These terrifying creatures became infamous when American soldiers who had returned home from Iraq told of cat size spiders that could bite chunks out of human flesh. Solifugae are not actually true spiders but belong to a distinct arachnid order.
The news today reports that a soldier's family have been frightened out of their home by a camel spider thought to have been unwittingly imported from Afghanistan. Lorraine Griffiths and her three children, aged 18, 16 and four, have moved out of their house in Colchester, Essex, and are refusing to return until it is captured, the RSPCA said. Mrs Griffiths believes the spider hitched a ride into the UK in the personal belongings of her husband, Rodney, 32, when he returned home in June. He has since returned for a further tour of duty in Afghanistan. The camel spider is the size of a tea-saucer and has red knees, but is not venomous.
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