The bizarre-looking Camel Spiders are only found in the hot dry parts of extreme southeastern corner of Alberta. If you live in or near Medicine Hat you might be familiar with these strange creatures. They are generally nocturnal.
Eremobatid Camel Spiders belong to the arthropod Order called Windscorpions (Solpugida). They are Arachnids (like spiders) because they have eight legs. After that clue the guessing begins because they look as if they were put together with a bunch of bug ‘odds and ends’ laying about. There is a pale bulbous abdomen. The front end sports two black beady eyes, a pair of pincers that look at if they were affixed sideways (instead of horizontally as most arthropod pincers are). A pair of extra long pedipalps is held to the front and there is a generous sprinkling of long hairs on the front end and pedipalps. The hairy pedipalps, which look a bit like fat antennae, are used to scoop water and bring it to the mouth.
Although not dangerous to people, these little predators are definitely dangerous to other insects! These desert-loving arachnids are called windscorpions because they ‘run like the wind’ in pursuit of their prey.
The females dig burrows to lay their eggs in, which they guard until their tiny offspring hatch and eventually disperse.
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Where to find Eremobatid Camel Spiders in Alberta
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