Many people think Camel Spiders are giant because of the photos that surfaced during the Iraq War of 2003. But don’t panic! We are here to tell you how big a Camel Spider is, for real.
A Camel Spider’s size is between 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm), while its average weight is around 2 ounces (56 grams).
So why do Camel Spiders appear to be as big as half a soldier in the photographs? Keep on reading to find out why these arachnids look huge in pictures!
How Big Can Camel Spiders Be?
As we mentioned before, the biggest of Camel Spiders can only reach up to 8 inches in length. Yet, some people believe Camel Spiders are as big as a grown man’s leg.
Why? You can blame it on the Internet and a little thing called “forced perspective.”
In the early 2000s, pictures of a Camel Spider next to a soldier’s calf went viral during the Iraq War. What was shocking about these images was how similar in size the arachnid and the man’s leg were.
Nonetheless, over time, we learned that it was all a photographic technique.
The lens’s position and the objects in front of it tricked our eyes to believe that the Camel Spider was bigger. A perfect optical illusion!
But the myths about Camel Spiders don’t end there. As we will explain below, that’s not even when they began.
Scroll down as we separate the truth about Camel Spiders from the lies with the next questions.
Everything You Need to Know About Camel Spiders
10 Myths and Facts About Camel Spiders
1. Camel Spiders Chase Humans
Myth. Camel Spiders sometimes seem to be chasing humans because of the shade a person can cast. This habit is beneficial in these arachnids’ more common habitat: Middle Eastern deserts. So, no, a Camel Spider doesn’t care about you, but your shadow comes in handy.
2. Camel Spiders Have 10 Legs
False. Camel Spiders only have eight legs but have pedipalps that resemble legs. The function of these pedipalps is to help them bring their prey into their big, scary jaws.
3. Camel Spiders Are Not Spiders
This one’s a surprising truth. Camel Spiders are, in fact, solifugids. Think of them as a cross between spiders, scorpions, and insects.
4. Camel Spiders Are Venomous
No, Camel Spiders don’t have any venomous glands in their bodies. This fact applies to all solifugids arachnids. They catch their prey with their mighty jaw and then use digestive fluids to liquefy their flesh. Ouch!
5. Camel Spiders Can Run up to 30 Mph (48 Kph)
This is another popular myth. Although these solifugids are fast, they can only run up to 10 mph (16 kph).
6. Camel SpidCane to Jump up to 3 Feet (1 Meter)
We’re sure someone made this up because fast, jumping spiders sound right out of a horror film, but no. Camel Spiders can’t do any remarkable jumps.
7. Camel Spiders Can Kill Humans
Although a Camel Spider’s bite hurts, it won’t be lethal for humans. As we mentioned before, they are not venomous species. Likewise, their powerful jaws are not strong enough to break through a person’s skin.
8. Camel Spiders Lay Eggs Inside Camels
This saying is so common that some people believe it is where the Camel Spider name comes from. Nonetheless, it is a false, alarming statement. A Camel Spider won’t eat the intestines of any camel and lay eggs inside, but it could get under one to hide from the sun.
9. Camel Spiders Can Scream
The majority of Camel Spiders can’t scream, but some of them can hiss. They do this when they feel in danger to scare predators and push them away.
10. You Can’t Have a Camel Spider as a Pet
They are not the easiest kind of arachnid pets, but you can have a Camel Spider. Though we must warn you: To say they are high-maintenance is an understatement.
You could kind of arachnid only if you have experience with tarantulas or scorpions.
If you’d still like to buy a Camel Spider, you should know the answer to the following questions:
- Is It Legal to Have a Camel Spider as a Pet?
Camel Spiders are only legal as house pets in some parts and areas of the world. If you’re planning to get one, do your research or ask the store to make sure you’re not breaking any laws.
- How Long Does a Camel Spider Live?
We have bad news: A Camel Spider only lives for about a year in the wild. As a result, regardless of how good the conditions you can provide for the spider are, it is unlikely to live longer.
- Can I Catch a Camel Spider?
Due to their incredible speed, it would be almost impossible for you to catch a Camel Spider. Unless you’re a ninja with fast reflects, we recommend you buy one at a pet store.
- What Do Camel Spiders Eat?
Camel Spiders are carnivores. They eat other spiders, bugs, rodents, small birds, lizards, and, sometimes, each other. So, you should only buy one camel spider.
- How Often Should I Feed My Camel Spider?
You should feed a Camel Spider an insect (for example, a cricket) every other day. If possible, make sure the “prey” is alive, so your spider can get the thrill from hunting it down!
- Can You Pet a Camel Spider?
Like tarantulas, you can pet Camel Spiders, but with extreme care. Before taking the spider out of the tank, pay attention to its behavior, and make sure that it is not hissing. That sound shows the spider is ready to attack and could escape in the blink of an eye. They’re very fast, remember? We would not recommend you to pet one unless you have tons of experience with arachnids.
- What Kind of Cage Does a Camel Spider Need?
Like a tarantula or a scorpion, you must get a big plastic tank at the pet store. The tank should be around 5 gallons (19 L) in size, and it also needs a secured ceiling. After all, all spiders are escape artists!
You need to recreate the Camel Spider’s habitat, so don’t forget to include 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) of sand at the bottom. Some rocks and branches will also help the spider feel welcomed. Remember that they call arid regions and deserts “home”!
Temperature is another crucial aspect to keep your Camel Spider alive and thriving. Ensure the tank is around 95 °F (35 °C) during the day, using a lightbulb to heat things.
At night, temperatures shouldn’t be higher than 82 °F (28ºC), so keep a thermometer inside the tank at all times. Spraying some water outside the tank is also advisable when the night comes.
- What Do I Do if a Camel Spider Bites Me?
First of all, keep calm! Although it can hurt a lot, as we said earlier, a Camel Spider’s bite won’t kill you because they are not venomous.
You’ll see some redness in the area where the spider bit you, which is normal. There will also be inflammation.
The first thing you need to do is clean the wound with either soapy water or some disinfectant. After that, please see or call a doctor.
The treatment for a Camel Spider’s bite usually includes rubbing an antibiotic ointment on the wound. You’ll also have a bandage wrapped around the injury that you’ll need to change frequently.
For the pain, doctors tend to prescribe ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which are easy to find. Applying ice over the wound for 10 minutes also helps reduce the pain and inflammation, but be gentle!
This type of wound takes about two weeks to heal. After that, you’ll be fine, and it shouldn’t ruin the relationship between you and your Camel Spider.