Pseudoscorpions are a member of the Arachnid class, and belong to the order Pseudoscorpionida. Its name literally means “false scorpion.” It is known for its flat, pear-shaped body and pincers that resemble those of a real scorpion. The body grows from 2 to 8 mm in length. Despite the superficial similarities, pseudoscorpions lack the true scorpion’s long tail and sting.
This small creature can be found worldwide, especially in the tropics and subtropics. Common species of this creature can be seen in the following types of places:
- behind tree bark
- in tree hollows
- in leaves and pine litter
- beneath the soil
- under stones
- in caves
- at the seashore
- within fractured rocks
During the mating dance, the male pulls the female over a spermatophore that is deposited upon a surface. After the mating period, the female carries the fertilized egg in a brood pouch that is attached to her abdomen. When the egg hatches, the young stay with the mother for a period of time. The young go through three molts, which can span several years, before they mature. It has been estimated that the adults live up to two to three years.
Pseudoscorpions present less risk to humans, than actual scorpions. They prey on ants, small flies, mites, carpet beetle larvae, clothes moth larvae and booklice. They are small and are rarely seen due to their size.
Old fossils of Pseudoscorpions are dated back to 380 million years.