Solifugae

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Solifugae

 

(wind scorpions), an order of arthropods of the class Arachnoidea.

Wind scorpions measure 1 to 7 cm in length and are covered with long hairs. The body is divided into a céphalothorax, a thorax consisting of two segments, and an abdomen consisting of ten segments. The coloration is brown-yellow or mottled. The céphalothorax bears a pair of central simple eyes and a pair of lateral ones. There are six pairs of appendages: the first pair are clawlike chelicerae that serve as defense organs and for tearing apart prey, the second pair are pedipalps that serve a sensory function and are used to seize prey, the third pair are tactile organs, and the fourth through sixth pairs are walking legs. The sexes are separate. Wind scorpions are oviparous and develop without metamorphosis.

There are 570 species of wind scorpions, distributed in the tropics and subtropics. The USSR has approximately 70 species, found in the southern European part of the country, in Kazakhstan, and in Middle Asia. Wind scorpions live in deserts, semi-deserts, and mountains. They are nonpoisonous, primarily nocturnal animals. The diet consists of various invertebrates.

REFERENCES

Bialynitskii-Birulia, A. A. “Falangi (Solifuga).” Moscow-Leningrad, 1938. (Fauna SSSR: Paukoobraznye, vol. 1, fase. 3.)
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh,vo\. 3. Moscow, 1969.
Dogel’, V. A. Zoologiia bespozvonochnykh, 6th ed. Moscow, 1975.

A. V. IVANOV

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