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Red Roman spider, Western Cape province
Red roman spiders are Solifugids, moderate to large arachnids, with the larger species reaching 7 centimetres in length.
The most distinctive feature of Solifugae is their large chelicerae, which are longer than the prosoma. Each of the two chelicerae are composed of two articles forming a powerful pincer; each article bears a variable number of teeth.
They are carnivorous or omnivorous, with most species feeding on termites, darkling beetles, and other small arthropods, but Solifugae have been videotaped consuming larger prey such as lizards. Although they do not normally attack humans, these chelicerae can penetrate human skin, and painful bites have been reported.
PHOTO SOURCE: Hein von Horsten, courtesy of, and copyright, South Africa Tourism, a department of the government of South Africa, used with permission.
NOTE: The information regarding South Africa on this page is re-published from other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of south_africa information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about south_africa photos should be addressed to the copyright owner noted below the photo.
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This page was last modified 25-JAN-09
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