Journal of Ethology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 177–180 | Cite as

A sticky situation: solifugids (Arachnida, Solifugae) use adhesive organs on their pedipalps for prey capture

  • Rodrigo H. Willemart
  • Roger D. Santer
  • Andrew J. Spence
  • Eileen A. Hebets
Short Communication


Solifugids (Arachnida, Solifugae) have unique evertable adhesive organs on the tips of their pedipalps, named ‘suctorial’ or ‘palpal’ organs. Previous studies have shown that these organs enable solifugids to climb smooth glass-like surfaces and have hypothesized that these structures facilitate prey capture. Here, we use high-speed videography to demonstrate that the suctorial organs of Eremochelis bilobatus are its primary means of capturing insect prey. We also present calculations of the adhesive pressure exerted by these suctorial organs during real prey capture events.


Solifuge Adhesion Foraging Suctorial organ Palpal organ 



Thanks to P.E. Cushing and J.O. Brookhart for identifying the solifugids, and to R.J. Schilder and S.K. Schwartz for supplying crickets. Figure 1 was kindly provided by Paula E. Cushing, who was supported by National Science Foundation grant DBI-0346378. Two reviewers greatly helped with their suggestions. R.H.W. was supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PPT 2030 kb)
10164_2010_222_MOESM2_ESM.doc (158 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 158 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo H. Willemart
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roger D. Santer
    • 1
    • 3
  • Andrew J. Spence
    • 4
  • Eileen A. Hebets
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Escola de Artes Ciências e HumanidadesUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Life Sciences, Schrodinger BuildingUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  4. 4.Structure and Motion Laboratory, Royal Veterinary CollegeUniversity of LondonHertfordshireUK

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