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Pseudoscorpions, also known as false scorpions or book scorpions. found in eastern united states.
pseudoscorpions is divided into two general regions; the head-thorax (cephalothorax) and the abdomen. The body and appendages have many setae. The cephalothorax is covered by a shield or carapace that is not segmented. There is usually one or more pairs of eyes on the edge of the cephalothorax. There are six conspicuous appendages on the cephalothorax; the chelicerae, the palps, and 4 pairs of walking legs.
Chelicerae are short and have a clasping mechanism with a fixed and a movable finger. The pedipalps are longer and have a claw that resembles that of a scorpion. The abdomen has 12 segments but the last two are reduced and inconspicuous. They do not have a long tail like scorpions and they do not sting. Pseudoscorpions are quite small with a body length generally under 3 mm.
Pseudoscorpions live in many different types of habitats, including forests, grasslands, sand dunes, and sea shores. They prefer to live in crevices and similar spaces and can be found in leaf litter, moss, under tree bark and stones, in bird and mammal nests, and in buildings. Many pseudoscorpions favor sites with high humidity, although some species can tolerate dry conditions. Although they are not commonly seen, pseudoscorpions can be quite abundant. Under favorable conditions, hundreds can be found within just one square yard.
Life Cycle:Pseudoscorpions males create a mating territory 1 to 2 centimeters in size. They rub their ventral surface on the center of this territory, which some arachnologists postulate as pheromone placement. When a female enters this area, the male begins a mating dance by rapidly vibrating his body and displaying his pedipalps. He deposits a sac that contains sperm on the substrate, moves backwards over it, and guides the female on top of the sac, where she then picks up the sperm. The entire mating process takes from 10 minutes to 1 hour.
Pseudoscorpions female produces 20 to 40 eggs that she carries beneath her abdomen. After the young house pseudoscorpions, which look like small adults, emerge, they stay with the female for several days, sometimes riding on her back. The entire brood then disperses. This process, from egg deposit to brood dispersal, can take 3 weeks.The young house pseudoscorpions molt three times before adulthood; these stages are protonymph, deutonymph, and tritonymph. The developmental period is temperature dependent and takes 10 to 24 months. Adults do not molt and can live for 3 or 4 years.
Managment:Eliminate places where pseudoscorpions live will also help. Dry out damp areas in the house and around the exterior perimeter. Caulk or seal openings or foundation cracks, windows,and around plumbing, gas, or electrical conduits.Use weather stripping around doors and windows.Expanding-foam sealants may be of value in protecting hidden recesses and other areas not readily visible. Completely sealing any structure may be impossible. If needed, collect individuals with a broom and dustpan and discard or simply vacuum any pseudoscorpions found in the home.
CONTROL: pseudoscorpions are found indoors. Physical removal is the only necessary control. If pseudoscorpions are relatively numerous, that indicates that an insect, such as springtails or psocids are also abundant. Control pseudoscorpions by drying out damp areas with fans or dehumidifiers to make the area less inviting for pseudoscorpions and their prey. Because pseudoscorpions are uncommon indoors and do not harm people, insecticides are not necessary or suggested.
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