Solpugidophobia : Real or Illusion


Having fear and anxiety is necessary in any animal, for their survival. In humans, fear cause they behave reliable and safe. The nature of anxieties and fears changes with increasing age and learning knowledge. Fear or phobia of animals such as snakes, Zoophobia, Herpetophobia, scorpions, arachnids, Archnophobia, insects and Entomophobia is common. Entomophobia is an unusual fear of insects that may cause psychological problems in individuals at critical situation, which needs effective treatment. If these feelings of fear and anxiety be stable, may affect people's mental health. Anxiety caused by fear, will have long-term effects. Fear of arachnids and insects is different in various groups of ages, jobs and genders. Comparing with men, women are more plagued by this type of fear. More than eighty percent of all reported cases of archno-phobia were observed in females. This fear sometimes is real and sometimes unreal or delusory. Due to probable damages of some arthropods, fear of them is true in humans, but in some cases it is along with superstition and false ideas or psychogenic. Sometimes the fear has psychological origin and its continuation may cause serious psychological problems. For removing any fear its origin should be identified. For example, superstitious thought of people about Solpugids in some parts of Iran is completely wrong. In some countries, Solpugids are known as Sun spiders, wind spiders, Child of the Earth and Camel spider. About 74 species of this animal have been identified in Iran (14). Solpugids are bigger than spiders, and unlike spiders do not have any poisonous glands. Some reports have shown that during Iran-Iraq war, some warriors and soldiers fear of solpugids was more than their fear of bullets and mortar of the enemy. These false rumors are common in some parts of the world, for example in Middle East, there are many rumors about solpugids among the public, they believe that these creatures run as fast as a human, are venomous predator and eat camels' stomach or sleeping soldiers. There are many legends and rumors about solpugids, which are certainly due to people’s ignorance. This matter shows that awareness and knowledge of people about the biology and behavior of these animals are very in low level and have public aspects. Chelicers or mouthparts of solpugids have great growth and gave him scary appearance. There is an Egyptian giant solpugid with a body reaching up to 15 cm in length and has powerful Chelicers. Solpugids as large as Egyptian giant have been seen in the south of Iran. In Iran, people believe that these animals fall from above on people and bite them and causing death. People believe that solpugids are very spiteful and take revenge. In this regard, they say that this creature hides somewhere in the house after biting people and waits for transfer of the bodies of his victims out of house, and after that return to his nest with peace of mind. In contrast to the thought of people, solpugids are lacke of sting and poison.

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Jones Carrol
Associate Editor
Journal of Biology and Today’s World