Creepy creature a mix between spider, scorpion; native to Arizona

Posted: 10:52 PM, Aug 01, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-02 13:28:59Z

It's the stuff you'd see in your nightmares, and a Valley man came face to face with it. 

Its common name is the camel spider, wind scorpion or sun spider; however, it's not a spider and it's also not a scorpion. It's a cousin to both. It's in the same group as arachnids but isn't a true spider, according to Pierce Hutton, a biology Ph.D. student at Arizona State University. It's in the genus "Eremobates." 

"I didn't know they are native to Arizona, I have seen camel spiders, but I heard of them in Iraq," Thomas Acosta said. 

He found the creepy creature at his Queen Creek home. After living in Arizona for 37 years, he's never encountered one. He found it odd looking.

Biologists say the creature is a cousin of common spiders, but its powerful pinchers and menacing jaws make it a closer relative of another desert danger: scorpions.

The camel spider can get big enough to feast on small rodents, birds, lizards and insects; it also has the largest jaw size to body size ratio of any known animal, according to Hutton.

"We do have a small pet, and I wouldn't want anything to hurt her, she's kind of old," Acosta said of his worries. 

However, despite its resume of nightmare qualities, it's non-venomous and "essentially harmless to humans and other large animals," Hutton reassured. 

But what are those big scary appendages on the spider? It's the chelicerae, which are the spider's mouth and are used to transfer sperm into the female spider's gonopore, which is its reproductive tract. 

Acosta said he's looking into getting an exterminator as soon as possible. We don't blame him. 

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