Species name: Camel Spider
Scientific name: Galeodes arabs
Locally known as: Yamel Al Aqrab
Description: The Camel Spider is large, tan, hairy, and ferocious-looking. It is also known as the Wind Spider, Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion. Camel spiders are carnivores.They eat bugs, lizards, small birds and rodents. They are fast runners and adapted to desert living.
IUCN status: Endangered
Key threats: Habitat loss
Where they’re found today: Commonly found in Middle Eastern deserts, Camel Spiders are primarily nocturnal and flee from the sun. They can be found nearly worldwide although they are restricted to desert and semi-desert habitats within the continents they do inhabit.
Abu Dhabi’s efforts: According to Federal Law No. 24 of 1999, it is prohibited to collect them. Establishment of various protected areas are helping to ensure conservation of suitable habitat and to prevent disturbance. EAD undertakes continous monitoring of the species, within and outside protected areas.
- They are not deadly to humans (although their bite is painful), but they are vicious predators that feed on insects, rodents, lizards, and small birds.
- They have large, powerful jaws, which can be up to one-third of their body length. They use them to catch their victims and turn them to pulp with a chopping or sawing motion.
- They are not venomous, but they use digestive fluids to liquefy their prey’s flesh, making it easy to suck the remains into their stomachs.