Sep 11, 2008

Pseudoscorpions and Phoresy

Matt encountered this creature in his home in the UK. Why is the picture so small? Because the creature is so small. This is what happens when those of us without macro lenses need to take pictures of tiny things. Matt wondered what this creature was, and I was actually able to help him (bug identification isn't my strong suit). It's a pseudoscorpion.

These tiny little arachnids are ubiquitous. You probably have them in your own house.

I went on to What's That Bug?, where the good folks are amazingly talented at bug identification, and was able to find out a bit more about the pseudoscorpion. Here's a shot of one hitching a ride on a Ichneumon. Here's your vocabulary word for the day: phoresy. Phoresy is defined as "One animal attaching to another animal for transportation only." Little arthropods do it all the time. There's no parasitism going on. The hitch-hiker simply needs to get around. Think of it as micro-mass transportation.

My one-year-old son does it all the time too. I'll be standing in the kitchen, minding my own business, when suddenly he is grappling my leg. I am then forced to walk around dragging him along, much to his dellight.

Thanks for the photo, Matt.


morgan said...

Hawwneat! I need to invent a new expression that combines the adorable, enlightened, and amused feelings this post leaves me with. I love this blog.

Anonymous said...

So I visited that site and clicked on the carnage link. I was surprised that I had mixed feelings! On one hand, I'm not going to let a wasp sting me or a centipede bite. On the other, it was sad seeing dead little bugs. =(

Thanks for the vocabulary word for the day. Should we write it out ten times? =P

Anonymous said...

I was reading a book in my room when one of these little guys decided to randomly fall on my book. I was too scared to be interested, but now I think their interesting little things.