Solifugae

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Natural history and life cycle of the solifuge Eremobates marathoni Muma & Brookhart (Solifugae, Eremobatidae).
Autoecology and description of Mummucia mauryi (Solifugae, Mummuciidae) a new solifuge from Brazilian semi-arid caatinga.
Circadian activity.--In April no solifuge was seen moving on the ground either during the day or at night.
Three regions of Brazilian Amazonia within the state of Rondonia were searched for the presence of solifuges by means of pitfall traps.
Conversely, mites (Acarina), millipedes (Diplopoda), centipedes (Chilopoda), solifuges (Solifugae), earwigs (Dermaptera), velvet ants (Mutillidae) and spider wasps (Pompilidae) occurred least frequently.
Histology and ultrastructure of solifuges: Comparative studies of organ systems of solifuges (Arachnida, Solifugae) with special focus on functional analyses and phylogenetic interpretations.
Correspondingly, the fossil record is biased against mites, harvestmen, pseudoscorpions and solifuges. Mites make up almost half of all living arachnid species, but less than a fifth of the fossil paleodiversity.
2002) harvestmen seem to resolve in a fairly basal position (compared to spiders) as part of the so-called Dromopoda clade along with scorpions, pseudoscorpions and solifuges.