They’ve been around since the Devonian, 380 million years ago. This one was on the kitchen table, threatening my finger. It scuttled backward as it waved pincers at the looming digit. A dozen of these creatures could stand on a single cherry pit, so the display was heavy on charm and light on fearsomeness.
Many pseudoscorpion species have the unusual habit of “riding” larger flying insects to hitch rides to new habitats. Some of these beasts of burden include the cerambycid beetles that I watched several weeks ago on the fallen ash. Next time, I’ll pay closer attention to the beetles’ bits and bridles.
Riders are ridden: some nematodes move about by clinging to pseudoscorpions.
So nat’ralists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller fleas to bite ’em.
And so proceeds Ad infinitum.
— Jonathan Swift