Fish and Wildlife denies protection for tiny arachnid; single specimen known at Grand Canyon

AP/GREENFIELD REPORTER

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — Federal officials say a tiny arachnid found in a cave at the Grand Canyon doesn’t warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The Grand Canyon cave pseudoscorpion is known from a single female specimen collected in 1978 from the national park’s Cave of the Domes.

Pseudoscorpions typically require wet and moist habitats, but the cave is considered a dry environment.

Fish and Wildlife officials say that raises questions about the origin of the tiny arachnid that has large claws but lacks the stinger of true scorpions.

Environmentalists sent a petition to Fish and Wildlife in 2007 seeking protection for the arachnid and other species.

Federal officials said Monday that they’d welcome any new information on the distribution and status of the arachnid that can hitch rides on flying insects.

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