Solifugid found dead in a bunch of bananas bought in a market in Nairobi, Kenya; probably late 1970s.

Solifugids are stealthy, swift (up to 10mph), fierce and voracious carnivores, that prey on small lizards, termites, spiders and so on. They are arachnids, and so cousins to spiders, scorpions, ticks, etc.

Solifugids’ prey is detected by means of sensory pedipalps that project out from the front of their body, and then grasped with the formidable pointed mouthparts (chelicerae) shown here. Once captured, the prey is killed and broken up by the chelicerae, after which digestive juices liquify it prior to its being taken into the digestive system.

OM-1; 50mm Zuiko; extension tubes; tripod; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

25 Responses to ARCHIVE 57 – SOLIFUGID

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    Frankly, Kind of macro, I am not very fond of 🙂


  2. Whatever it is – YIKES! Nice. Close up and personal and scary. Love it!


  3. Meanderer says:

    Wonderful close-up! I’ll stay out of the technical stuff here – but it’s all very interesting!


  4. krikitarts says:

    Well now, Adrian, that certainly is an attention-getter! With respect for a few of my followers’ comments after some of my rather detailed posts of spiders up-close, I have adopted a policy of forewarning folks that one is coming by always introducing a new such offering with the category “Webnesday.” You might consider something similar if you’re planning to do this again…

    With respect, my friend, I’m afraid I’m going to have to cast some doubt on this specimen’s identity as a solifugid. It certainly looks like a large one, and solifugids can be large (up to 10 cm or so), but they are not spiders and they have some quite different physical characteristics from those of spiders. The images that I was able to bring up on a quick Google search seem to show that solifugids have only two eyes, whereas the beastie in the photo here has four clearly visible above the enormous chelicerae (and very likely four more on the top of its prosoma (head). Further, the formidable fangs in your photo curve inward in typical spider fashion, whereas a number of the solifugids pictured in the photo gallery that I checked out have two downward-pointing “fangs” (which appear to be an integral part part of the chelicerae, not separate and with an articulation as in spiders) and also two upward-pointing ones below them so that some of them look like they are opening almost a set of jaws. Another fact: Solifugids have no venom glands (with the possible exception of one species in India). They crush their prey with their “fanged” chelicerae. There has been a lot of sensational, misleading, and frankly false information recently about certain solifugids, referred to as “camel spiders” by soldiers and others in Iraq.

    Sorry to be so long-winded, but my interest in spiders has taken me along this tangent on an occasion or two. I’m certainly not an expert on this distinct evolutionary lineage within the arachnids, and anyone with further interest can find lots of further factual information on the Internet. In conclusion, it seems very likely to me that your specimen is a species of (or relative of) what are commonly called “banana spiders,” a kind of tarantula, I think. If anyone out there knows better, please let us know and set us straight! Okay?

    Oh, and thanks for the invitation to jump in with my two cents!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      OMG! Er, tell me, Dr Bolstad, Old Bun, have I in any way touched your button?

      I think I’ve only posted three spider pics, so a Webnesday category would be superfluous – but thanks for the idea.

      This isn’t your two cents, this is more like your 200 dollars! But – and I certainly bow to your extensive knowledge here – if Solifugids do indeed only have two eyes then you’re certainly right. Thanks, Gary! Adrian


      • Tintenfisch says:

        Hi Adrian, my Dad (Gary) invited me to chime in here but I promise I’ll be brief 😉 If you’re looking for a more specific ID than ‘not solifugid’ I suggest this spider might have been from the family Sparassidae (huntsman spiders), which can look a bit like solifugids. The eye arrangement is quite unusual and is the main thing that makes me think it might be a sparassid–lucky that you captured the face so beautifully! Thanks for sharing 🙂


        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Hi! Sorry to be anonymous, but I can’t find your name despite looking on your blog – its good to hear from you!

          I’m sure that you and Gary are right – and that all these years I’ve been wrong – but that’s life! Thanks for your input!

          And I see from your About page that you’re into cephalopods. I’m an ex-geologist and, living near the Jurassic rocks of southern England, I’ve long been a huge fan of ammonites and belemnites and, in various aquariums, I’ve seen live cuttlefish and nautilus too – all very fascinating creatures – to me rather more so than other molluscs.

          Thanks again.



  5. bananabatman says:

    You’ve started my day with a jolly good ‘wake up’ Adrian. Great macro shot, but he (or she) is not a pretty beast, at least, not if you are of a similar size and this is your view of him (or her). I’m guessing that what looks like eyes (all four of them), probably aren’t. Are the eyes the hairy bits? Or have I got it completely wrong? I’m displaying my ignorance! 😕


  6. Helen Cherry says:

    Did you have to !! I was just about to eat my breakfast 😉 haha


  7. Brutal! Very cool shot


This blog has two pleasures for me - creating the images and hearing from you - so get your thoughts out to the world!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: