Often in large libraries or on home book shelves, where there is not always a thorough cleaning, bookworms, or hay-eaters, start up. They spoil the pages of editions, making them unusable, destroy the structure of the book, its binding. Book false scorpion can save printed materials from harmful hay-eaters.
Who is false scorpion
False scorpions (Chelifer cancroides) are small brown arachnids. Outwardly, they are similar to scorpions, but differ in a wide 11-segmented abdomen and overall size. The size of a book scorpion does not exceed 3 millimeters. The false scorpion builds its nests with the help of a web, which is secreted by spider glands. And there is enough prey with pedipalps equipped with ticks, just like ordinary scorpions.
Pedipalps act as organs of touch and allow you to respond to any movement of air or touch. Therefore, false scorpions are well aware of danger and, if it approaches, they press their limbs to the body and move back or to the side. Book scorpion legs have suction cups that help to move well on vertical surfaces.
Where the false scorpion dwells
False scorpions have chosen human dwellings with great comfort. They like dark, humid places. False scorpions lead a hidden lifestyle. This insect can rarely be found in the bathroom, but in most cases its habitat is a bookcase or the surface of the walls behind the wallpaper. Dust and the presence of other, smaller insects (larvae, bookworms, bedbugs) are an excellent habitat for a book scorpion. Also, these bibliophile insects are very fond of settling in herbiria of dried flowers and leaves. False scorpions destroy paperworms and their larvae, for which they are called saviors of books. In rare cases, false scorpions can settle on birds and animals, feeding on parasites that live in their feathers or wool.
How the false scorpion hunts
False scorpions are predatory insects. Hay-eaters, larvae of grinder beetles, dust mites, bed bugs, collembolans become their prey. False scorpions grab their prey with their pedipalp claws. With sharp chelicerae, they pierce the prey, and then suck it out. After eating, the arachnid insect cleans the mouth organs, celcera and pedipalps for a long time and thoroughly. For humans, false scorpions are not dangerous, since they will not be able to pierce the skin with pincers.
In the process of hunting, false scorpions not only feed, but move from one place to another. This passive way of settling is called phoresia. A false scorpion, sneaking up on another insect, grabs its body with sharp pincers and moves on the victim's body to another place.