This past week was #nationalzookeeperweek and I’ll be celebrating (late) by sharing photos of why I love this awesome field, why I love my job, and why I am so passionate about ALL living things! So first up is this guy- he is a #solphugid, not a spider and not a scorpion but sometimes called a #sunscorpion , #windscorpion , or #sunspider , and sometimes mistakenly called a vinegaroon (which is another species altogether). These guys use to creep me out, mostly because of how fast they are, but also because of those intimidating mouthparts! BUT, like with most things, if you have the opportunity to observe them up close (hands off), you start beginning to notice things outside of the initial startling characteristics! Solphugids are unfortunate because they are so strange looking upon first glance, but look closer and you will see they are actually pretty goofy looking! They have a tiny head with Big beady eyes where their “forehead” should be, they have rIdiculously HUGE mouthparts relative to their head size, their mouthparts are positioned straight in front of them instead of under them like a tarantula, they have lanky, hairy legs, and they’re mostly just scared of us because we are HUGE, thundering giants to them! Also, they aren’t often seen because they are nocturnal, very fast, and secretive- plus most species are about the size of your fingernail!
When it all comes down to it, they remind me of muppets. It’s the tiny head and large, strangely positioned eyes- these guys are spider muppets! Oh and did I mention they’re harmless?! #desertcritters #creatureofthenight #creepycrawly #muppetlookalike #creativeevolution #bugsofinstagram #uniqueinvertebrate #invertebrate #lovemyjob #lovethisdesert #sonorandesertwildlife