Commensalism, Pseudoscorpions on fly legs
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Commensalism, Pseudoscorpions on_fly_legs, EL_DP169
© Copyright Dan L. Perlman, 2005-2007

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Pseudoscorpions hitching ride on a fly’s leg, Costa Rica. Pseudoscorpions, tiny relatives of true scorpions, often engage in the practice of phoresy, or hitchhiking. Ecologists still debate whether pseudoscorpions sometimes harm the organisms that carry them around, but many believe that the pseudoscorpions gain a ride without any real cost to their carriers. If so, this is a good example of a commensalism, a relationship in which one partner benefits and the other neither benefits nor is hurt. Pseudoscorpions are quite small (typically about 1/10 of an inch or 3 mm long) but are impressive predators. Although they do not have the stinger of a true scorpion, they have poison glands in their pincers and feed heavily on tiny arthropods such as mites and springtails.

title Commensalism, Pseudoscorpions_on_fly_legs, EL_DP169
common name Pseudoscorpion
scientific name Pseudoscorpiones
taxonomic group Arachnida
level/type Order
continent North America
country Costa Rica
city/place/location Monteverde
date1 yyyymmdd 19990712
source Dan L. Perlman
Ecological interactions Mutualism
Organisms Animals
Animals Arachnids

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