Pseudoscorpions are very small arachnids (most are less than 8mm in length). Pseudoscorpions possess pincers (chelae) at the end of their palps and it is these that make them resemble true scorpions. Psudoscorpions do not possess a tail and sting and are harmless to humans.
Many species have a venom gland in their pincers and this helps them catch their prey. The venom immobilises invertebrates they grab with their pincers and the pseudoscorpion then digests its prey externally in a similar way to spiders. Pseudoscorpions are considered beneficial organisms as they eat many tiny pest invertebrates.
Pseudoscorpions also possess silk glands near their jaws and produce silken cocoons that are used during mating and moulting.
Due to their size pseudoscorpions are often overlooked but they can often be found in leaf litter and the best way to find them is by using a Tullgren Funnel.
A photograph of a pseudoscorpion (Neopseudogarypus scutellatus).
Photograph by Cavexplorer licensed under Creative Commons.
Other names for (or types of) Pseudoscorpion include:
- False scorpion
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