Twenty-seven species have been recorded in Britain and Ireland, two of which are relatively new. They can occur in high numbers, dozens to hundreds per square metre, but despite this finding them can be challenging. Hand sorting (shake a small handful of leaf-litter onto a white tray) is the simplest way of finding them but it can take many attempts before one appears. Putting a few handfuls of the same litter in a Tullgren funnel will yield many times more specimens.
Over 7500 records plot the current distribution of the British species of pseudoscorpion. The NBN Gateway has further records. Originally the scheme was set up, administered and run by the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Monks Wood [now Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, who employed P.E. Jones to work on the group. In 1980 he produced a Provisional Atlas of the distribution of pseudoscorpions. Around 1982 I took over as recorder and over a period of time databased all the Monks Wood Records concurrent with starting up a recording scheme and adding new records.
In 1988 the Linnean Society of London with the Estuarine and Brackish-Water Sciences Association published Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series) No. 40, edited by Doris M. Kermack and R.S.K. Barnes: Pseudoscorpions. Written and technically illustrated by Gerald Legg it was also illustrated with superb pen and ink drawings of the then known British species by Richard E. Jones. Now out of print copies of this can be found on the internet. A revised edition is in the process of being written.
In December 2016, the Field Studies Council published a new guide: Illustrated Key to the British False Scorpions (Pseudoscorpions). This provides a means to identify all the known UK species, including the recently (2016) rediscovered Chthonius halberti.
Distribution of Records of all species in the UK and Images of Species Very few species have been photographed to date. Those that have may be either of preserved specimens and/or live ones.
If anyone has any images that they can provide to add to the image library, fully acknowledged of course, then please contact me.
Species distribution maps updated November 2009. My thanks to all those who have submitted records and specimens.
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Unless otherwise stated all images are Copyright of Gerald Legg, naturaimaging. If you would like to use any images, then high resolution ones can be obtained by contacting me.
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