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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Muma's (1976) privately published review of solifugid families of the world included an annotated checklist of Western Hemisphere solifugid species.
It is hoped that this information will be of use to those involved in the studies of solifugid taxonomy, systematics, ecology and biogeography.
Extensive solifugid population studies have been conducted at various locations in the United States (Muma 1963; Allred & Muma 1971; Brookhart, 1972; Muma 1974a, 1974b, 1976, 1979, 1980; Brookhart & Brantley 2000) mainly in the Chihuahuan Desert and the adjacent grasslands.
Solifugid environments are usually regarded as xeric and include deserts, grasslands, wind, river and beach dunes.
Tamarac St., Centennial, Colorado 80112, USA Table 1.--Number of Eremobatinae solifugid species in continental North America.
Keywords: Solifugids, wind spiders, sunspiders, checklist, biomes, distribution, type depositories.
In this paper Muma attempted to identify the locality of collected, identified solifugids in terms of generally accepted biomes or smaller biotic areas.
Because most of the data has come as the result of pitfall trapping in a limited number of areas, caution should be used in basing too many conclusions about the abundance and distribution of solifugids. Since solifugids are for the most part nocturnal and rarely collected, their distribution is sketchy and for the most part skewed towards those communities where some long term collections have taken place (Allred & Muma 1971; Muma 1974a, 1974b; Brookhart & Brantley 2000).
This is the first specific attempt to organize solifugids in terms of biogeographic distribution.
Solifugids were omitted from this analysis because they easily escape pitfall traps using the suctorial organs on their pedipalps (Cushing et al., 2005).