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Chiricahua Mtns Road Trip Spring 2014: Arachnids (Spiders & Allies)
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Spiders: Class Arachnida (Order Araneae)
Giant Wolf Spider With Egg Sac (Family Lycosidae)

Giant female wolf spider with egg sac. Photographed under a rock at Southwestern Research Station, Cave Creek Canyon, Portal, Arizona. This is presumably the genus Hogna. See the following images of a giant wolf spider in my living room in San Diego County, California:

Giant Wolf Spider In My Home In San Diego County

A giant wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis) in San Marcos, San Diego County. The body of females can be up to 35 mm in length. This one is about 30 mm. This length does not include the very long legs! The U.S. penny is 19 mm in diameter. With the exception of tarantulas and trapdoor spiders, this is one of the largest (and fastest) spiders in San Diego County. It is definitely a surprise when you see one run across your carpet!

  See Penny Used In Wayne's Word Size Relationships  

Scorpions: Class Arachnida (Order Scorpiones = Scorpionida)

Arizona desert scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis).

  More Images Of Arizona Desert Scorpion  

Pseudoscorpions: Class Arachnida (Order Pseudoscorpiones = Pseudoscorpionida)

This minute scorpion relative was found under a rock in the Superstition Mtns of Arizona. It belongs to the order Pseudoscorpiones (Pseudoscorpionida) and is quite different from other pseudoscorpions I have seen. Based on its elongated abdomen I think it may belong to the family Menthidae. This family includes species of xeric (desert) regions of the southwestern U.S., Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Australia and the Middle East. See the following web site:

  Western Australian Museum: Pseudoscorpions of the World  

Pseudoscorpions From Palomar Mountain (Bark Of Ponderosa Pine)

A pseudoscorpion sitting on the head of a U.S. penny.

A pseudoscorpion from Palomar Mountain in San Diego County.

A pseudoscorpion and its favorite food--a bark louse (class Insecta order Psocoptera). This tiny cousin of the scorpion lives under the bark flakes of pine trees. Scholarly ones that live between the pages of books are called "book scorpions." The latter species feed on book lice, another Psocopteran. I have actually observed live psocopterans in my granola cereal! I ate the cereal anyway. I also placed some live pseudoscorpions in my kichen cabinet as a natural method of biological control.

According to Wikipedia, the oldest known fossil pseudoscorpion dates back 380 million years to the Devonian period. Fossil pseudoscorpions greatly resemble present-day pseudoscorpions, indicating that the order evolved very early in the history of land animals. See the following image of Dominican Republic amber containing a perfectly preserved 30 million-year-old pseudoscorpion:

Pseudoscorpion perfectly preserved in 30 million-year-old
transparent tomb of amber from the Dominican Republic.

Sun Spiders (Solpugids): Class Arachnida (Order Solpugida = Solifugae)

A solpugid on Owens Peak north of Palomar College. It is also
called a "sun spider" or "camel spider" by troops in Iraq.

Solpugids Caught In Pitfall Trap: Portal, Arizona

Two solpugids caught in a pitfall trap near Portal, Arizona. The larger solpugid was killed in a battle with very aggressive honeypot ants (Myrmecocystus) also caught in the trap.