A total of 135 species of pseudoscorpions are known from South Africa, represented by 15 families and 65 genera. This represents about 4.4 % of the world fauna. Of the 135 species, 97 (72 %) are known only from South Africa, 33 have a wider distribution throughout the Afrotropical Region and three are cosmopolitan.
Pseudoscorpions are commonly found, but not easily seen because of their small size (2-5 mm) and secretive habits. They resemble scorpions but do not have a tail. The smaller forms live in debris and plant humus while the larger forms are found under bark, in trees or under rocks. A few species are arboreal and commonly found on trees. Several species have a phagophilous relationship with other animals. They are frequently collected from guano from mammal and bird retreats. Some species are phoretic and carried around by insects such as bees, beetles and flies. A few species are synanthropic and found in houses.
Although Pseudoscorpions have a wide distributed throughout South Africa they are more commonly found in the more humid south and eastern parts of the country. KwaZulu-Natal has representatives of 14 families, the Western Cape 12, the Eastern Cape 8 and Mpumalanga 7. No pseudoscorpions are protected. They are difficult to collect and therefore not endangered by collectors. They are however endangered by pollution and habitat destruction.
For more information on the pseudoscorpions of South Africa see the following article:
Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. & Harvey, M. 2000. A check list of the pseudoscorpions of South Africa (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones). Koedoe 43: 89-102.(pdf)