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Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico, USA
June 8, 2010
Size: approx 3" total size
I think I might have nightmares tonight. Please someone tell me these sharp 4 pointy things are not fangs!! Then look at the macro and tell me what the heck is dripping off what looks to be fangs. I have never seen a sunspider this big and hope I never do again!! You guys have no idea how scared I was taking these shots, especially the ones with the mp-e. Dang thing kept charging me too.

Images of this individual: tag all
Sunspider Sunspider Sunspider

Moved from ID Request.

only one
species out of the 800-ish solipugids have 'venom.'

the one the above poster somewhere mentioned.

no poison
Sunspiders can occasionally bite with those awesome jaws, but they don't have poison glands or fangs. These are great photos! More info here:

Then how do you explain this reference in the sun spider article on wikipedia?
M. Aruchami & 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.

Edit: I just found this on
Venom controversy
While the absence of venom in Solifugae was long thought a fact,2 there is a single published study of one species, Rhagodes nigrocinctus, carried out in India in 1978 by a pair of researchers who did histological preparations of the chelicerae, and found what they believed to be epidermal glands.Aruchami, M. & Sundara Rajulu, G. (1978) An investigation on the poison glands and the nature of the venom of Rhagodes nigrocinctus (Solifugae: Arachnida). Nat. Acad. Sci. Letters (India) 1: 191-192.3 Extracts from these glands were then injected into lizards, where it induced paralysis in 7 of 10 tests. While this study has never been confirmed, and while other researchers have been unable to locate similar glands in other species, this particular species does appear to possess venom, although it is not known if there is any mechanism for introducing it into prey (recall that the researchers manually injected it into lizards).

Victor, the journal article that you cite is published by Springer-Verlag -- a reputable global publishing company. Even though, I investigated this citation further and found that there is no online access to National Academy Science Letters before 2012. Additionally, the citation is for the first volume of this journal ever published, meaning that there is risk of biased discrepancies of information published if the peer-review process had not yet been properly established for this journal.

Another critique of this citation is there is no currently recognized species named Rhagodes nigrocinctus

From the summaries of the article that say the authors found no duct for the venom to be injected raises a massive red flag. Venom is an incredibly expensive and energy consuming biosynthetic process, so venom would not be created and held in a gland without the ability to use it. I have serious doubts about this article and recommend that it not be trusted. This article citation is spread all over the internet with no way to actually investigate its validity, therefore it should not be considered a credible source of information. I still stand by the idea that no species of Solifugae have venom.

That's interesting--poison but no means to inject it? Maybe the glands are a vestigial structure? Seems like there would be strong selective pressure against having useless poison glands... thanks for the info.

I started researching them more last night after I posted. The things I thought were fangs are chelicerae? I know this is probably a stupid question but what would have been dripping from them? It was fairly dry last night so I don't think it was moisture in the air.

If these critters are not harmful why do they appear to be so aggressive. I know it is documented that they do not like the sun (which makes the one name so was it charging me to escape the flash? You would think it would run the other way instead of charge while raising and waving it's pedipalps. Maybe my flash had it confused?

Thanks again for the information!

Looks quite a bit like this o
Looks quite a bit like this one.

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