False scorpions AIDGAP
The FSC False scorpions AIDGAP is an illustrated key to all 27 species of false scorpions (pseudoscorpions) found in Britain and Ireland.
False scorpions are fascinating little animals. Although tiny (4 millimetres or less), their body shape is intriguing and can be discerned with the naked eye.
Pseudoscorpions are widespread but under-recorded. Overall they form the fifth most numerous order of arachnids, after spiders, mites, ticks and harvestmen. Many species occur in domestic gardens, particularly in the soil, leaf litter and compost heaps. Other species inhabit grasslands, woodlands and coastal habitats. The authors hope that this guide will encourage more recording of these small but vital animals.
Starting your search for false scorpions is straightforward. Spread some woodland leaf litter over a white sheet… and then wait. Although these animals will defend themselves by hiding, they will start to move once all the other invertebrates have run away. Once you have spotted an individual, you can pick it up with a fine paintbrush. Some of the commoner species can be identified using a x20 hand lens. Habitat information is also useful. Otherwise a binocular microscope will show many useful identification characters.
This guide is part of the FSC’s AIDGAP series (Aids to Identification in Difficult Groups of Animals and Plants). AIDGAP guides are accessible keys suitable for non-specialists from age 16+. As with all guides in the series, the False scorpions AIDGAP underwent extensive testing before publication, by beginners and specialists alike. The authors have revised this, the first published version, in the light of the testers’ experience.