1902 Encyclopedia > Arachnida > Arachnida - Order IV: Solpugidea - General Remarks

(Part 14)



GENERAL REMARKS. - The Solpugidea are nocturnal in their habits, living by day secreted under stones, among debris and rubbish, and in old ruined walls and buildings, in dry sandy places; from such retreats they come forth at night, and runnwith great swiftness. A recent traveler in Palestine relates, that when living in tents on the plains of the Jordan, near Jericho, each night, as nearly as possible between half-past nine and tend o'clock, several Solpugids entered the tent-door, running and racing with great speed over everything-tables, chairs, and beds-just like mad creatures, but apparently with no definite object, perhaps only attracted by the lights burning in the tent. When disturbed in their diurnal hidings-places they showed fight and were extremely pugnacious; but their being venomous is doubtful, though the Arabs seemed to d read them quite as much as they dreaded the true scorpions, which were also numerous under the large stones lying about. Some interesting details of the voracity and habits in confinement of a species of Galeodes, are given by Captain T. Hutton, Ann. And Mag. N.H., 1843, vol. xii. p. 81. Like the Phalanidea, it swallowed the solid parts of insects, and even of a lizard five inches long. Captain H. assumes, as one use at all events of the palpal organ mentioned above, that it is "a retractile sucker," to enable it to ascend smooth surfaces. This, however, is very questionable.

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