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Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Wild Inside

After returning from a nice breakfast out this morning, I was hanging my coat on a hook by the front door when a tiny speck on the wall caught my eye.  My eye was not drawn to this speck because we keep our house meticulously clean or anything.  Between my wife’s art and my photography our walls are littered with dark spots in the form of nail holes, scratches from frames, and other picture-hanging associated blotches.  No, what drew my attention to this particular speck was the fact that it was moving…well, that and the fact that it had pinchers.

I climbed up on a chair and got my eyes closer to my newly discovered housemate.  She was a pseudoscorpion- a harmless little arachnid that earns her keep around the house by eating mites, gnats and occasionally something as large as a housefly.  The pseudoscorpion was slowly working her way along the edge of the seam between wall and ceiling, seemingly following sensory information that was being picked up by her pinchers. 

It may seem odd to some, but I feel nearly as much excitement discovering an incredible little being like this in my home as I do encountering a bear or other “super-charismatic mega-vertebrate” out in a wilderness setting.  I mean, c’mon!  A creature the size of a pinhead with pinchers the size of the period at the end of a sentence is patrolling my house for mites and no-see-ums?  How bizarre, and how utterly cool is that?  

In my opinion she’s a super-charismatic micro-invertebrate, and she helps make the wild inside every bit as fascinating as the wild outside my door.           


  1. That little critter is amazing. I have never seen anything like it before.

  2. They are pretty amazing. It's even more interesting when you can see the way they move. I tried to get a video of this one, but she was much too small. I had to settle for the macro lens on my still camera instead.

  3. yea! right on kevin! its wild all the way through!

  4. In Hawaii everyone has lines of very tiny black ants invading the house at every opportunity. Poison baits are the norm to keep the kitchen clear. We discovered a better way. I remember reading about an island community in India, where every morning offerings are given to the ancestors in the four directions. They are gone by next day, the ... See Moreancestors send ants to carry the food away and the native houses are ant free. We leave them a little fruit and they form and orderly line to and from the offering.