A camel spider can run at 30 mph and they have a terrifying scream while they run! At least that is what urban legend and popular myths would have you believe. The truth is that a camel spider can only run about 10 mph. Camel spiders can get up to 6 inches long and are nocturnal creatures (prefer the night).
A camel spider, which is also in the class Arachnida with spiders interestingly enough, is not a spider at all. A camel spider is actually a solpugid, and there are about 900 species of them known to date. Around 50 species of camel spiders are found in southwest US and about 240 in southern Africa. The reason behind the name ‘camel spiders’ is simply because they are found in the desert. A Camel spider is also known as wind scorpion, sun spider, and wind spider.
This spider will dig holes and burrows where they spend time during the day. Because the camel spider possesses no venom and is not poisonous and must rely on other assets, for example their force and their speed.
Camel Spiders can jump 4 or more feet into the air, eat the stomachs out of camels, and can grow to be the size of a dinner plate – again, another myth of which none are true.
In fact, the picture of the soldier holding the camel spider is really a picture of two camel spiders attached to one another and held out in front of the soldier to make it appear larger than it really is! The picture of the smaller camel spider below is what you can expect.
What spooks so many people is that the camel spider seeks out shadows, so if your walking (and even running), the camel spider will actually follow your shadow! This leads to people imagining that the spider is screaming while chasing them!
Because they run so fast and stay in your shadow, you might think they are chasing you but in fact, they are simply staying out of the light.
The next time you are walking and notice a massive spider following you, don’t get to excited, it’s just you standard camel spider seeking shelter.
Camel spiders are nocturnal and they spend most the day hidden in burrows that they excavated themselves rather than using a pre-existing hole.
A Camel spider is more likely to be seen during the spring and summer months due to the fact that they dislike cold weather. Camel spiders typically feed on insects, scorpions, or lizards and often eat so much that they become bloated and can hardly move (much like I do when eating out!)
The camel spider is not dangerous and typically does not bite humans unless it is on accident or they feel threatened (except for this Camel Spider Bite), as is the case with other spiders. Like other spider bites, it is important to consult a doctor immediately after being bitten by a camel spider, especially if the kind of spider is unknown.