Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Flynn Hibbs - Hampshire College
Co-Author(s): Oceane Da Cunha, University of Texas El Paso, El Paso TX; Charles Stephen, Auburn University, Auburn AL; Dr. Jerry Johnson, University of Texas El Paso, El Paso TX
Pseudoscorpions are a largely understudied order of arachnids, especially in the Chihuahuan desert. By studying pseudoscorpions in this environment, we have begun to provide new information about this elusive taxon and their ecological role. We collected pseudoscorpions over a six-week period using a diverse number of methods in order to assess what species were present, their ecological niches, and the most efficient approach to collect individuals in an arid environment. Samples were collected from six different macrohabitats at the Indio Mountain Research Station from June 15 to July 28 and preserved in 70% ethanol. Specimens were then identified using morphological features with available keys and species descriptions. Seven families were represented, and the most abundant species was Albiorix conodentatus. We found the most successful method to be visual surveys. There was also a preference among the collected pseudoscorpions for rocky microhabitats and tank macrohabitats. Unidentifiable individuals lead us to believe we found 5 new species and a new genus. This study offers a preliminary insight into the biodiversity of pseudoscorpions found in the Chihuahuan desert. Future work includes performing DNA analysis on the individuals we believe to be new species and continued sampling of pseudoscorpions in the Chihuahuan desert to further understand their diversity and ecology.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation
Faculty Advisor: Sarah Partan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I developed the study, collected individuals, analyzed the results, and created the final poster. The only part of the study I did not do was the identification of collected specimen.