Life history and distribution of the Arctic pseudoscorpion, Wyochernes asiaticus (Chernetidae)


  • Christopher M. Buddle Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Macdonald Campus, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec H9X 3V9



Wyochernes asiaticus, Arachnida, natural history, biogeography, Pseudoscorpiones, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territory, Arctic


The Pseudoscorpiones are a remarkable yet understudied order of arachnids. The northernmost species in North America, Wyochernes asiaticus (family Chernetidae), occurs under rocks beside rivers or creeks and can be found above the Arctic Circle in Canada. In North America, the species is limited to the northwest, although its global distribution includes parts of Asia. It is presumably a Beringian species with quite specialized habitat affinities. I report on some life history traits of this species, based on examination of nearly 600 specimens from 16 localities in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. All life stages were collected. Of the females, 17% were carrying brood sacs, with an average of 10.5 eggs per brood sac; larger females tended to have larger clutch sizes. Despite these data on the natural history and distribution of W. asiaticus, its phylogeographic history and how the species feeds, disperses, and recolonizes habitats after flooding remain largely unknown.