Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Word Wednesday: Eremobates durangonus

My word for today was inspired by our find yesterday of one of these in our living room. YUUUUUCCCCKKKK!
(photo source)

Mr. Nature brought its mangled body to me on a napkin after he had dealt the death blow, but its FOUR fangs were still moving and clicking together in an effort to deal its own death blow.
It looked like a spider, but when I counted, there appeared to be 10 legs. Who ever heard of a spider with 10 legs? So, of course, I Googled this question: "What has 10 legs and 4 fangs?"

And the answer was: Eremobates durangonus. Also known as solfugid, solifugid, solpugid, camel spider, sun spider, and wind scorpion. The first set of 'legs' are not really legs, but appendages used in fighting, feeding, and the like. They are apparently not poisonous to humans, but those fangs can inflict a very painful bite. I read that, relative to size, their bite is stronger than that of a great white shark. I hope I never have to experience the pain of a great white shark spider bite.

I found a very easy to digest article about these at the place from whence I borrowed the photos. Additionally, I found a scholarly publication with all the attendant research findings from the Department of Entomology at Texas A & M University. Since I am really not interested in researching past the finding of whether this little critter can kill or maim me, I leave the real education about these to others, and simply provide you with the informative links.

Just for fun, if you want to read about the (unconfirmed) stories of camel spiders found in Iraq that are as big as dinner plates and can run 25 mph follow this link. Or if you wan to read about how those powerful fangs can "quite easily snap an adult locust in half," follow this link.

I would much rather tell you our Latin word of the day which is Ovis. Ovis is a sheep, and they are so much more lovable than anything in the arachnid family.

Visit my sister blog, Sharing Our Gifts to find out the Change The World Wednesday challenge for this week.



ClayItAgain / 12MidnightOils said...

OMG! I just have to tell you about the creepy crawlie. When I lived in the deserts of California, we used to find these all the time. The locals called it a vinegaroon and the local urban myth about them was that if you were bit by one, you would taste vinegar for about a week no matter you ate. My son used to mess around with them all the time and it totally creeped me out. I have seen one as big as 3 inches, and they are fast and aggressive. Had me dancing a few times :)

Splendid Little Stars said...

eeeewwww! Let's hope this is the one and only.