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the web of life in southern Africa

Pseudoscorpiones (pseudoscorpions)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata > Arachnida

Pseudoscorpion (less than 5 mm long) eating a collembolan. [image H. Robertson, Iziko ]

Pseudoscorpions are tiny, most of which are less than 5 mm in length. They resemble the true scorpions but have no metasoma and sting. They have no book lungs and gas exchange takes place through a tracheal system. They are found in nests of ground-dwelling animals as well as in organic debris. They have poison glands in the pedipalps and when feeding, the prey is injected while they are grasped. 



  • Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. & Harvey, M. 2000. A check list of the pseudoscorpions of South Africa (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones). Koedoe 43: 89-102.

Text by Norman Larsen .