Gertsch, Willis J. American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York.
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An order of rare arachnids from tropical and warm temperate regions. Members of the order Palpigradi, comprising approximately 80 known species, are often referred to as microscorpions or miniature whip scorpions. American species occur in Texas and California. All are minute, whitish, eyeless animals, varying from 0.7 to 3 mm (0.03 to 0.12 in.) in length. They live under stones, in caves, and in other moist, dark places. The elongate body terminates in a slender multisegmented flagellum that is set with setae (see illustration). In a curious reversal of function, the pedipalps, the second pair of head appendages, serve as walking legs. The first pair of true legs, longer than the others and set with sensory setae, has been converted to tactile appendages that are vibrated constantly to test the substratum. See also: Arachnida
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