1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Book-Scorpion
|←Book-Plates||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 4
|See also Pseudoscorpion on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.|
BOOK-SCORPION, or False Scorpion, minute arachnids superficially resembling tailless scorpions and belonging to the order Pseudoscorpiones of the class Arachnida. Occurring in all temperate and tropical countries, book-scorpions live for the most part under stones, beneath the bark of trees or in vegetable detritus. A few species, however, like the common British forms Chelifer cancroides and Chiridium museorum, frequent human dwellings and are found in books, old chests, furniture, &c.; others like Ganypus littoralis and allied species may be found under stones or pieces of coral between tide-marks; while others, which are for the most part blind, live permanently in dark caves. Their food consists of minute insects or mites. It is possibly for the purpose of feeding on parasitic mites that book-scorpions lodge themselves beneath the wing-cases of large tropical beetles; and the same explanation, in default of a better, may be extended to their well-known and oft-recorded habit of seizing hold of the legs of horse-flies or other two-winged insects. For safety during hibernation and moulting, book-scorpions spin a small spherical cocoon. They are oviparous; and the eggs after being laid are carried about by the mother, attached to the lower surface of her body, the young remaining with their parent until they have acquired their definite form and are able to shift for themselves.
(R. I. P.)