Scorpions? In My Bookshelf? It’s More Likely Than You Think

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For the most part, you probably don’t want bugs in your books. However, if you find tiny scorpions in your old books you should be happy. Chelifer cancroides or book scorpions are a type of pseudoscorpion that eats the booklice that eat and destroy old books.

As a psuedoscorpion they are not real scorpions, but they do have pincers and live in dusty areas, especially those with old vintage books. They are too tiny hurt humans and indeed are small enough you probably won’t notice them unless you are looking.

If you don’t have book scorpions and want them, well, all you have to do is buy old books and don’t dust them too much.

The first description of book scorpions is thought to have been written by the philosopher Aristotle in De historia animalium:

There are also other minute animals, as I observed before, some of which occur in wool, and in woollen goods […] Others also are found in books, some of which are like those which occur in garments; others are like scorpions; they have no tails, and are very small.

(image via wikicommons)

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