A fly with arachnid boots!

I was pleased to get this tw**t from Matthew showing a fly with boots. It looks like a housefly, and the pseudoscorpions are simply exhibiting phoresis: they’re hitching a ride to somewhere on the fly’s leg.  The “pseudoscorpion” page on Wikipedia notes that “pseudoscorpions often carry out phoresy, a form of commensalism in which one organism uses another for the purpose of transport.”

Now if he just had a phoretic cowboy hat!

From What’s That Bug?, here’s another pseudoscorpion committing Phoresis in the First Degree on the antenna of an ichneumon:

And, if you have €250, you can buy a phoretic pseudoscorpion in Baltic amber (no telling what it was riding on):


  1. GBJames
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Wow. That baltic amber photo is amazing. (Not that the others aren’t, too.)

  2. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I suppose actual cowboys are guilty of phoresis too.

    • Andy Lowry
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Good point!

  3. Ken Phelps
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    You can almost hear the wheels turning in Jerry’s head. Scorpion skin cowboy boots….Hmmmm….

    • Paul S
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Might be hard to wrangle enough scorpions for an entire boot. An inlay is a possibility.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Another problem is that scorpions, as arthropods, don’t really have skin; they have shells made of chitin.

      • Posted October 18, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        In Mexico they really do make cowboy boots with real scorpion shells attached to them. They’re really ugly.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      A scorpion large enough to shoe Jerry …
      Let’s come to a division of labour. You hummm, I’ll run.

  4. Posted October 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    OM non-existent G! That is so cool.
    The fly is also sporting a Groucho Marx nose in the form of what appears to be a phoretic mite on its face.

  5. Hempenstein
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Thumbing a ride taken to a new level, wherein the hitch-er gloms onto the hitch-ee’s thumb.

    What do you suppose triggers them to get off?

    • lkr
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Very likely, a nice whiff of skatol.

  6. Posted October 18, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Very interesting!

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