This morning next to the bathroom sink I spotted what at first glance appeared to be a tick with unusually long front legs. I took a closer look, and was overjoyed to see that it was in fact a pseudoscorpion–a little beast I’ve been wanting to see in person for a long time.
Pseudoscorpions constitute their own order of arachnids, Pseudoscorpiones. A quick look through the photos on BugGuide gives me the impression that they all look about like this, but I suppose mine is most likely to be the cosmopolitan house pseudoscorpion, Chelifer cancroides. A photo session with this crazy little thing (~2.2 mm long) clearly took priority over breakfast, so I brought it straight down to my desk to see what I could do with it.
I’m curious about that little nubbin in the back–I don’t see it in the other pseudoscorpion photos I’ve browsed through. I tried to flip it over and get some ventral shots, but it wasn’t interested in lying on its back. As it turns out, a close-up ventral view is needed even to identify these to suborder. Maybe I’ll bump into it again and try harder to get those shots next time; after the photo shoot I set it free on a house plant to join the crab spider that has been devouring the aphids there, if it so chooses.
Now that I’ve finally seen a pseudoscorpion, my new ambition is to find one hitching a ride on a fly.