it an insect. It's an arachnid. Big difference. ;)

I had caught a sun spider recently, and fed it a common house spider. Watching those jaws in action really creeps you out. The sun spider is a smaller relative of the Camel spider from Iraq.

August 10, 2010

ingrid said:
I heard from a doctor that these spiders are not only harmless, they are beneficial to our environment as the eat other spiders (whom are harmful) and other pesky bugs as well. If you find one of these freaky friends..don't kill it...embrace it!
January 27, 2011

it was the nastys thing everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr* my 1 year old nephew had iit in his hand....scared the crap out of meeeeeeeeeeee* killed iit n double killed iit lol today ii juss killed another one ;/
April 04, 2011

Chris said:
Read a book called 'Nids by Ray Garton, it involves a sun spider, a 5ft long one.
June 10, 2011

tom said:
Sunspiders, camel spiders, shadow chasers, salifugids (sp?) Have really gained popularity due to their size (tho never heard of one 5ft?!) and frequency over seas. While i was there we had one as a mascot in our bomb dump. But i have even caught two smaller ones in my apartment in Great Falls, Montana. Very agressive but non-venomous and good to have as they commonly feed on spiders and scorpions... just dont get on the receiving end of those huge jaws, ouch! Cool specimens but not known to survive long in captivity. Very fast and fun to watch. Strong predators for sure.
June 20, 2011

Kendra said:
Ky windscorpions are really fast and yes they do bite and it hurts! They are creepy and they eat smaller inscets and also if they come across another windscorpion they will try to eat each other. They are completely blind so hense the 10 legs. They do grow big. My father and I caught them all the time and put them together and it takes about 6 hrs for the whole fighting thing to finish... And in captivity they can live up to 3 months. SO there is nothing to really to be afraid of. They are all over in my house in Montana.
July 07, 2011

Markee said:
found one of these in southeastern montana last night around 1130 out the backdoor of my work kinda threw my manager and I for a loop had no idea what it was so i took it home with me and did some research this morning his name is now fred
July 13, 2011

Joshua Taylor said:
I've always called these Vinegaroons. I see 'em all the time here in Arizona, and at first glance sometimes mistake them for scorpions.

P.S. - They are harmless, but yes they are ugly as hell lol

July 25, 2011

April Sides said:
We see this in NM and one of their names is child of the earth. They are nasty looking. When my husband saw one he called it a camel spider and said they are all over Iraq. Now I am hearing sun spider for the first time! Funny how this one thing can have so many names!
November 30, 2011

Tim said:
Some of these posts say they are harmless. I would disagree. Have been bitten by one in Colorado on my calf and let me tell you it hurt like crazy!
January 20, 2012

HairyDave said:
Unfortunately we don't get them in the UK, but they are lovely, lovely creatures. While they're capable of giving a nasty nip, they're otherwise completely harmless. (Very, very fast though - I've read that they're capable of moving at up to 10mph, no mean feat for such a small animal)

@Joshua - the vinegaroon is a different beast altogether. It's an arachnid like the solifugids (sun- camel- spiders) but has grasping pedipalps (claws) and a long telson (tail) through which they squirt concentrated acetic acid (vinegar), hence the name.

May 10, 2012

MJ said:
found one in a basement bedroom in early July, in Montana. Ewww.
July 09, 2012

jojo said:
I am currently on a trip in Guanajuato Mex. I have come across these in the last week eight times everyone kept telling me their name is madre de alacran and others call it a vinagrillo with what i read today i will no longer kill them :)
October 17, 2012

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