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