The collections bottles are sealed and back in their box, the trap itself is a sodden mass (currently drying in my classroom over the weekend), our class has said goodbye to the Malaise Trap, and we wish good luck to the scientists who now have quite a job to wade through all the specimens that start arriving back at the Mothership next week!
You can see in our pictures that one local arachnid was super happy to set up camp in the Malaise Trap. She looked very happy in there, but we encouraged her to complete the rest of her life cycle elsewhere.
My students pass along congratulations to all the schools, and a big thank you to the organizers for giving us the opportunity to take part in a cool experiment!
Pseudoscorpions are a type of arachnid, meaning that they are not insects, but are closely related to spiders. They are named “Pseudo” scorpions because they have pincers that resemble scorpions, but do not have a tail and stinger. They can be found anywhere from a tree canopy, to somewhere in your home where they feed on the larvae of some household pests. They can also be found in leaf litter, where they feed on other tiny arthropods. Males use chemicals known as pheromones, and a fancy dancing behaviour, to attract females to mate. These arachnids construct a silken cocoon which they use to protect themselves during the winter. Pseudoscorpions occur all over the planet, but are rarely collected in Malaise traps. In total, only one specimen was collected during the Fall 2014 School Malaise Trap Program, by Chesley District Community School. For an interesting video of a pseudoscorpion hunting, click here.