Schizomida

These are the short-tailed whip-scorpions and they are 57 mm long. The carapace is divided into three segments; median eyes are lacking but a pair of lateral eyes may be present which are reduced to small, pale areas of cuticle in some species. The pedipalps lack claws, and often have numerous spines and setae. The firstpair oflegs is long, slender, and used as tactile organs. The abdomen is 12-segmented; the last three segments are small, annular, and form a pygidium. The pygid-ium bears a short extension made up of 1-4 segments; in males itis often fused into a rounded or elongate knob. There are three genera in the order: Schizomus and Trithyreus have a wide tropical and equatorial distribution, and some species have been introduced into greenhouses in temperate regions; Stenochrus contains a single species from Puerto Rico. In Sri Lanka, Schizomus crassicaudatus and S. vittatus occur under dry leaves.

They are nocturnal and prey on small arthropods; they remain in dark and moist harborages during the day. These arthropods are very sensitive to light and to ground vibration, and move quickly when disturbed. The front legs are carried above the ground as the animal searches for food, and for defense they have a pair of anal glands that produce and expel an irritating liquid (acetic acid). In S. crassicaudatus, the female excavates a cavity in the soil, about 15 mm from the surface, and lines it with soil cemented together. Eggs are laid singly, and attached as a mass in the region of the genital opening. In Trithyreus sturmi the male cements a spermatophore to the ground and the female positions over it to transfer sperm into her genital ducts.

Trithyreus pentapeltis Adults are 4.5-7.5 mm long. The males are dark reddish brown, and the females are bright yellow. They occur under leaves and plant litter, and they are distributed in the semiarid and desert regions of southern California. A related species, T. paradenigensis, occurs among the fungal hyphae under wet leaves.

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