Curve-faced Solifugid

Class Arachnida - Order Solifugae - Family Ammotrechidae

Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn


Spicewood, Burnet Co., Texas 
September 28, 2006 (E Lancaster & K Lancaster)

Ordinal Distribution

Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, none occur in Australia.
Map of global distribution -


Primarily in arid to desert regions, (one species in Florida).
Most abundant in Africa, particularly in the Horn of Africa.


Of the 11 arachnid orders, the Solifugae makes the least contribution to the world's cavernicole faunas, no doubt due to their high energy needs. There is but one record of a sun spider from Texas caves. A single, an unidentified specimen was found below the entrance in Punkin Cave, Edwards County. (Mitchell &. Reddell 1971). 

Length: Rarely longer than two inches in North America.

Life History

Feed on a wide variety of invertebrates and even small vertebrates such as lizards
They masticate their prey, sucking out the juices and leaving the pulp behind. 
Both males and females dig shallow burrows for refuge and nesting.
Most species thought to have only one generation per year.


Solifugids are mostly nocturnal, quick and aggressive, yet the females of some species exhibit parental care of their young... Only a few species have been studied in detail.


Some 1,100 species of solifugids worldwide in 12 families.
    More than 120 species of solifugids have been described for North America in two families.

Systematics: Closest relatives are Pseudoscorpiones, followed by Scorpionida and Opiliones

Taxonomy World


North America (north of Mexico):

ORDER SOLIFUGAE - Mark Harvey, Senior Curator, Western Australian Museum
High percentage of these species were described since 1951.
The range of most species are limited to one or a few states.
Greatest diversity in the U.S. is in California, followed by Arizona and Nevada.
Ammotrechidae - Ranges from southern U.S. throughout South America
     Eremobatidae - Ranges from western U.S. to Central America


Twenty-six species were reported from Texas by Rowland & Reddell (1976).
Mark Harvey now lists 31 species for Texas.
            Individual species are difficult to identify.

Family Identification:

In the Ammotrechidae, the anterior margin of the propeltidium (the part of the head that bears the two eyes) is recurved, sloping backwards evenly from the eye tubercle (compare to the propeltidium of Eremobatidae).

Pest Status:  

Generally considered beneficial as they feed on scorpions, spiders and termites.
Apparently non-venomous, but they do have powerful jaws.

Common Ordinal Names: Also known as sunspiders, sunscorpions, windspiders, and windscorpions.


Windscorpion or Solifugid - Texas Cooperative Extension 
Carl D. Patrick, Professor and Extension Entomologist, Texas A&M University 
Detailed article on collecting Windscorpions at Balmorhea State Park, plus breeding behavior - Robert Breene Solpugids - University of Arizona
Ammotrechella stimpsoni - Camel Spider - Richard Fox, Lander University
Giant Camel Spiders in Iraq? - HOAX email circulating mostly in 2004
The Solifugae Website - Warren Savary 

Ammotrechidae - Curve-faced Solifugids
Eremobatidae - Straight-faced Solifugids


Solifugid in hand - Univ. of Calif., Riverside
In threat posture with chelicerae wide open! - Payson, Arizona
Chelicerae at maximal extension! - June 2006, Dickinson, Stark Co., North Dakota - What's that bug
Wind Scorpions mating @ National Geographic Magazine  
olifugid excavating a burrow, Salineño, Starr Co., TX -
Michael Patrikeev 
Egg mass - Payson, Arizona
Eggs and larvae - California Biota Website
Line drawing of unique morphological features - The British Tarantula Society
Computer generated illustrations for the National Geographic
-  Grégory Chevalier - Yann Goument 
Windscorpion on Sandstone Bluffs along the Rio Grande south of Falcon Dam, Starr County, Texas


     sol, =a (L). The sun
     fug, -i (L). Flee, dispel

     amm, -o, =us (G). Sand
     trech, -o (G). Run, hasten

erem, -i, -o (G). A lonely place
     bat, =es (G) One that walks or haunts


Allred, M., & H. Muma. 1971. Solpugids of the National Reactor Testing Station, Idaho. Great Basin Nat., 31(3): 164-168.

Aruchami, M. & G. Sundara Rajulu. 1978. An investigation on the poison glands and the nature of the venom of Rhagodes nigrocinctus (Solifugae: Arachnida). Nat. Acad. Sci. Letters (India), 1: 191-192.

Borror, D.J. 1960. Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. National Press Books, Palo Alto. 134 pp.

Brookhart, J.O. & M.H. Muma. (date). The Pallipes Species-Group of Eremobates Banks (Solpugida: Arachnida) in the United States. Florida Entomologist, 64(2): 283-308. 

Cloudsley-Thompson, J.L. 1958. Spiders, Scorpions, Centipedes, and Mites. Pp. 87-98 (revised ed., 1968, pp. 105-123). Pegamon, Oxford. 228 pp.

Corey, D.T. & I.J. Stout . 1990. Ground surface arachnids in sandhill communities of Florida . J . Arachnol., 18: 167-172.

Gore, J.A. & B.S. Cushing. 1980. Observations on temporary foraging areas and burrows of the sun spider, Ammotrechula penninsulana (Banks) (Arachnida: Solpugida). Southwest. Nat., 25: 95-102.

Jackman, J.A. 1997. A Field Guide to the Spiders and Scorpions of Texas. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston. Xiv + 210 pp.

Levi, H.W., L.R. Levi, & H.S. Zim. 1990. Spiders and their kin. Golden Press, NY. 160 pp.

Mitchell, R.W. & J.R. Reddell. 1971. The Invertebrate Fauna of Texas Caves. Pp. 35-90. in: Natural History of Texas Caves, E.L. Lundelius & B.H. Slaughter, editors. Gulf Natural History, Dallas. 174 pp.

Muma, M.H. 1951. The arachnid order Solpugida in the United States. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 97 (2): 35-141.

Muma, M.H. 1966a. Egg Deposition and Incubation for Eremobates Durangonus with Notes on the Eggs of Other Species of Eremobatidae (Arachnida: Solpugida). Florida Entomologist, 49(1): 23-31.

Muma, M.H. 1966b. Feeding behavior of North American Solpugida (Arachnida). Florida Entomol., 49(3): 199-216.

Muma, M. H. 1966c. Burrowing habits of North American Solpugida (Arachnida). Psyche 73 (4): 251-260.

Muma, M.H. 1966d. The Life Cycle of Eremobates Durangonus (Arachnida: Solpugida). Florida Entomologist, 49(4):233-242.

Muma, M.H. 1967. Basic Behavior of North American Solpugida. Florida Entomologist, 50(2):115-123.

Muma, M.H. 1971. A New Ammotrechella Roewer (Solpugida: Ammotrechidae) from Jamaica. Florida Entomologist, 54(1): 97-99.

Muma, M.H. 1974. Maturity and reproductive isolation of common solpugids in North American deserts. J . Arachnol . 2 :5-10.

Muma, M.H. 1974. Solpugid Populations in Southwestern New Mexico. Florida Entomologist, 57(4): 385-392.

Muma, M.H. 1975. Long Term Can Trapping for Population Analyses of Ground-Surface, Arid-Land Arachnids. Florida Entomologist, 58(4): 257-270.

Muma, M.H. 1979. Arid-Grassland Solpugid Population Variations in Southwestern New Mexico. Florida Entomologist,  62(4): 320-328.

Muma, M. H. 1980 . Comparison of three methods for estimating solpugid (Arachnida) populations. J. Arachnol ., 8: 267-270.

Muma, M.H. & K.E. Muma. 1988. The arachnid order Solpugida in the United States (Supplement 2, a biological review), pp. 1-35.

Punzo, F. 1995. Interspecific variation in life history traits between sympatric populations of Eremobates mormonus (Roewer) (Solpugida, Eremobatidae). Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, 10: 109-113.

Punzo, F. 1998. Natural history and life cycle of the solifuge Eremobates marathoni Muma & Brookhart (Solifugae, Eremobatidae). Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society 11: 111-118.

Punzo, F. 1998. The Biology of Camel-Spiders (Arachnida: Solifugae). Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA. 301 pp.

Rowland, J.M. & J.R. Reddell. 1976. Annotated checklist of the arachnid fauna of Texas (excluding Acarida and Araneida). Occasional Papers of the Museum, Texas Tech University 38: 1–25.

Savory, T. 1977 . Arachnida (2nd ed.). Academic Press, London, New York, San Francisco. 340 pp.

Turner, C.H. 1916. Notes on the feeding behavior and oviposition of a captive American false spider. J. Anim. Behav., 6: 160-168.

Wharton, R.A. 1981. Namibian Solifugae (Arachnida). Cimbebasia Mem., 5: 1-87.

Wharton, R.A. 1987. Biology of the diurnal Metasolpuga picta (Kraepelin) (Solifugae, Solpugidae) compared with that of nocturnal species. J. Arachnol., 14: 363-383. 

18 Jan 2007 © Mike Quinn / / Texas Entomology