Sunday, November 10, 2019

Answer to Case 568

Answer to Parasite Case of the Week 568: Pseudoscorpion or false scorporion, not a human parasite.

This fun little arthropod is occasionally submitted to the clinical laboratory for identification, and may be mistaken as a true scorpion. While both scorpions and pseudoscorpions are arachnids, pseudoscorpions are very small (1 cm or less in length) and lack a tail with a stinger. As sylvie g and Santiago note, pseudoscorpions can occasionally be found in the house, but they don't bite or sting humans, and instead feed on other small arthropods such as booklice.

Thanks again to Old One and his son for the donation of the cool animated illustration.


Blaine A. Mathison said...

Actually, because it is only an illustration and not the real thing, it's a pseudopseudoscorpion.

Old One said...

Touche mon ami.

I have heard there are about 1500 species of pseudoscorpions world wide. This particular species Chelifera cancroides is the species most likely encountered in the home and is commonly called the "House Psuedoscorpion". It has been encountered in bee hives attacking Verroa mites, however subsequent research shows them to be ineffective for their control.

This particular individual was found on the clients leg. Because of the claws the client thought it was a "Crab Louse" Needless to say, I was hero of the day.