The Myths and Stories of the Camel Spiders

To some, camel spiders seem the boogie men of the Middle East, but from a scientific point of view, there is absolutely no justification for the myths and stories that consider this species a real monster and a threat to humans. The exaggerations related to camel spiders are explained by their large size, but what most people don’t know is that they are not actually spiders, but a different type of arachnids more like the scorpions actually.

They have no venom, and they simply kill their prey by cutting it, which, as a matter of fact, makes them less dangerous than many spiders and scorpions. The bite of camel spiders represents no great threat to the general health condition, unless it gets infected.

The only variety of venomous camel spiders grows in India, but research is pretty scarce in the field. Apparently, the Indian camel spiders can hunt down lizards by injecting them with venom and paralyzing their movements. One of the natural enemies of the camel spiders, the scorpions are very likely to lose a fight against this giant arachnid. Due to the extended size, the camel spiders are able to cut down the sting of the scorpion and make it harmless.

The male camel spiders are smaller than the females, particularly since the latter will eat a lot before hatching. They need to accumulate some “fat” in order to be able to resist without food during the period when they have to guard the eggs. The easy way to distinguish between males and females is not just body size, but also the length of the articulated feet.

One other peculiarity of the camel spiders consists in the presence of several pairs of eyes grouped on various body parts. Thus, they may look more like spiders, but the visual accuracy is considered superior by many researchers.

Camel spiders are more likely to hunt at night; they are nocturnal creatures that enjoy shady environment even if they mainly live in warm and arid climates. The preference for shade is the actual explanation of the impression lots of people got that the spiders may be attacking them.

The human body represents a corner of shade, which will surely attract the spiders; this is the only explanation for the fact that these creatures get closer to humans in a variety of circumstances. Otherwise, they will not attack an opponent that is larger than themselves, and will not bite unless provoked.

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