When Pseudoscorpions Attack!

Image courtesy of Tom Herlihy (Worm Power)

After reading my post about pseudoscorpions, my friend Shawn from Worm Power sent in a very cool image showing multiple pseudoscorpions teaming up to attack a fly. Totally wild!

All I know is that I would HATE be be that fly.

Thanks again for sending that in, Shawn.

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    • Adam
    • February 19, 2009

    I wonder if they really were attacking. It looks too large to be prey, and Pseudoscorpions are well known for their habit of using flies as mass transport. There can be more than 7 hanging on a fly. If I remember right, 13 or more. I bet they’re really good to have around if the bed has mites.

    • Bentley
    • February 24, 2009

    Interesting suggestion, Adam. I’m not sure which direction I’d lean (attack or transport). I think the use of flies as transport could be counterproductive since flies tend to land in all sorts of places other than compost heaps etc where pseudoscorpions would feel at home.
    Hmmm…hard to say for sure though. I’ve yet to meet a pseudoscorpion who’s willing to talk!

    • Garrett
    • May 26, 2011

    That is a tough call. I’ve read papers about pseudoscorpions using flies as means of transportation, and also about some pseudoscorpions that will actually team up to take down larger prey. according to my understanding, the ones that have the semi-social cooperative hunting habits use their chelicerae (mouthparts) to pierce the prey and suck out the juices. Since you can’t see the mouthparts in this picture because of the angle, they could be feeding, but they may not be. Also, most of the pics I’ve seen of pseudoscorpions hitching a ride on another arthropod show the pseudoscorpion hanging from a leg by one of their pincers. These pseudoscorpions seem a lot closer to the body than I thought was typical. But I really can’t say either way from this angle. Both options seem equally likely.

    • Debbie
    • February 19, 2015

    I would like to know how do you get rid of them. How harmful are they to the worms.
    I put egg cartoon in the bin 2 days later I had a lot of them on the egg cartoon. You can barley seem but once they more you can see clusters of them crawling around on the egg cartoon..

    It is a good thing I only have one bin to deal with these things I just want to know How to Get Rid of Them.

    Thank you

    • Volker
    • September 21, 2016

    I would like to buy some off you for my beehives. As they are known to kill the verroa mite that is the major bee pest!
    Let me know, or others that have a laying female pseudoscorpion. I do habe red worms but merger seen any pseudoscorpions
    Volker, california

    • Debbie
    • September 30, 2016


    I know longer have Red worms they died on me so I don’t know how they died but they did.

    Thank you sending me your email

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