Sunspider/Wind Scorpion

The Sunspider or Wind scorpion which is another name for it, ranges in size from nearly half an inch up to almost two inches.

In comparison to their bodies they have gigantic pincers which are hinged to let them move up and down.

They have a three segmented body, with very distinct sections.

Sunspider
Sunspider

Their arms are sticky, which are used to hold their prey items while they eat them. Only the last pair of legs is used for walking.

The abdomen is rounded and the tail has no stinger of any kind, which makes it different from others of its species.
Females lay eggs in a burrow they dig in the sand.

They will lay about fifty eggs at a time and guard them with veracity until they hatch. The small sun spiders are active only at night, while the adults are more active at night but will also hunt and move around in daylight hours.

Windscorpions, or sun spiders are predators, but they have no poison to help them catch their prey.
They are very aggressive hunters, stalking and capturing prey in their arms rather than with poison. They eat insects, and some smaller animals such as lizards who are many times larger than the predator.

Sun spiders live independently of each other, and only the females with young will live in a group. They are very often regarded as beneficial because they feed on insects and can keep homes insect free.

Their harmless nature to man further discourages any control.

“Upon seeing these arachnids, a person’s first impression is often, “Anything this ugly MUST be poisonous.” This is the unfortunate reputation that follows the sun spider. The truth is quite different. The sun spider’s appearance is quite fierce, yet they are perfectly harmless to man. Many superstitions are told about these creatures.

Wind Scorpion
Wind Scorpion

In Mexico and the Southwest it is one of two different creatures referred to as nina de la tierra or child-of-the earth. Solpugids live where arid and semi-arid conditions occur. In the United States, they are found from Arizona to West Texas and as far north as North Dakota and adjacent areas of Canada.”

(Quote from nsdu) – Where you can also find out a great deal more about sun spiders.

  • Jason Smith

    The wind scorpion is beautiful ,peaple need to understand this.

  • frank g

    Just moved to a new home in az on 1.50 acres and had about 5 wind scorpians on my patio..and a scorpian also..I sprayed the wind scorpians and the regular scorpians and regret killing the wind scorp after I read this..should I spray around my home anymore or just hope the wind does its job?? Please respond to my email..I will also return with pics of them if u want…frank_gulko@yahoo.com

  • josh

    It says here that the wind spider lives from Arizona to West Texas, but i see them all the time here in San Diego, California. Is this normal?

  • Jane doe

    “In the United States, they are found from Arizona to West Texas and as far north as North Dakota and adjacent areas of Canada.”

    I live in santa paula california and i found one of these in my house 2 days ago. I was not sure what i was looking at and it did not appear to be a normal spider at first so i walked up and put it in a jar……. only after getting a close look at it did my fear of spiders kick in. Me and my roommate but living there for years have never seen anything like it so we hit the internet looking for what it was. Sure enough is a Sunspider. but Santa Paula California is kinda far from Arizona and we havent been through Arizona to possibly have brought it back with us.

  • CARI

    THOSE ARE THE CREEPIEST DAMN THINGS I’VE EVER SEEN AND I HATE FINDING THEM IN MY HOUSE. I’D RATHER FIND A FREAKIN’ ANACONDA THAN ONE OF THOSE IN MY LIVING ROOM.

  • ac

    what happens if you get bit by a scorpion wind spider what does it do to you?

  • Eric

    I have heard they do secrete a nerotoxin to numb their pray.

  • bob

    i found two of these thing in washington…which is farther then california and yea its dry here but how did they get here from arizona!?
    they are freaky looking, first time i saw it i didnt know if it was a spider or not and yes they are fast…i know that from experience

  • Chris Cornell

    I live in Nevada about 1 1/2 hours from Death Valley and a hour from Las Vegas and these things are more common than humas it seems

  • Jason

    It can be a bit freaky when there is one IN the light fixture in the bathroom, or on the inside of a window screen. These things are VERY aggressive, and very nasty.

  • Jeff

    Duuuude these things scared me I hate arachnids or how ever u spell it but there uuuuuuugggggllllllyyyyyy!!!!!!!

  • katte

    We’ve been finding them in our house here in No AZ. They are very freeky looking. Some one told me it was a baby scorpion. But, I was not convinced. When I found this and a couple other articles, I was relieved! I had stepped and squashed a few, but now I will catch & release them. I am pretty sure we have several in the house. While at worked one crawled out of my skirt! Yikes!

  • Carson E. Bench

    You state that they are harmless to man. Last night when I threw trash into my outside trash container one “came at me” with surprising speed and despite backing away from it, it continued to come towards me. Is this “normal” behavior for it?

  • Zack

    just found one in washington state

  • colleen

    Believe me, these wind scorpions are in California! And they are in the northern region too. I live in the Sacramento area, out in the country and we started seeing these critters after the 1986 flood. We grew up out here and never, ever saw these before. But after the 1986 flooding of the Sacramento region (our property included) we have seen them every year, ever since. So we came to the conclusion the flood waters brought them in from somewhere. We didn’t know what they were at first. We did know they looked like a cross between a potato bug and a scorpion and even laughed at that thought…But I researched them on the UC Davis website and lo and behold, found it! They do like being in the house and appear at night. We only see one at time. Although we are facinated by their speed and agressiveness, we still don’t like them in the house. Because they are known to be great bug eaters, we catch them and throw them outside. We have lots of black widows, ants, ear wigs, etc and we’ll accept any help we can get, to rid us of these other pests. We only see a few during the winter months, but come spring, they become more active and appear all through summer. Anyhow, just thought I’d put my two cents in…nice talking to you all…take care….Colleen from Sacramento

  • Evildave

    Well, I feel awful. Something big skittering on the couch startled me, and I glimpsed it, but by the time I got up to look for it, I couldn’t find it.

    Later on I found the Poor little guy on the kitchen floor, half squashed and crippled, and I didn’t even know I had done it. Possibly the cat did it, or possibly he rode on my clothing and fell off at just the wrong time. It probably rode into the house on my clothes because I was in the yard working.

    I counted up ten ‘legs’ and looked its hairy little body (and crushed abdomen), and nasty pincers over. Even mortally injured, it was feisty. I had it rinsed down the garbage disposal and gone before I decided to check what it was. I assumed the fore-legs were over-sized antennae, and so I googled for a spider with large antennae and came up with the pictures of it. First hit.

    It was definitely exactly the little dude in the second picture, but a little darker, so these guys are definitely in the Coachella Valley (around Palm Springs), in California, too.

    I don’t generally bother the spiders, even the black widows outside, because I LIKE them eating the crickets and other pests. They were all here before me, and I’m content to just let them take care of each other.

    I’ll keep an eye out for these guys from now on. They’re ‘cute’ in an OMFG! sort of way.

  • linz

    i live in lemoore ca and i found one of theses in my garage… its not the first one i found around the house .. its the first one i caught and its scary lookin.. and if you dont know where lemoore is its in the central california area…. is it poisonous or what is its purpose

  • Sabrina

    Wow i was really surprised when my husband came across this spider on our wall in the kitchen and at first i said that is really ugly “kill it’ but no my husband told me to look it up and after a few hours on the net and a email a very nice gentlemen told me to google “sun spider” and i found this, very good info to have thank you =)

  • donnie

    i live in Coulterville CA. its kinda by Yosemite national park. wh do i find these here?! they shouldnt be here! lol. they creep me the hell out.

  • Arnel

    I was just bitten by one of these things and let me tell you, it hurts like hell! I managed to shake it off my foot before it really sank it’s fangs in but then it went after my other foot! They are very aggressive and will run after you! I have had it happen more than once. They may not be venemous, but they pack a mean bite and are not afraid of humans so be careful if you ever encounter one.

  • david

    Eric
    July 11, 2009

    I have heard they do secrete a nerotoxin to numb their pray

    some research done in 1978 says that some do have a venom that paralyses prey but the reasearch was discredited, even if they did have venom they lack the ability to inject it into prey, they sometimes bight humans but at most it will become infected… theres allot of negative stuff about them on the internet, most of it is untrue, they are also known as camel spiders

  • Tatum

    Oh my god. I just found one of these in my bedroom and freaked out. I wasn’t sure it was a spider, but I smashed it with a shoe because it was running all over the floor. It exploded purplish-brown goo all over me. DISGUSTING! I’m sorry, I love animals, but if I see another one of these things in my room it’s meeting the same fate. I don’t even know if I will be able to sleep tonight. YUCK!

  • liz

    well last night my cat and dog were playing on the kichen floor and i saw one of these scary looking bugs running right for them i got my dog away but it attacked my cat hung on her nose i knocked it off her and killed it yuk it was so gross

  • Karen

    I live in Cape Town, South Africa. Found the second one in my house. They freak me out no end. Very glad that they are not dangerous, but still makes my hair stand on end.

  • cheryl

    When u got bit did u get a reaction from it. We have a lot at our home but have not been able to catch one without killing it. I am not sure if it bit me but but I received 4 bites that I had a allergic reaction to them. These are the only spiders I’ve seen in the house except for a couple of black widows that we found outside in the storage shed.

  • Chuck at the Refuge

    I found one in the window frame of a bldg at Imperial Nat’l Wildlife Refuge, 40 miles north of Yuma, AZ. The stories of the wind scorpion’s agressiveness sure are correct! Took me 15 minutes to capture this guy in the window channel. I took steps not to injure the critter so he/she could be exhibited at the Visitor Center at the Reguge which explains the time frame. I work with, and own 5 snakes that we use for school programs in the Yuma area. I relocate rattlesnakes when required here in the desert and this wind scorpion was as agressive and spooky as any reptile i’ve ever encountered..

  • Danie

    I just sprayed one with doom and i googled it and found out its harmless lol. This type of spider is very aggressive beware!

  • Jay Snow

    I love these little critters. They are the perfect critter to have in your home to get rid of the real pest. They are ugly, so am I and yet I’m lovable.

  • maria

    we just found one in our computer room. My dog max was playing with it freaked the beegeebees out of me. looked it up on line,very interesting still creepy.

  • Bree

    my mom just found one a week ago and it freaked the hell out of us. i have been watching it and the are these white things on its belly and i really want to know what they are. its kinda shaped like an upside down v does any one know what that is? it also has this white thing coming out of it butt i would really like to know what that is to. if any one know plz plz email me Babybree111@hotmail.com

  • David

    Well I met one of these sun spiders today, I usually try to discourage critters from trying to shake hands while I’m working. But this critter was quite insistant, I kept brushing him away, but he kept coming back…REALLY REALLY FAST!!! I was lying on the ground at the time so he looked BIG AND HUNGRY…”actually only 2 1/2″ long” but eyeball to multi-eyeballs he was the size of godzilla. Brained him with a 12″ cresent wrench…it was self defense…I swear!

  • Lottie

    This isn’t the first one I’ve found in my home, but it still scares the living hell out of me everytime I see one. Tonight I was just sitting in my chair watching TV & got up to get a drink and it crawled out right from under the chair. I was lucky enough that it had crawled into a book near by and I was able to smash it and be able to get a closer look. It’s by far one of the most revolting,skin crawling,panic attack causing bugs I have ever to come by. Harmless or not, they will see no mercy from me. Goodbye sleep tonight.

  • Jen

    Those of you saying “It was chasing after me!” – They hide from the sun, always running to shade. So if you’re running, and they’re following, it’s because they’re trying to hide in your shadow… :)

  • Jack

    When I was a young boy we found one of these creatures in the house and also found a huge black widow. We put them both in a jar and called a family friend who also happened to be a bug expert/exterminator. He told us to bring the jar to him the next day… When we went to get the jar the next day, we were horrified to find only the sun spider… there was no sign of the black widow. My mom who is defly afraid of spiders was very spooked, thinking the black widow had somehow gotten out. Turns out the sun spider had eaten the black widow and upon futher examination there was a small piece of one leg left in the jar. Mom now defends these spiders in her house and won’t let you kill them. They are harmless to humans.

  • jacqueline

    I live in Las Vegas, NV, been here for 30 sum years and never seen one ’til a couple of days ago, in my bedroom. Called the exterminator and they were here the next day. The guy said they are poisonous, are they? Or aren’t they? This thing was ugly!! Didn’t chase me, I caught it in my vacuum cleaner which uses water instead of filters, left it in there for about an hour, took it out to show my kids, and the thing started to move its legs, and open/close its pinchers. I put it in a jar and suffocated it.

  • Aimee

    OMGosh I just found my second of these zipping across my bedroom floor in less than a week, I am so freaked my son n I left to stay somewhere else for the night because I did not know what it is. It went zipping out from by my feet hanging off the bed….. I am Terrified of spiders let alone some super speed scorpion/spider looking Thing!!!!

  • Justin

    I live in blythe california and I always find these spiders at my work, I have always just smashed em. After reading this page I think i’ll just let em go. Never had one chase me, but I never gave em a chance. As long as they leave me alone, i’ll leave them alone.

  • wendy

    In arizona city az, I see these every day outside my home. Sometimes inside. They FREAK me out, but have never come after me. I do kill them in the house because with my eyesight it is hard to tell scorpion from sunspider at first glance and we have both out here! Outside I just let them be.
    we have one, no joke , on the wall the was the size of my two fists put together. Never seen anything so freaky in my life!!! Went to get camera, and came back and it was gone. Was afraid to go outside for a month adter seeing that.

  • AndrewTX

    I just found one of these in a glue trap in my garage in Austin Texas, so their range is farther east than stated (West Texas). It is yellow with a light brown thorax and about 1/2 inch in length.

  • kandi

    i live in western co. and i see one of these bugs every so offten and every time they freak me out. we live in the desert in an earth home,so we have,amoung other fun things, black widows so i was glad to see your comment about your mom. i’m glad the sun spider is not as bad as it looks to me,and since they take care of the others, i will try not to go find the largest shoe in the house to smash it! I use to call this bug the backhoe bug because no one could tell mm what it was.

  • Lunar

    just found one of these things in central california, first time I’ve ever seen one and I’ve lived here 30 years. I jumped up to catch it before the cat did so I could take a picture and look it up, in case it was poisonous, but after reading this I just put it back outside. It was about 1.5 inches long, and boy they are fast little things!

  • Carlos

    I was sitting watching tv last night and seen some thing run across by my feet. I turned on the light and seen this ugly thing. I’m not easily scared by insects or spiders but this thing gave me the heebee geebees. :s After researching this spider on the internet and found that it was a great hunter of insects the kids and I did a lil experiment. I placed it in a container with various other insects. It ate a spider faster than I could even count seconds. The lil black beetles that are a nuisance the sun spider loves them. The cricket is a survivor. I guess sun spiders don’t like those. lol After reading a few comments here I think I’m gonna release this ugly guy back to the yard. Just hoping he doesn’t come back inside. lol I also read on some sites that the females have their young follow them like a mother duck. I sure in the hell hope this isn’t a female. :S

  • naomi

    i live in elk grove ca and i found on of these spiders in my room after my sister started to freck out. i put it in a jar and feed it flys. it seams to be a ok spider i just was not sure what kind it was. im glad to know that it has no poison.it is a mean looking thang. how do you tell if it is a guy or girl.

  • Jo

    My dad caught 2 of these in his home in Texas last week. They also had some at the school. Wonder why we had never seen them before then then 3.

  • Paige

    My family back in Las Vegas (I now am in Florida) found one of these in our backyard shortly after I left home. It was about 3 inches long, one of the scariest looking things I’ve seen and it did not survive after it was seen. I like that some people have said that they won’t hurt them because they kill other insects but we will not do the same. With our outdoor animals just in the area of these things freaks me out! Lizards I don’t mind running around the yard, all other insects and arachnids, including these things, will be taken care of by exterminators.

  • ElPanda

    I’ve been finding them in the Central Valley of California for several years.

  • framer-hanger

    I just found one on the project we are on this in La Jolla CA. didn’t kill it I just put it back in some bushes.

  • Zack graves

    ah, you know where they are found?

  • Saltmine

    I found one walking on my bedroom ceiling last year. I released him in my workshop (cronically infested with roaches & black widow spiders). For over a year, now I haven’t seen a roach or a spider in the house or the shop. Anybody know where I can get a couple more?

  • http://www.facebook.com/coastergeek25 Nathan Parrott

    I think we just found one on our couch, tore it apart didn’t find it. Found this article, we don’t care its there to a point haha. This one looked to be about 1.5in long.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Radetski/100000419345908 Judith Radetski

    I just got bit from one had to go to the emergency room and they did not know what it was so went to my dr. and he said he didn’t know what type of insect it was but put me on bendryl and an antibotic.  Every year I get bit by something and this year I caught him.  Took him to the hospital with me and four days later the darn thing is alive and I kept him in a seal tight bottle.
    You can have him but they are not for me as I always get infected by them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Radetski/100000419345908 Judith Radetski

    I just got bit from one had to go to the emergency room and they did not know what it was so went to my dr. and he said he didn’t know what type of insect it was but put me on bendryl and an antibotic.  Every year I get bit by something and this year I caught him.  Took him to the hospital with me and four days later the darn thing is alive and I kept him in a seal tight bottle.
    You can have him but they are not for me as I always get infected by them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Radetski/100000419345908 Judith Radetski

    I just got bit from one had to go to the emergency room and they did not know what it was so went to my dr. and he said he didn’t know what type of insect it was but put me on bendryl and an antibotic.  Every year I get bit by something and this year I caught him.  Took him to the hospital with me and four days later the darn thing is alive and I kept him in a seal tight bottle.
    You can have him but they are not for me as I always get infected by them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Radetski/100000419345908 Judith Radetski

    I just got bit from one had to go to the emergency room and they did not know what it was so went to my dr. and he said he didn’t know what type of insect it was but put me on bendryl and an antibotic.  Every year I get bit by something and this year I caught him.  Took him to the hospital with me and four days later the darn thing is alive and I kept him in a seal tight bottle.
    You can have him but they are not for me as I always get infected by them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Radetski/100000419345908 Judith Radetski

    I just got bit from one had to go to the emergency room and they did not know what it was so went to my dr. and he said he didn’t know what type of insect it was but put me on bendryl and an antibotic.  Every year I get bit by something and this year I caught him.  Took him to the hospital with me and four days later the darn thing is alive and I kept him in a seal tight bottle.
    You can have him but they are not for me as I always get infected by them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Radetski/100000419345908 Judith Radetski

    I just got bit from one had to go to the emergency room and they did not know what it was so went to my dr. and he said he didn’t know what type of insect it was but put me on bendryl and an antibotic.  Every year I get bit by something and this year I caught him.  Took him to the hospital with me and four days later the darn thing is alive and I kept him in a seal tight bottle.
    You can have him but they are not for me as I always get infected by them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Barisic/100001650274182 Kevin Barisic

    i just cought one at work today iv never seen one before its freaky looking lol.cant wait to show my neice when she gets home she loves bugs and spiders.

  • matthew

    me and my sister were on the porch at 10:45 playing cards, when we saw something running fast. i picked up a stick at hit it. i pulled over to the light to see how hidouse it was. then looked up what it was.



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