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Wind Scorpion of Baja

With a reputation nobody can envy, the wind scorpion is an insect spread across most arid places in the world, including Baja California. It is known under several other names: sunscorpion, windspider, sun spider, camel spider, and even deer killer or camel killer.

The rumors related to the viciousness of the windscorpion go back to the 2003 Iraq war. These rumors painted the picture of a huge insect that ran faster than humans. It was extremely poisonous, with venom that could knock out a camel. It became infamous for its voracious appetite, able to eat chunks of big animals or even people.

The wind scorpion is often referred to as a “spider”, but in fact, it belongs to a different order of animals called solifugae. It does not exceed human speed, though it can run up to 10 mph. It has huge chelicerae (mouthparts) that it uses to rip the prey apart. Luckily, windscorpion prefers termites, beetles, scorpion or any other local insects. It might occasionally eat small snakes, lizards, birds, or rodents, but the menu does never include human flesh or your pet.

The most common misconception windscorpion is that it is poisonous. Fortunately, this is not the case, though the insect uses digestive fluids that liquefy the flesh of the prey, like a spider. Know that there is an exception to this rule, but fortunately, this kind of poisonous wind scorpion is located in India.

So, this critter might not be easy on the eye, but it does not constitute a threat to human life or to the pets living around your household. However, stay away from those huge chelicerae  (mouthparts) because they are able to cause a rather painful bite. 

 Solifugae are the subject of many legends and exaggerations about their size, speed, behavior, appetite, and lethality. They are not especially large, the biggest having a leg span of about 12 cm (4.7 in). They are fast on land compared to other invertebrates, with their top speed estimated to be 16 km/h (10 mph), close to one-half as fast as the fastest human sprinter.

The Solifugae apparently have neither venom glands nor any venom-delivery apparatus such as the fangs of spiders, stings of wasps, or venomous setae of caterpillars (e.g., Lonomia or Acharia species).[citation needed]

Because of their unfamiliar spider-like appearance and rapid movements, Solifugae have startled or even frightened many people. This fear was sufficient to drive a family from their home when one was discovered in a soldier's house in Colchester, England, and caused the family to blame the solifugid for the death of their pet dog. An Arizona resident developed painful lesions due to a claimed solifugid bite, but could not produce a specimen for confirmation. Though they are not venomous, the powerful chelicerae of a large specimen may inflict a painful nip, but nothing medically significant

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