August 10, 2012
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As I mentioned on Wednesday, one of my fellow travelers (my advisor) was collecting pseudoscorpions while in the Yukon. Specifically, he was targeting Wyochernes asiaticus, a Beringian species. He wrote a wonderful and poignant post about his love for these critters, which I invite you to read here: Why I study obscure and strange little animals.
I actually completely fell in love with pseudoscorpion-hunting. It involved turning over rocks – perhaps one of the most fundamental entomological collection methods, and one that nearly all of us did for fun as kids. It was with great, child-like glee that I would spot these tiny (2-3mm) creatures, sometimes with their bright yellow
egg masses brood pouches (thanks Dave!) adhered to their abdomens, upon turning over just the right rock at just the right place on the bank of a rocky creek.
These critters are poorly documented – I don’t know if any photographs showing live specimens of this species existed before this trip. Well, they do now! The very small size of these animals made the photo shoot challenging, but well worth the effort.
A female Arctic pseudoscorpion, Wyochernes asiaticus, with her brood pouch
A female Arctic pseudoscorpion, Wyochernes asiaticus (brood pouch removed)
Female Wyochernes asiaticus with her brood pouch