8th june 2004

In books also animalcules are found, some resembling the grubs found in garments, and some resembling tailless scorpions, but very small.
- Aristotle

This is the pseudoscorpion's first foray into the literature. It's then very quiet until the 1780s, when George Adams* wrote of:

A lobster insect, spied by some labouring men who were drinking their porter, and borne away by an ingenious gentleman, who brought it to my lodging.

(The above is one of my mantras: I repeat it to myself on buses, on picnics). Pseudoscorpions then fall once more from common perception (hey! he reckons Aristotle's like, common!) and are now consigned to the specialist sector. I used to keep some, gleaned from the dunes in Norfolk; they loved Drosophila and were charming pets, but breeding was disastrous as baby scorpions less than a millimetre long are too small to keep track of, let alone feed.
I hadn't seen one for years until last summer, when a large fly landed on the trunk of the apple tree I was standing next to, and dangling from a rear leg was one of your men, clinging on with both claws and too busy to wave. By the time I'd got hold of a jar, it was gone.

* optician to George III, no less