Out There

Canadian Wildlife - - CONTENTS - Text and Pho­tog­ra­phy by Wayne Lynch

Western Canada’s wind scor­pi­ons are highly ag­gres­sive preda­tors armed with huge jaws and at­ti­tudes to match

SCI­EN­TIFIC NAME

Ere­mo­bates spp.

RE­GION

Arid re­gions of south­ern British Columbia, Al­berta and Saskatchewan

CON­SER­VA­TION STA­TUS

No Con­cern

WHY SO SPE­CIAL

Largest jaws for its size of any land in­ver­te­brate

COOL FACTS

The wind scor­pion, also called a camel spi­der and sun spi­der, is nei­ther a scor­pion nor a spi­der, though they are re­lated. These ra­pa­cious two- to three-cen­time­tre-long hunters are arach­nids be­long­ing to a group called so­lifugids. They are highly ag­gres­sive preda­tors armed with huge jaws and at­ti­tudes to match; one sci­en­tist de­scribed them as the “great white sharks of the in­ver­te­brate world.” The wind scor­pi­ons’ jaw-like pin­cers can be more than a quar­ter of their body length. They work like two pairs of pow­er­ful crush­ing scis­sors to pierce and pul­ver­ize their prey. They can then suck up the liq­ue­fied re­mains. Wind scor­pi­ons hunt in­sects, es­pe­cially ants, ter­mites and bee­tles, as well as close rel­a­tives such as spi­ders, scor­pi­ons and cen­tipedes. De­spite their in­tim­i­dat­ing ap­pear­ance, they are harm­less to hu­mans.

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