Eremobates pallipes

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Geographic Range

Eremobates pallipes can be found in western North America from Arizona to Canada. Solpugids can be found throughout the world in dry and arid climates. (Grzimek, 1972; Milne and Milne, 1980)

Habitat

The habitat of the windscorpion is quite variable since it has such an extended range. It seems that the only requirements are dry climates. The scorpions are most commonly found in the desert in the southwest where rocks and small brush provide the only shade for the scorpion to hide away during the day. (Grzimek, 1972; Milne and Milne, 1980)

Physical Description

The windscorpion is a primitive scorpion-like animal that has few specializations. Males of this species are usually 15 to 26mm in length while females are larger, ranging from 22 to 32mm. Windscorpions are usually yellowish-brownish in color. The overall body is segmented into three parts. The abdomen is cylindrical and has ten segments and three walking pairs of legs. The rear part of the abdomen is covered with a carapace or plate on the dorsal side. << Eremobates pallipes>> also has two forward pairs of pedipalps, which are clawless leg-like appendages that act as sensory organs and also serve in other functions such as water intake. At the head there are two eyes and two very large chelicerae. The chelicerae are the most noticeable feature of the windscorpions in general because they are so prominent. They also have tactile hairs covering their entire bodies. (Grzimek, 1972; Milne and Milne, 1980; O'Toole, 1986)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • female larger
  • Range length
    15 to 32 mm
    0.59 to 1.26 in

Reproduction

Copulation between wind scorpions is a complicated process. The males attack the females by jumping onto their backs and holding them down. Females, even though they are larger, lie still and seem to go into a trance like state. Males then drag the females to a location where they feel safe, then flip the females over. The male uses its chelicerae to open the female sexual openings. Then he secretes a drop of seminal fluid, which is transferred to the chelicerae by his pedipalps. The male uses the chelicerae to deposit the sperm inside the female’s genital opening, and then pinches the opening shut. The male then disappears as fast as possible because he is now potential prey. The female awakens from her trance-like state and goes on with normal life. Oviposition takes place two weeks later when the female digs a small burrow in the ground. (Comstock, 1980; Grzimek, 1972; Sissom and Polis, 1990)

Oviposition takes place two weeks after mating, when the female digs a small burrow in the ground. She then lays fifty eggs at the back of the burrow and stands guard at the entrance to the burrow until the young molt for the first time. (Comstock, 1980; Grzimek, 1972; Sissom and Polis, 1990)

  • Average number of offspring
    50
  • Parental Investment
  • pre-fertilization
    • provisioning
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • protecting
      • female

Behavior

The hunting behavior of the windscorpion has been compared to a hound running full speed stopping quickly to explore a small area and search for prey, and then continuing on its track. The windscorpion is also able to mimic the tactics of hunting spiders. If prey is quick and very sensitive it will creep by moving almost imperceptibly until it is close enough to attack its prey. The pale windscorpion is a nocturnal creature so it is not often seen hunting since it hides most of the day. (Banks, 1900; Comstock, 1980; Grzimek, 1972)

Food Habits

The pale windscorpion, like all scorpions, is carnivorous and consumes other insects and even small invertebrates. The female is said to have an incredible appetite and will eat other insects, other scorpions (especially males after mating), and even in extreme cases, small lizards. The pale wind scorpion uses its two large chelicerae to cut and chew its prey into a ball of pulp which it then consumes. One of the large chelicerae holds the prey firmly while the other cuts the prey and then once it is crushed enough it is fed to the mouth. (Comstock, 1980; Grzimek, 1972)

  • Animal Foods
  • reptiles
  • insects
  • terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Windscorpion species hunt most insects, and even small vertebrates, which helps control pest populations for humans.

  • Positive Impacts
  • controls pest population

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Wind scorpions will bite people if they feel threatened.

  • Negative Impacts
  • injures humans
    • bites or stings

Conservation Status

This species does not require any special conservation status.

Contributors

Sara Diamond (editor), Animal Diversity Web.

Michael Hackett (author), Southwestern University, Stephanie Fabritius (editor), Southwestern University.

Glossary

Nearctic

living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

carnivore

an animal that mainly eats meat

chaparral

Found in coastal areas between 30 and 40 degrees latitude, in areas with a Mediterranean climate. Vegetation is dominated by stands of dense, spiny shrubs with tough (hard or waxy) evergreen leaves. May be maintained by periodic fire. In South America it includes the scrub ecotone between forest and paramo.

desert or dunes

in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.

ectothermic

animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature

fertilization

union of egg and spermatozoan

heterothermic

having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.

insectivore

An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.

internal fertilization

fertilization takes place within the female's body

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

nocturnal

active during the night

oviparous

reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

solitary

lives alone

temperate

that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).

terrestrial

Living on the ground.

year-round breeding

breeding takes place throughout the year

References

Banks, N. 1900. Synopses of North American Invertebrates. IX. The Scorpions, Solpugids, and Pedipalpi. American Naturalist, Volume 34, Issue 401: 421-427.

Comstock, J. 1980. The Spider Book. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Grzimek, B. 1972. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

Milne, L., M. Milne. 1980. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. New York: Chanticleer Press.

O'Toole, C. 1986. Arachnids. Pp. 126-128 in C O'Toole, ed. The Encyclopedia of Insects. Oxford: Equinox.

Sissom, W., G. Polis. 1990. Life History. Pp. 188-189 in G Polis, ed. The Biology of Scorpions. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.