Rarely seen creepy crawly sparks fear, surprise, intrigue in Okanagan - InfoNews

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Rarely seen creepy crawly sparks fear, surprise, intrigue in Okanagan

Jaci Glazier posted this photo to social media. It had quite the reaction.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Jaci Glazier
May 02, 2019 - 9:30 AM

VERNON - It's creepy looking even by insect standards, but it can't bite humans, is very small, has a rather bizarre mating practice, and is living right here in the Okanagan - and causing quite the stir.

Jaci Glazier posted a picture of the little scorpion-looking bug on social media and generated dozens of comments ranging from surprised to terrified. Several people on the Vernon area Facebook forum post identified the insect as a pseudoscorpion, an arachnid also known as a false scorpion or book scorpion, which is luckily very small and harmless.

According to InsectIdentification.org, pseudoscorpions only grow to between three to five millimetres in length, and unlike a scorpion, lack a stinger. While they do have a venom gland in their claws, it's so small it's only used to kill tiny mites. Some species are blind, and even the ones that aren't lack good vision, so they wave their claws to feel and touch their way around.

And while Glazier found the insect in her home, pseudoscorpions are usually found outside, although they are also calling book scorpions because they like to feed off booklice and dust mites often found in old books.

According to Scientific American, the bugs also have "weird sex" and a mating ritual that involves a lot of dancing and rubbing.

The insect isn't the first to cause a stir in the Okanagan. Last year a woman in Spallumcheen had her home invaded by ladybugs, in 2017 a new stink bug decided to call the area home and in the same year an influx in tiny black bugs caused a nuisance.

If you dare, here's a video of a pseudoscorpion.


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