AAS Australasian Arachnological Society

Pseudoscorpions

Order Pseudoscorpiones

(compiled by Mark Harvey; see also his online catalog of the Pseudoscorpions of the World)

Identification

Pseudoscorpions are small arachnids (less than 1 cm in body length) that superficially resemble scorpions due to the presence of chelate pedipalps at the front of the body. The lack, however, the long tail that is characteristic of all scorpions.


Biology

Geogarypus taylori opens in new window
Geogarypus taylori

Pseudoscorpions are found in most terrestrial regions of the world from the arctic regions to the hottest deserts. They can be found under rocks, in leaf litter, in soil, under bark of tree or in caves. They feed on other invertebrates such small as insects, which are dismembered utilising their chelicerae. Some pseudoscorpions (the members of the suborder Iocheirata) possess venom glands that discharge through the tip of the chelal fingers. Females deposit their embryos in a brood-sac, which remains attached to the female gonopore on the ventral surface of the abdomen until the embryos


Pseudoscorpions in Australasia

The Australasian pseudoscorpion fauna currently consists of 150 species from Australia and 67 species from New Zealand. Recent research has uncovered a diverse pseudoscorpion fauna in both regions with numerous new species and genera yet to be formally named.

The world fauna was last catalogued by Harvey (1991), and the phylogeny and classification was studied by Harvey (1992).

Australia

A full listing of the Australian pseudoscorpion fauna (150 species in 17 families) can be found on this webpage or at the Australian Faunal Directory website.

New Zealand

Visit the full listing of the New Zealand pseudoscorpion fauna (67 species in 8 families)

References

Harvey, M.S. (1991). Catalogue of the Pseudoscorpionida. Manchester University Press, Manchester.

Harvey, M.S. (1992). The phylogeny and systematics of the Pseudoscorpionida (Chelicerata: Arachnida). Invertebrate Taxonomy 6:1373-1435.



home   > Arachnology   > Pseudoscorpiones

reference: AAS – Australasian Arachnological Society
online: http://www.australasian-arachnology.org/arachnology/pseudoscorpiones/
©2005 AAS – date: 2014/09/22

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