Solpugids have eight legs like spiders and hold appendages in front of the body like scorpions but do not have a distinctive 'tail'. These arachnids are better known as sunspiders or windscorpions. They are nocturnal and are encountered between dusk and dawn. Sunspiders vary in appearance but their frontal leg-like appendages, called pedipalps, and their large amber-colored mouthparts are distinctive.
Despite their menacing appearance, sunspiders do not bite unless threatened. They have been known to run towards humans in order to find shade but not to attack. Sunspiders are not poisonous although secondary infections sometimes result from bites.
Sunspiders are garden predators and should not be discouraged when found outdoors. If sunspiders are found in the home, do not destroy, but capture in a jar and relocate outdoors. They are solitary hunters and spotting one does not indicate an infestation. To prevent sunspiders from entering homes, seal all cracks and crevices.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!
Updated Tuesday, October 13, 2015