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Weird insect with long front legs

I saw a weird bug with 8 legs and two of them were really big. It was about 2 inches long.

Flora, Nipomo, CA - May 30, 2022

Curator Response

Hi Flora,

This is a solpugid (order Solifugae), an arachnid, but not a true spider.

Solpugids are really cool! They are not uncommon in arid areas, and I have seen them in eastern California deserts, as well as commonly in southeastern Arizona. They are sometimes called "camel spiders," and gained fame in social media when U.S. soldiers in Iraq posted pictures of them looking larger than life. I got lots of questions about these when I first started teaching a SBCC. Folks would tell me about the foot-long "spiders" in Iraq. Here's a good article about it.

Stay curious,

Collections Associate Jen Maupin, Ph.D.