information on solifuge biology has been reviewed by Muma (1966a, 1966b,
1967), Cloudsley-Thompson (1967, 1977), Muma and Muma (1988) and Punzo
(1998). Although complete life cycle information is not known for any of
the species, detailed life history data have been published for species such
as the galeodids Othoes saharae (Junqua, 1966) and Galeodes granti
(Cloudsley-Thompson 1967), the eremobatids Eremobates durangonus (Muma
1966a), Eremobates mormonus and E. marathoni (Punzo, 1995,
1998), and the solpugid Metasolpuga picta (Wharton 1987).
an important feature in the life of a solifuge and this behavior has been
studied in detail for several species (Muma 1966c, Cloudsley-Thompson 1977,
Gore and Cushing 1980, Wharton 1987, Punzo 1998). Burrows provide humidity
and protection from extreme temperatures and predators on a daily basis.
Burrows (including cavities under rocks or other shelters) serve as a
daytime refuge for nocturnal species, as a protective retreat during molting
and digestion of large meals, and for deposition of eggs. Egg deposition
has been observed for several species including Solpuga caffra
(Lawrence, 1949), Galeodes granti (Cloudsley-Thompson 1967), and
Metasolpuga picta (Wharton, 1987). Egg deposition and incubation by
Eremobates durangonus was observed over a two-year period by Muma
(1966b). Several other species were observed to have laid eggs, but E.
durangonus was the most successful under laboratory conditions. Eggs of
this species were laid in masses of 20-164 eggs 11.3 days after mating.
Muma (1966b) noted that at least some species were capable of laying more
than one batch of eggs, at least under caged conditions. Other species,
however, do not (Punzo 1998). Females of some species are known to remain
with the eggs until hatching, though this does not appear to be true for
all. The limited information available suggests that males die shortly
after mating and females do not live much longer (Muma 1966a, Wharton 1987,
Punzo 1998). It must be emphasized, however, that very few species have
been examined in this regard, and for most of the solifuge families, no such
information is available.
varies considerably (from 2 days to 2 months), and Punzo (1995) provided
experimental evidence for the effects of temperature and humidity on
developmental time. Lawrence (1947) observed the eggs and first instars of
Solpuga hostilis, and found them markedly different from Roewer’s
(1934) interpretations of newly hatched Galeodes. The biggest
difference was the presence of thick, long setae of the larvae of Solpuga.
Punzo (1998) noted that eremobatid hatchlings are somewhat intermediate in
extent of setal development. Lawrence hypothesized the setae to function as
an aid in egg hatching, and suspected that setae would be shed after the
first molt. Newly hatched solifuges have been called larvae or
post-embryos, and the few species that have been illustrated (Croneberg
1887, Lawrence 1947, 1963, Cloudsley-Thompson 1961a, 1967, Junqua 1966,
Thaler 1982) vary considerably in appearance. Post-embryos have poorly
developed appendages and though capable of some movement, are essentially
immobile until the molt to the first nymphal instar, which usually takes
place in a few days (Muma 1966a). First instar nymphs much more closely
resemble adults, and at least in some species, these are gregarious and
remain together in the birth chamber (Muma 1966a). Dispersal occurs
following molt to the second nymphal instar (Muma 1966a, Punzo 1998).
Muma (1966a) and Punzo (1998) record eight nymphal instars in two different
eremobatid species, and Wharton (1987) provided evidence for the existence
of at least 4-5 nymphal instars in M. picta of the family Solpugidae.
The limited evidence available suggests that solifuges do not live more than
one year. Metasolpuga picta from the Namib Desert is bivoltine
(Wharton 1987) but other species studied appear to be univoltine (Muma
1966a, Punzo 1998; for possible exception, see Junqua 1966).
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the natural history of the 'camel-spider', Galeodes arabs C. L. Koch
(Solifugae: Galeodidae) in the Sudan.
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Cloudsley-Thompson, J. L. 1977.
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Arachnological Society, 4 (2): 61-67.
Croneberg, A. 1887. Ueber ein
Entwicklungsstadium von Galeodes. Zoologischer Anzeiger 10: 163-164.
Gore, J. A., B. C. Cushing. 1980.
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(Banks) (Arachnida: Solpugida). Southwestern Naturalist, 25 (1): 95-102.
Junqua, C. 1966. Recherches
biologiques et histophysiologiques sur un solifuge saharien
Panouse. Mem. Mus. natn. Hist. nat. Paris, (NS), A, Zool., 43: 1-124.
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incubation for Eremobates
durangonus with notes on
the eggs of other species of Eremobatidae (Arachnida: Solpugida). The
Muma, M. H. 1966c. Burrowing habits
of North American Solpugida (Arachnida). Psyche 73 (4): 251-260.
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review), pp. 1-35.
Punzo, F. 1995. Interspecific variation in life
history traits between sympatric populations of Eremobates mormonus (Roewer)
(Solpugida, Eremobatidae). Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society,
Punzo, F. 1998. Natural history and life cycle of
the solifuge Eremobates marathoni Muma &
Eremobatidae). Bulletin of the British
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Punzo, F. 1998. The Biology of Camel-spiders (Arachnida,
Solifugae). Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston.
Roewer, C. F. 1934. Solifugae,
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Thaler, K. 1982. Die primarlarve der walzenspinne
Lawrence (Arachnida, Solifugae, Karschiidae).
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Wharton, R. A. 1981. Namibian (South
Africa) Solifugae. Cimbebasia Mem. 5: 3-87.
Wharton, R. A.
1987. Biology of the diurnal
(Kraepelin) (Solifugae, Solpugidae) compared with that of nocturnal species.
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