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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

Pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpiones)

Pseudoscorpions, also known as False Scorpions, are the least known Arthropods. They are all very tiny indeed. The biggest is less than one centimeter long but most of them are only 2 milimeters long. They resemble the actual scorpions very much except that they lack the poisonous tail. Just like scorpions and crabs they have the front legs in form of scissors which are poisonous. All spieces are preditors. The tiniest ones can even be found on paper of books where they hunt for bookworms. In Britain there are about 25 species, most of those being real look-a-likes. Many can be found by turning rocks, leaves or by peeling loose barks, but because of there size and colours they are easily overlooked. These species are mainly dark brown with reddish brown pincers. They feed on very small insects. Often the species can be only told apart after microscopic research.

Most probably this is a co-called Moss Scorpion or Moss Neobid (Neobisium sp.)

Below some more pictures of a Moss Scorpion, with a better magnification this time. The claws are formidable, so let's be happy these are very tiny creatures.

This close up tells us why we are talking about scorpions....

Because they are very small, they can't travel very far. That's why they sometimes steal a ride (or flight). Especially the species below is known to cling to a bigger insects legs. The one in the picture however picked a hover fly's wing. It probably is the Knotty Shining Claw, a common species in gardens.

Most probably this is the Knotty Shining Claw (Lamprochernes nodosus) stealing a ride from a Hover Fly.

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