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Pseudoscorpions (false scorpions)
Temporal range: 380–0Ma
Devonian to Recent
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Dromopoda
Order: Pseudoscorpionida
Haeckel, 1866

A pseudoscorpion (or false scorpion and book scorpion), is an arachnid which belongs in the order Pseudoscorpionida. They can reach up to 2 to 8 millimetres (0.08 to 0.31 in) in length.[1] The largest known species is Garypus titanius of Ascension Island at up to 12 mm (0.5 in).[2][3]

Pseudoscorpions eat clothes moth larvae, carpet beetle larvae, booklice, ants, mites, and small flies. Because of this, they are liked by humans. The pseudoscorpions are small and cannot harm humans. They are rarely seen because of their size. Some species of pseudoscorpions will do a "mating dance" to attract mates.[4] The eggs will stay with the mother until the pseudoscorpions are about a month old.[5] There are more than 3,300 species of pseudoscorpions recorded.[6][7] The oldest known fossil of pseudoscorpions dates back 380 million years to the Devonian period.

References[change | change source]

  1. Pennsylvania State University, Department: Entomological Notes: Pseudoscorpion Fact Sheet
  2. "Endemic invertebrates". Ascension Island Conservation Centre.
  3. "Pseudoscorpions". Agricultural Research Council (South Africa).
  4. Peter Weygoldt (1966). "Spermatophore web formation in a pseudoscorpion". Science 153 (3744): 1647–1649. doi:10.1126/science.153.3744.1647. PMID 17802636.
  5. Heather C. Proctor (1993). "Mating biology resolves trichotomy for cheliferoid pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpionida, Cheliferoidea)" (PDF). Journal of Arachnology 21 (2): 156–158.
  6. William A. Shear, Wolfgang Schawaller & Patricia M. Bonamo (1989). "Record of Palaeozoic pseudoscorpions". Nature 342 (6242): 527–529. doi:10.1038/341527a0.
  7. Wolfgang Schawaller, William A. Shear & Patricia M. Bonamo (1991). "The first Paleozoic pseudoscorpions (Arachnida, Pseudoscorpionida)". American Museum Novitates 3009.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Mark Harvey. Pseudoscorpions of the World
  • Joseph C. Chamberlin (1931): The Arachnid Order Chelonethida. Stanford University Publications in Biological Science. 7(1): 1–284.
  • P. D. Gabbutt (1970): Validity of Life History Analyses of Pseudoscorpions. Journal of Natural History 4: 1–15.
  • W. B. Muchmore (1982): Pseudoscorpionida. In "Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms." Vol. 2. Parker, S.P.
  • J. A. Coddington, S. F. Larcher & J. C. Cokendolpher (1990): The Systematic Status of Arachnida, Exclusive of Acari, in North America North of Mexico. In "Systematics of the North American Insects and Arachnids: Status and Needs." National Biological Survey 3. Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
  • Mark S. Harvey (1991): Catalogue of the Pseudoscorpionida. (edited by V . Mahnert). Manchester University Press, Manchester.