behavior of solifuges has most often been recorded anecdotally (Punzo, 1998)
with a few observations made during other work (Wharton 1981; Lawrence, 1949
1963). Solifuges use their massive chelicerae to macerate their prey by
feeding it through the ‘cheliceral mill,’ where the upper fondal teeth rub
back and forth against each other, grinding the exoskeleton and extracting
liquid (Punzo, 1998). The suctorial organs at the tips of the pedipalps are
very important for prey capture and manipulation and often have intial
contact with the prey (Cushing et al. 2005; Punzo, 1998). Wharton
(1987) observed Metasolpuga picta females occasionally using their
palps to bring food closer to the chelicerae.
1998) provides the best assessment of long-standing observations on feeding
behavior, primarily because of the quality of the experimental approach and
the detailed focus on prey preparation. Prey preparation in solifuges has
been recorded for Eremebotes mormonus, Eremorhax magnus and
Eremobates marathoni (Punzo, 1998). These species of solifuge have been
shown to remove certain parts of the body with higher chitin content (head,
antennae, wings) and an average of 5 to 9% of total feeding time is devoted
to prey preparation.
Cushing, P. E., J. O. Brookhart, H.-J. Kleebe,
G. Zito, and P. Payne. 2005. The suctorial organ of the Solifugae (Arachnida,
Solifugae). Arthropod Structure and Development 34: 397-406.
R. F. 1949. Observations on the habits of a female solifuge,
Pocock. Annals of the Transvaal Museum, 21 (2): 197-200.
Lawrence, R. F. 1963. The Solifugae of South
West Africa. Cimbebasia, 8: 1-28.
Punzo, F. 1994. An
analysis of feeding and optimal Hunting Behavior in the solpugid,
Eremobates mormonus (Roewer) (Solpugida, Eremobatidae). Bulletin of the
British Arachnological Society, 9: 293-298.
Punzo, F. 1998. The Biology of Camel-spiders (Arachnida,
Solifugae). Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston.
R. A. 1981. Namibian (South Africa) Solifugae. Cimbebasia Mem. 5: 3-87.
R. A. 1987. Biology of the diurnal
(Kraepelin) (Solifugae, Solpugidae) compared with that of nocturnal species.
Journal of Arachnology, 14: 363-383