Pseudoscorpion Recorders Group

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Galea.gif The UK (and Ireland) Pseudoscorpion Recording Scheme has been running for a many years originally under the direction of the Records Centre at the former ITE Monks Wood Experimental Station.

The first atlas showing the distribution of the species was produced in 1984 using the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE, Monks Wood) data by the then recorder, Philip Jones. Philip transferred the scheme to Gerald Legg who later digitised the thousands of punched card records from ITE. Gerald, who was Keeper of Natural Sciences at the Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton until his recent retirement, runs the scheme from home. Details are available at www.chelifer.com/pseudos/index.htm where images of the species, distribution maps and downloads of the old periodically published newsletter, Galea, are available.

There are only 28 species recorded in Britain, one of which was only added to the British list relatively recently and a second ‘new’ one in the early 1970s. Their small size and secretive habits makes them one of the Cinderella groups with few people ever seeing them despite the fact that they occur in large numbers and are important top predators. Apart from those deliberately searching for them, dipterists and coleopterists are most likely to come across them, as several species are phoretic (phoresis is a nonparasitic relationship in which one species is carried about by another) on flies and beetles. The main habitats where they can be found include soil, humus, leaf-litter, rotting wood, beneath tree bark, animal nests, barn/warehouse debris, strandline debris, grass roots, old thatch and amongst Sphagnum. The latter habitat yielded our most recent species, Microbisium brevifemoratum, and is very worthy of further investigation as only has only been recorded twice.

Gerald is only too happy to identify specimens sent to him (please be sure to let him know the location information (grid reference or postcode) and date of collection so that your record can be added to the national database). His contact details are below.

Contact

Dr Gerald Legg
20 Manor Gardens, Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, West Sussex.BN6 9UG
E-mail: prgATbritishspiders.org.uk
or geraldATchelifer.com

NOTE: you will need to change the 'AT' in the address to '@' for the e-mail to work

Web-site: http://www.chelifer.com/pseudos/pseudoscorpions.htm

Articles and news on pseudoscorpions are published in the BAS Newsletter. Between 1998 and 2003 the Scheme produced separate newsletters, which can be downloaded below:


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