In Depth Camel Spider Anatomy

Camel spiders are not actually spiders, but share similar characteristics. As with all the Araneae, evolution has provided the camel spider with two principle tagmata: the prosoma, or cephalothorax, is the foremost tagma, and the 10-divided abdomen section, or opisthosoma, is the back tagma.

The absence of the pedicel mirrors another key difference between camel spider and actual spiders. In addition to this, camel spiders do not have silk or spin webs like actual spiders do. In order to spin a proper web, a spider must have a flexible abdomen capable of spinning silk. This characteristic is not something that camel spiders have as part of their anatomy.

The prosoma of the camel spider includes the head, the mouthparts, and the somites that bear the legs and the pedipalps.

Despite the fact that it is not divided into two clear tagmata, the prosoma has an extensive, well-defined carapace, bearing the creature’s eyes and chelicerae, while a smaller back area bears the legs.

Like pseudoscorpions and harvestmen, camel spiders do not have book lungs, having rather a very pronounced tracheal framework that circulates air through three sets of openings on the creature’s underside.


Photo: Jon Richfield

Among the most unmistakable components of the camel spider are their extensive chelicerae, which in numerous species are longer than the prosoma.

Each of the two chelicerae has two articles (portions, parts connected by a joint), shaping an effective pincer, much like that of a crab; every article bears a variable number of teeth, that differs from species to species. The chelicerae of numerous species are shockingly solid; they are equipped for shearing hair or quills from vertebrate prey or flesh, and of trimming through skin and thin bones, for example, those of small birds. Many camel spiders stridulate with their chelicerae, creating a rattling noise.

Legs and Pedipalps

camel-spider-legsMale camel spiders in South African veld. It’s flagella are noticeable close to the tips of the chelicerae, looking like substantial, backwards facing bristles. As in many species, it holds its pedipalps clear of the ground; its front legs serve as material sensors, scarcely touching the ground with their setae

Like other arachnids, in spite of the fact that camel spider seem to have five sets of legs, just the rear four sets really are “genuine” legs. Every genuine leg has seven fragments: coxa, trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, and tarsus.

The first, or anterior, of the five sets of leg-like extremities are not “genuine” legs, but rather pedipalps and they have just five portions each. The pedipalps of camel spider function primarily as sense organs like arachnid radio wires. They also help with hunting and crawling.

In ordinary motion, the pedipalps don’t touch the ground entirely, but instead are held out to find obstacles and prey. Mirroring the colossal reliance of camel spider on their material senses, their front legs are traditionally smaller and more slender than the back three sets. At the tips of their pedipalps, camel spider bear eversible adhesive organs, which they may use to catch flying prey, and a few animal varieties surely use for climbing smooth surfaces.

Generally speaking the back three sets of legs are utilized for running. On the undersides of the coxae and trochanters of the last set of legs, camel spider have fan-formed sensory organs called malleoli or racquet (or racket) organs. Occasionally, the cutting edges of the malleoli are directed forward. They have been suspected to be sensory organs used for the identification of vibrations in the dirt, or to identify dangers and potential prey or mates.

Males are often smaller than females, with generally longer legs. Unlike females, the guys bear a couple of flagella, one on every chelicera.


Photo: Jon Richfield

A few species have large focal eyes. They look like basic eyes or ocelli, and are shockingly refined. They can perceive shapes, and are utilized for hunting and avoiding adversaries. These eyes are surprising in their internal anatomy; they may speak to the last stride in integration of simple ocelli into a compound eye, and of further reconciliation of a compound eye into a simple eye. Interestingly, horizontal eyes are truant in numerous species, and where they are available by any stretch of the imagination, they are just simple.


Julie Adams

I have been a nature enthusiast since I was a small girl. My background is in online marketing and website development. It only makes sense to merge my love for nature with my skills in online marketing to help spread awareness, and appreciation for Our Beautiful Planet.