UK Species

Twenty-nine 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.
Thank you.
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 [ ] 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;
Straight-clawed chthoniid 
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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