Saturday 8 December 2012

A new species of Pseudoscorpion from Hainan Island, south China.

Pseudoscorpions (or False Scorpions) are small Arachnids with flattened oval or pear-shaped bodies; they have pincers resembling those of true Scorpions, but lack stinging tails. The largest species reach 12 mm, but most are considerably smaller. They have a fossil record dating back to the Devonian, and may be considerably older since the oldest fossils closely resemble modern forms.

In a paper published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa on 26 September 2012, Jun-fang Hu and Feng Zhang of the College of Life Sciences at Hebei University, describe a new species of Pseudoscorpion from Hainan Islans, off the south coast of mainland China.

The new species is placed in the genus Atemnus, and given the specific name limuensis, after Mount Limu, where it was discovered living under the bark of an Ormosia tree (a type of Legume). Atemnus limuensis is a small, reddish brown Pseudoscorpion, with females larger than the males; 5.4-6.25 mm, compared to 4.38-4.88 mm. 

Atemnus limuensis, male specimen. Hu & Zhang (2012).

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