Twenty-eight species have been recorded in Britain and Ireland, three 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.
Nearly 9000 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 data-based 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.
Check List of British and Irish Species (updated from Harvey 2013 [http://museum.wa.gov.au/catalogues-beta/browse ] and Zaragoza, J.A. (2017). Revision of the Ephippiochthonius complex in the Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Islands and Macaronesia, with proposed changes to the status of the Chthonius subgenera (Pseudoscorpiones, Chthoniidae). Zootaxa 4246: 1-221.
Order PSEUDOSCORPIONES Latreille, 1825
Sub-order EPIOCHEIRATA Harvey, 1992
Superfamily Chthonioidea Daday, 1889
Family Chthoniidae Daday, 1889
Genus Ephippiochthonius Zaragoza, 2017
Ephippiochthonius tetrachelatus (Pressler, 1790); Dimpled-clawed
Ephippiochthonius kewi Gabbutt, 1966; Kew’s chthoniid
Genus Chthonius C. L. Koch, 1843
Chthonius (Chthonius) halberti Kew, 1916; Halbert’s chthonid
Chthonius (Chthonius) ischnocheles (Hermann, 1804); Common
Chthonius (Chthonius) tenuis L. Koch, 1873; Dark-clawed chthoniid
Chthonius (Chthonius) orthodactylus (Leach, 1817) sensu stricto;
Sub-order IOCHEIRATA Harvey, 1992
Superfamily Neobisiodea Chamberlin, 1930
Family Neobisiidae Chamberlin, 1930
Subfamily Neobisiinae Chamberlin, 1930
Genus Neobisium Chamberlin, 1930
Neobisium (Neobisium) maritimum (Leach, 1817); Shore neobisiid
Neobisium (Neobisium) carpenteri (Kew, 1910); Carpenter’s neobisiid
Neobisium (Neobisium) carcinoides (Herman, 1804); Moss neobisiid
Neobisium (Neobisium) simile (L. Koch, 1873) Quarry neobisiid
Genus Roncus L. Koch, 1873
Roncus (Roncus) lubricus L. Koch, 1873; Reddish two-eyed neobisiid
Subfamily Microcreagrinae, Balzan 1892
Genus Roncocreagris Mahnert, 1976
Roncocreagris cambridgei (L. Koch, 1873); Cambridge’s two-eyed neobisiid
Genus Microbisium Chamberlin, 1930
Microbisium brevifemoratum (Ellingsen, 1903); Bog neobisiid
Superfamily Cheiridioidea Hansen, 1894
Family Cheiridiidae Hansen, 1894
Genus Cheiridium Menge, 1855
Cheiridium museorum (Leach, 1817); Book chelifer
Superfamily Cheliferoidea Risso, 1827
Family Chernetidae Menge, 1855
Subfamily Lamprochernetinae Beier, 1932
Genus Lamprochernes Tömösvary, 1892
Lamprochernes savignyi (Simon, 1881); Savigny’s shining claw
Lamprochernes nodosus (Schrank, 1803); Knotty shining claw
Lamprochernes chyzeri (Tömösvary, 1882); Chyzer’s shining claw
Genus Pselaphochernes Beier, 1932
Pselaphochernes scorpioides (Hermann, 1804; Compost chernes
Pselaphochernes dubius (0. P.-Cambridge, 1892); Small chernes
Genus Allochernes Beier, 1932
Allochernes powelli (Kew, 1916); Powell’s chernes Allochernes wideri (C. L. Koch, 1873); Wider’s tree chernes
Subfamily Chernetinae Beier, 1932
Genus Dinocheirus Chamberlin, 1929
Dinocheirus panzeri (C. L. Koch, 1873); Terrible-clawed chernes
Genus Chernes Menge, 1855
Chernes cimicoides (Fabricius, 1793); Common tree chernes
Genus Dendrochernes Beier, 1932
Dendrochernes cyrneus (C. L. Koch, 1873); Large tree chernes
[Genus Americhernes Muchmore 1976
Americhernes oblongus (Say, 1821); American chernes ]
Family Withiidae Chamberlin, 1931
Genus Withius Kew, 1911
Withius piger (Simon, 1878); Lazy chelifer
Family Cheliferidae Risso, 1827
Subfamily Cheliferinae Risso, 1827
Genus Chelifer Geoffroy, 1762
Chelifer cancroides (Linnaeus, 1758); House chelifer
Genus Dactylochelifer Beier, 1932
Dactylochelifer latreillii (Leach, 1817); Marram grass chelifer
Superfamily Garypoidea Simon, 1879
Family Larcidae Harvey 1992
Genus Larca Chamberlin, 1930
Larca lata (Hansen, 1884); Oak tree chelifer
NOTE Americhernes oblongus was found in Kent as an alien introduction and is not a viable population and so not included in any key.
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