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 Monks Wood.

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 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. His contact details are below.

Contact

Dr Gerald Legg
20 Manor Gardens, Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, West Sussex.BN6 9UG
E-mail: prgATbritishspiders.org.uk
or pseudoscorpsATchelifer.com
or geraldATchelifer.com
Web-site: http://www.chelifer.com/pseudos

The PRG produces a newsletter annually, distributed to British Arachnological Society Members in the UK. These are also available on line here (note: you will need to use your browser's "back" button to return here after viewing the newsletters).


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