ISSN 1175-5326 (print edition)
ISSN 1175-5334 (online edition)
Accepted by D. Harms: 2 Aug. 2019; published: 27 Aug. 2019 145
Zootaxa 4661 (1): 145–160
Copyright © 2019 Magnolia Press Article
Two new subterranean-adapted pseudoscorpions
(Pseudoscorpiones: Neobisiidae: Parobisium) from Beijing, China
ZEGANG FENG1, J. JUDSON WYNNE2 & FENG ZHANG1,3
1The Key Laboratory of Invertebrate Systematics and Application, College of Life Sciences, Hebei University, Baoding, Hebei 071002,
P. R. China
2Department of Biological Sciences, Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff,
Arizona 86011, U.S.A.
3Corresponding author. E-mail: email@example.com
Two new troglomorphic pseudoscorpion species, Parobisium magangensis sp. n. and P. yuantongi sp. n., belonging
to the family Neobisiidae, are described based on specimens collected in karst caves from Beijing, China. These are
the first troglomorphic pseudoscorpions discovered from caves in northern China. Detailed diagnosis, descriptions,
and illustrations are provided. We also offer future research and management recommendations for these two new
Key words: Parobisium, troglobionts, cavernicolous, taxonomy, false scorpions
The distribution of karst (a dissolution substrate including limestone) in China is extensive and there are many
karstic regions with a poorly known fauna (Zhang & Zhu 2012). Most studies of cave-dwelling arthropods have fo-
cused on the extensive South China Karst, which encompasses four administrative provinces in southern China and
contains thousands of caves. To date, at least 301 cave-dwelling arthropod species have been identified from this
region (Tian & Clarke 2012; Ran & Yang 2015; Gao et al. 2018; Liu & Wynne 2019). Our knowledge of northern
cave-dwelling arthropods is limited primarily to the Beijing area. To date, Tong & Li (2008) reported six species of
cave-dwelling spiders from Beijing and adjacent areas.
Until now, there have not been any documented cases of subterranean-adapted pseudoscorpions in northern
China, and our knowledge has been limited to 20 troglomorphic pseudoscorpion species (Families Chthoniidae,
Neobisiidae and Chernetidae) from southern China (Schawaller 1995; Mahnert 2003, 2009; Mahnert & Li 2016;
Gao et al. 2017; Li et al. 2017; Gao et al. 2018).
In his global catalogue, Harvey (2013) reported 16 species of Parobisium but three troglobitic species from Chi-
na (P. martii Mahnert, 2003, P. scaurum Mahnert, 2003 and P. titanium Mahnert, 2003) were recently transferred to
Bisetocreagris Ćurčić, 1983 by Mahnert & Li (2016) while Guo & Zhang (2016) added two additional epigean spe-
cies (P. wangae Guo & Zhang, 2016 and P. xiaowutaicum Guo & Zhang, 2016) from China to Parobisium. Hence,
there are currently 15 species of Parobisium from China (two species), North America (seven species), Japan (four
species) and Korea (two species) (Harvey 2013; Guo & Zhang 2016). Of these, only three species are troglobitic:
P. yosemite Cokendolpher & Krejca, 2010 (Indian Cave, Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.A), P. charlotteae
Chamberlin, 1962 (Redmond Lava Cave, Deschutes County, Oregon, U.S.A), and P. anagamidense (Morikawa,
1957) (Anagami-d Cave, Kochi Prefecture, Japan).
In this study, we describe the first subterranean-adapted species of Parobisium from Northern China. All speci-
mens are troglomorphic and display typical adaptation to subterranean habitat such as larger body size, lack of eyes,
and long, slender pedipalps and legs. We also provide recommendations for future research and management to
protect these new pseudoscorpion species and their habitats.
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Material and methods
Study area. Fangshan World Geopark is located southwest of Beijing, China and comprises an area of 953.95 km2
(Fig. 1). Featuring a peak cluster landscape (Lu 2007; Cao et al. 2014), this geopark is characterized by temperate
karst (Yu et al. 2011) and is composed principally of the Ordovician Majiagou Formation limestone and Mesopro-
terozoic Jixian Siluoshan siliceous strip dolomite (Lu et al. 2010). Due to neotectonic movement and climatic condi-
tions, the Fangshan landform and multi-layered karst caves are unique to the region (Lu et al. 2010). This geopark
supports at least 100 documented caves. Our study caves were selected based on information provided by local
villagers and the presence of sufficient depth to support deep zone conditions (defined below). Because these caves
have not been explored by any of the speleological groups working in China, cave maps were unavailable.
Magang Cave (Figs 1, 9) is located in a remote mountain ~2 km south of the town of Xiayunling. The surround-
ing area is largely forested and the closest agricultural fields/ human settlements are approximately 1 km away. This
limestone cave has one triangular entrance (~2 meters high and 0.2 to 0.4 meters wide) and is approximately 200
meters in length, and extends horizontally. The last ~120 m of this cave support active speleothems.
Shenxian Cave (Figs 1, 10) is located 1.2 km southwest of the town of Jinjitai. The cave is situated near a pig
farm and within low scrub vegetation. This cave is approximately 100 meters in length, has a dome shaped entrance
(approximately two meters wide), and extends horizontally.
Field sampling. Cave-dwelling arthropods were collected from the two caves on June 10, 2018. Observers
conducted a direct intuitive search (Wynne et al. 2019) of arthropods from the entrance area to the deep zone of
these caves by scanning the cave floor, ceiling, and walls. For the floor, observers examined the space between the
gravel and the ground, and searched beneath rocks (Figs 9B, 10B). Six observers spent approximately three hours
searching the length of Magang Cave, while three observers spent about an hour searching Shenxian cave.
FIGURE 1. Study area map and locations of caves, Fangshan World Geopark Park, Bejing, China. Parobisium magangensis sp.
n. is recorded from Magang Cave and Parobisium yuantongi sp. n. from Shenxian Cave.
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Analysis and preparation. Specimens were preserved in 75% ethanol and deposited in the Museum of He-
bei University (MHBU), Baoding City, China. Photographs were taken using a Leica M205A stereomicroscope
equipped with a Leica DFC550 camera and LAS software (Ver. 4.6). We used a Leica M205A stereomicroscope
(with a drawing tube) for drawings and measurements. Detailed examination of characters was done using an Olym-
pus BX53 general optical microscope. Temporary slide mounts were prepared in glycerol.
Terminology. The cave environment is typically divided into four environmental zones (refer to Howarth 1980,
1983): (1) entrance zone—the combination of surface and cave environmental conditions; (2) twilight zone—both
diminished light conditions and influence of surface environment; (3) transition zone—aphotic, yet barometric
and diurnal shifts are observed at a significantly diminished rate approaching near stable climatic conditions; and,
(4) deep zone—complete darkness, high environmental stability, constant temperature, near water-saturated atmo-
sphere, and low to no airflow (usually occurs in the deepest part of the cave). The cave deep zone represents the
region most conducive to supporting subterranean-adapted animals.
Pseudoscorpion terminology and measurements mostly follow Chamberlin (1931) with some minor modifica-
tions to the terminology of the trichobothria (Harvey 1992) and chelicera (Judson 2007). The chela and chelal hand
are measured in dorsal view and all measurements are in millimeters (mm) unless noted otherwise. The following
abbreviations are used for the trichobothria: b = basal; sb = sub-basal; st = sub-terminal; t = terminal; ib = interior
basal; isb = interior sub-basal; ist = interior sub-terminal; it = interior terminal; eb = exterior basal; esb = exterior
sub-basal; est = exterior sub-terminal; et = exterior terminal.
Family Neobisiidae Chamberlin, 1930
Subfamily Neobisiinae Chamberlin 1930
Genus Parobisium Chamberlin 1930
Neobisium (Parobisium) Chamberlin 1930: 17; Beier 1932: 84; Morikawa 1960: 112–113; Hoff 1961: 427.
Parobisium Chamberlin: Chamberlin and Malcolm 1960: 112–113; Chamberlin 1962: 123; Harvey 1991: 394; Mahnert 2003:
Type species: Neobisium (Parobisium) magnum Chamberlin, 1930, by original designation.
Remarks. Parobisium is characterized by the absence of a galea on the movable cheliceral finger, the fixed chelal
finger with a compact subterminal cluster of only three tactile setae (et, it, est), and a more diffuse subbasal to basal
cluster of five tactile setae (isb, ist, ib, esb, eb) (Chamberlin 1962).
Parobisium magangensis sp. n.
Type material. Holotype male (Ps.-MHBU-BJ18061001): China, Beijing City, Fangshan District, Xiayunling
Town, Magang Cave, [39.711342°N, 115.745130°E], estimated cave deep zone, 751 m elevation, 10 June 2018,
Zegang Feng leg.
Paratypes: 1♂ (Ps.-MHBU-BJ18061002), 7♀ (Ps.-MHBU-BJ18061003–09), same location as holotype.
Diagnosis. Troglomorphic habitus; carapace without eyes or eyespots; epistome rounded; carapace with 6 setae
on posterior margin; pedipalp smooth and slender, both chelal fingers with 146–162 teeth; femur 8.91–8.97 times
(length 2.78–2.94), patella 7.64–7.84 times (length 2.75–2.98) longer than broad, pedicel about two-thirds of total
length of patella. Hand with pedicel 3.89–4.04 times (length 1.86–1.95), chela with pedicel 8.67–8.96 times (length
4.12–4.25) longer than broad, finger 1.18–1.23 times longer than hand with pedicel. Chelicera: rallum with 8–9 pin-
nate setae, distal one with an expanded base.
Description. Male (Fig. 3A). Carapace, chelicerae and pedipalps brown; abdomen and legs yellowish.
Carapace (Figs 4A, 5A): Smooth, 1.19–1.31 times longer than broad, with a total of 22 setae, including 4 on
anterior margin and 6 on posterior margin; lacks eyes or eyespots; epistome rounded.
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Chelicera (Figs 4B, 5B): Hand with 6 setae, movable finger with one submedial seta; fixed finger with 13–14
teeth; movable finger with 15–16 teeth; serrula exterior with 34–37 lamellae; serrula interior with 22–25 lamellae.
Galea (Fig. 5G) replaced by a small rounded transparent spinneret. Rallum (Fig. 5C) with 8 pinnate setae, distal one
separated and with expanded base, proximal one short.
FIGURE 2. Parobisium magangensis sp. n., Female habitus.
Pedipalps (Figs 4C–D, 5H–I): Apex of coxa rounded, with 4 setae on each side. pedipalp smooth and slender.
Trochanter 3.71–3.90, femur 8.91–8.97, patella 7.64–7.84, chela (with pedicel) 8.67–8.96, chela (without pedicel)
7.59–7.71 times longer than wide, movable finger 1.61–1.78 times longer than hand (without pedicel). Fixed che-
lal finger with 8 trichobothria, movable finger with 4, eb and esb on lateral margin of hand; ib, ist, and isb closely
grouped at the base of the fixed finger; est situated at the subdistal of finger; est, et and it grouped together near
fingertip; b situated at base of movable finger, sb situated at one-third base of the finger, st and t at one-third distal
of movable finger, st nearer to t than to sb, the latter nearer to b than to st, the distance between b and sb longer than
that between t and st. Venom apparatus present only in fixed chelal finger, venom duct short. Fixed chelal finger
with 146–148 teeth, movable finger with 160–162 teeth.
Abdomen: Pleural membrane granulated. Tergal chaetotaxy (I–XI): 6: 7–9: 8: 8: 8–10: 8–9: 9–11: 8–11: 10–11:
10–11: 6–7; sternal chaetotaxy (IV–XI): 10: 12–13: 11: 11: 11: 11: 11: 2–4; stigmata with 4–6 setae around; anal
cone with 2 dorsal and 2 ventral setae. Male genital area (Figs 4E, 5E): sternite II with 22 scattered setae; sternite
III with 2–3 setae which occur on the intermediary and followed by 10 posterior setae.
Legs: Leg I (Figs 4G, 5J) and Leg IV (Figs 4H, 5K) typical. Tibia IV with one submedial tactile seta (TS = 0.54–
0.67), basitarsus IV with one basal tactile seta (TS = 0.14–0.16), telotarsus IV with one tactile seta (TS = 0.49–0.56).
Subterminal tarsal seta (Fig. 5F) bifurcate; arolium not divided, shorter than the slender and simple claws.
Female (paratypes) (Fig. 3B): Mostly same as holotype.
Chelicera. Hand with 6 setae, movable finger with 1 submedial seta; fixed finger with 13–14 teeth; movable
finger with 17–18 teeth; serrula exterior with 35–37 lamellae; serrula interior with 22–25 lamellae. Galea replaced
by a small rounded transparent spinneret; rallum of 8 blades, similar to that of holotype.
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Pedipalps. Trochanter 3.3–3.44, femur 7.53–8.18, patella 6.48–6.60, chela (with pedicel) 6.45–6.95, chela
(without pedicel) 5.64–6.05 times longer than wide, movable finger 2.09–2.30 times longer than hand (without
pedicel). Fixed chelal finger with 135–136 teeth, movable finger with 145–150 teeth.
Abdomen. Tergal chaetotaxy (I–XI): 6–8: 6–8: 7–9: 8–9: 8–10: 9–11: 9–11: 10–11: 10–12: 9–11: 6–9; sternal
chaetotaxy (IV–XI): 8–10: 10–13: 10–13: 11–12: 11–12: 11–13: 10–12: 2–4. Female genital area (Figs 3F, 4D):
sternite II with 2–3 setae on each side; sternite III with a row of 12 setae on the posterior margin.
FIGURE 3. Parobisium magangensis sp. n. A. Holotype male, dorsal view; B. Paratype female, dorsal view.
Measurements: (length/breadth or depth in mm; ratios for most characters in parentheses). Male (holotype and
paratypes). Body length 3.46–4.87. Carapace 1.19–1.31 (1.26–1.38/1.05–1.06). Pedipalpal trochanter 3.71–3.90
(1.21–1.26/0.34–0.31), femur 8.91–8.97 (2.78–2.94/0.31–0.33), patella 7.64–7.84 (2.75–2.98/0.36–0.38), chela
(with pedicel) 8.67–8.96 (4.12–4.25/0.46–0.49), chela (without pedicel) 7.59–7.71 (3.55–3.72/0.46–0.49), hand
length (without pedicel) 1.29–1.43, movable finger length 2.29–2.30 (1.61–1.78 times longer than hand without
pedicel). Leg I: trochanter 1.60–1.68 (0.40–0.42/0.25), femur 6.81–7.89 (1.43–1.50/0.19–0.21), patella 5.06–5.21
(0.91–0.99/0.18–0.19), tibia 9.23–9.57 (1.20–1.34/0.13–0.14), basitarsus 5.36–5.50 (0.59–0.66/0.11–0.12), telotar-
sus 7.27–7.70 (0.77–0.80/0.10–0.11). Leg IV: trochanter 2.88–2.92 (0.70–0.72/0.24–0.25), femur + patella 7.39–
7.81 (2.03–2.29/0.26–0.31), tibia 9.94–11.10 (1.79–2.33/0.18–0.21), basitarsus 4.43–5.07 (0.62–0.76/0.14–0.15),
telotarsus 7.15–7.42 (0.89–0.93/0.12–0.13).
Female (paratypes). Body length 4.32–5.88. Carapace 1.16–1.33 (1.41–1.45/1.06–1.25). Pedipalpal trochanter
3.36–3.44 (1.24–1.31/0.36–0.39), femur 7.53–8.18 (2.70–2.86/0.33–0.38), patella 6.48–6.60 (2.64–2.72/0.40–0.42),
chela (with pedicel) 6.45–6.95 (4.13–3.96/0.57–0.64), chela (without pedicel) 5.64–6.05 (3.45–3.61/0.57–0.64),
hand length (without pedicel) 1.35–1.39, movable finger length 2.09–2.30 (1.50–1.70 times longer than hand with-
out pedicel). Leg I: trochanter 1.43–1.58 (0.40–0.41/0.26–0.28), femur 6.24–6.68 (1.31–1.47/0.21–0.22), patella
4.94–5.17 (0.84–0.93/0.17–0.18), tibia 8.86–9.00 (1.17–1.24/0.13–0.14), basitarsus 4.67–5.27 (0.56–0.58/0.11–
0.12), telotarsus 6.00–6.55 (0.72/0.11–0.12). Leg IV: trochanter 2.58–2.59 (0.62–0.75/0.24–0.29), femur + patella
7.21–7.31 (2.09–2.34/0.29–0.32), tibia 9.76–10.85 (2.05–2.17/0.20–0.21), basitarsus 4.79–4.87 (0.67–0.73/0.14–
0.15), telotarsus 6.14–6.71 (0.86–0.94/0.14).
Distribution. This species is currently known only from the type locality.
Etymology. Latinized adjective derived from the type locality for this species, Magang Cave.
Remarks. P. magangensis sp. n. resembles Parobisium longipalpus Hong, 1996 but is distinguished by the lack
of eyes or eyespots (P. longipalpus has four conspicuous eyes), chelal fingers with 146–162 teeth (about 84–99 teeth
in P. longipalpus), and a slender pedipalpal femur 8.91–8.97 longer than broad (3.6–4.9 times in P. longipalpus),
atella 7.64–7.84 times longer than broad (2.9–3.3 times in P. longipalpus).
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FIGURE 4. Parobisium magangensis sp. n., holotype male: A. Carapace (dorsal view); B. Right chelicerae (dorsal view); C.
Right chela (lateral view); D. Right pedipalp (dorsal view); E. Genital area of male; F. Genital area of female; G. Right leg I
(lateral view); H. Right leg IV (lateral view).
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FIGURE 5. Parobisium magangensis sp. n., holotype male (A–C, E–K), female (D). A. Carapace, dorsal view; B. Right chelic-
era, dorsal view; C. Rallum; D. Genital area of female; E. Genital area of male; F. Subterminal tarsal seta; G. Movable finger of
chelicerae, showing galea; H. Right pedipalp, dorsal view (trochanter, femur and patella); I. Right chelal, lateral view; J. Right
leg I, lateral view; K. Right leg IV, lateral view. Scale bars: 0.1 mm (C–E), 0.25 mm (B, F), 0.5 mm (A, I, J), 1 mm (G, H).
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P. magangensis sp. n. differs from Parobisium robustiellum Hong, 1996 by lack of eyes or eyespots (P. ro-
bustiellum has four eyes), chelal fingers with 146–162 teeth (about 51–66 teeth in P. robustiellum), and a slender
pedipalpal femur 8.91–8.97 longer than broad (2.5–3.6 times in P. robustiellum), patella 7.64–7.84 times longer than
broad (2.7–3.4 times in P. robustiellum).
P. magangensis sp. n. can be easily distinguished from Parobisium anagamidense (Morikawa, 1957) by the fol-
lowing characters: carapace without eyes or eye spots (P. anagamidense with four reduced eyes), epistome rounded
(absent in P. anagamidense); chelal fingers with 146–162 teeth (about 86–90 teeth in P. anagamidense); pedipalpal
femur 8.91–8.97 longer than broad (4.0 times in P. anagamidense), patella 7.64–7.84 times longer than broad (2.9
times in P. anagamidense).
Parobisium yuantongi sp. n.
Type material. Holotype male (Ps.-MHBU-BJ18061010): China, Beijing City, Fangshan District, Shijiaying Town,
Shenxian cave, [39.867793°N, 115.704571°E], estimated cave deep zone, 603 m elevation, 10 June 2018, Zegang
Diagnosis. Troglomorphic habitus; carapace without eyes or eyespots; epistome triangular, with rounded top;
carapace with 6 setae on posterior margin; pedipalp slender and with granulation present on femur, inside lateral of
patella and chelal hand, both chelal fingers with 115–118 teeth; femur 6.75 times (length 1.62), patella 5.70 times
(length 1.54) longer than broad, pedicel about half of total length of patella. Hand with pedicel 3.00 times (length
1.05), chela with pedicel 8.00 times (length 2.80) longer than broad, finger 1.69 times longer than hand with pedicel.
Chelicera: rallum with 8 pinnate setae, distal one with an expanded base.
Description. Male (Fig. 6). Carapace, chelicerae and pedipalps light yellow brown; abdomen and legs yellow-
FIGURE 6. Parobisium yuantongi sp. n. Holotype male, dorsal view.
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Carapace (Figs 7A, 8A): Smooth, 1.46 times longer than broad, with a total of 22 setae, including 4 on anterior
margin and 6 on posterior margin; lacks eyes or eyespots; epistome small, triangular, with rounded top.
Chelicera (Figs 7B, 8B): Hand with 6 setae, movable finger with one submedial seta; fixed finger with 14 teeth;
movable finger with 11 teeth; serrula exterior with 24–26 lamellae; serrula interior with 26–28 lamellae. Galea (Fig.
8D) replaced by a small rounded transparent spinneret. Rallum (Fig. 8C) with 8 pinnate setae, distal one separated
and with expanded base, proximal one short.
Pedipalps (Figs 7C–D, 8G–H): Apex of coxa rounded, with 4–5 setae on each side. Pedipalp slender and with
granulation present on femur, inside lateral of patella and chelal hand. Trochanter 3.33, femur 6.75, patella 5.70,
chela (with pedicel) 8.00, chela (without pedicel) 7.37 times longer than wide, movable finger 2.19 times longer
than hand (without pedicel). Fixed chelal finger with 8 trichobothria, movable finger with 4, eb and esb on lateral
margin of hand; ib, ist, and isb closely grouped at the base of the fixed finger; est situated at the subdistal of finger;
est, et and it grouped together near fingertip; b situated at base of movable finger, sb situated at one-third base of
the finger, st and t at one-third distal of movable finger, st nearer to t than to sb, the latter distinctly nearer to b than
to st, the distance between b and sb longer than that between t and st. Venom apparatus present only in fixed chelal
finger, venom duct short. Fixed chelal finger with 116 teeth, movable finger with 118 teeth.
FIGURE 7. Parobisium yuantongi sp. n., holotype male: A. Carapace (dorsal view); B. Right chelicerae (dorsal view); C. Left
chela (lateral view); D. Left pedipalp (dorsal view); E. Right leg I (lateral view); F. Right leg IV (lateral view).
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FIGURE 8. Parobisium yuantongi sp. n., holotype male. A. Carapace, dorsal view; B. Right chelicera, dorsal view; C. Rallum;
D. Movable finger of chelicerae, showing galea; E. Subterminal tarsal seta; F. Genital area of male; G. Right chelal, lateral view;
H. Right pedipalp, dorsal view (trochanter, femur and patella); I. Right leg I, lateral view; J. Right leg IV, lateral view. Scale bars:
0.1 mm (F, G), 0.25 mm (I), 0.5 mm (B, D, E), 1 mm (A, H, J).
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Abdomen: Pleural membrane granulated. Tergal chaetotaxy (I–XI): 6: 9: 11: 11: 11: 12: 11: 11: 11: 10: 7; sternal
chaetotaxy (IV–XI): 16: 14: 14: 13: 14: 12: 11: 3; stigmata with 3–5 setae around; anal cone with 2 dorsal and 2
ventral setae. Male genital area (Fig. 8F): sternite III with 11 setae on the posterior margin; with 6 setae around the
anteromedian groove; sternite III with a row of 11 setae on the posterior margin.
Legs: Leg I (Figs 7E, 8I) and Leg IV (Figs 7F, 8J) typical. Tibia IV with one submedial tactile seta (TS = 0.50),
basitarsus IV with one basal tactile seta (TS = 0.11), telotarsus IV with one tactile seta (TS = 0.51). Subterminal
tarsal seta (Fig. 8E) bifurcate; arolium not divided, shorter than the slender and simple claws.
Measurements: (length/breadth or depth in mm; ratios for most characters in parentheses). Male. Body length
2.98. Carapace 1.46 (1.04/0.71). Pedipalpal trochanter 3.33 (0.80/0.24), femur 6.75 (1.62/0.24), patella 5.70
(1.54/0.27), chela (with pedicel) 8.00 (2.80/0.35), chela (without pedicel) 7.37 (2.58/0.35), hand length (without
pedicel) 0.81, movable finger length 1.77 (2.19 times longer than hand without pedicel). Leg I: trochanter 1.42
(0.27/0.19), femur 5.80 (0.87/0.15), patella 4.15 (0.75/0.10), tibia 7.50 (0.75/0.10), basitarsus 5.00 (0.40/0.08), telo-
tarsus 6.86 (0.48/0.07). Leg IV: trochanter 2.67 (0.46/0.18), femur + patella 5.07 (1.37/0.27), tibia 8.60 (1.29/0.15),
basitarsus 4.00 (0.44/0.11), telotarsus 6.78 (0.61/0.09).
Distribution. This species is known only from the type locality.
FIGURE 9. Magang Cave, type locality of Parobisium magangensis sp. n. and cave animals living inside: A. entrance; B.
inside the cave, showing the places where the subterranean-adapted pseudoscorpions were collected; C. Pholcus sp. (Araneae:
Pholcidae); D. Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985 (Diplopoda: Julida).
Etymology. The species name, yuantongi, was derived from the Latinized Mandarin phrase for “shaped like a
cylinder” or “cylindrical.”Yuán tǒng (圆筒) refers to the shape of chelal hand.
Remarks. The new species resembles P. longipalpus Hong, 1996 but is distinguished by the lack of eyes or
eyespots (P. longipalpus has four conspicuous eyes), the slender pedipalpal femur 6.75 longer than broad (3.6–4.9
times in P. longipalpus, patella 5.70 times longer than broad (2.9–3.3 times in P. longipalpus).
P. yuantongi sp. n. also resembles P. robustiellum Hong, 1996, but it can be differentiated from the latter by
lack of eyes or eyespots (P. robustiellum has four eyes), chelal fingers with 115–118 teeth (about 51–66 teeth in P.
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robustiellum); the slender pedipalpal femur 6.75 longer than broad (2.5–3.6 times in P. robustiellum), patella 5.70
times longer than broad (2.7–3.4 times in P. robustiellum).
P. yuantongi sp. n. can be easily distinguished from P. anagamidense (Morikawa, 1957) by the following char-
acters: carapace without eyes/eyespots (P. anagamidense (Morikawa, 1957), epistome triangular, with rounded top
(absent in P. anagamidense); pedipalpal femur 6.75 longer than broad (4.0–4.2 times in P. anagamidense (Mori-
kawa, 1957) patella 5.70 longer than broad (2.9 times in P. anagamidense (Morikawa, 1957).
P. yuantongi sp. n. differs from P. magangensis sp. n. by the pedipalpal morphology and size: pedipalp with
granulation present on femur, inside lateral of patella and chelal hand (smooth in P. magangensis sp. n.), pedipalpal
femur 6.75 longer than broad (8.91–8.97 times in P. magangensis sp. n.), patella 5.70 longer than broad (7.64–7.84
times in P. magangensis sp. n.).
FIGURE 10. Shenxian Cave, type locality of Parobisium yuantongi sp. n.: A. Surrounding surface habitat with cave entrance
(white arrow) and pig enclosure downslope from the cave entrance (red arrow) illustrated; B. deep zone environment in the cave
where P. yuantongi was collected.
Our knowledge of cave biota in northern China is limited. Historically, speleological research has been conducted
in the subtropical or tropical southern extent of the country. However, we demonstrate in our paper that there are
also troglomorphic species in northern China that should receive equal attention from cave ecologists and resource
managers. Importantly, this work increased the number of troglomorphic pseudoscorpions in China from 20 to 22
and provides new data on the diversity of subterranean-adapted pseudoscorpions in the karst of northern China.
Both species are tentatively considered single-cave endemics. However, this may be due to limited surveys for
troglomorphic taxa rather than actual restricted distributions of these species. There are at least two caves within
a radius of 5 km in the Magang cave, and at least three caves in the radius of 5 km in the Shenxian cave. As with
many subterranean-adapted taxa (e.g., Culver et al., 2000; Christman et al., 2005; Kováč et al. 2005; Borges et al.
TWO NEW SUBTERRANEAN-ADAPTED PSEUDOSCORPIONS Zootaxa 4661 (1) © 2019 Magnolia Press · 157
2012), these two pseudoscorpion species may indeed have restricted distributions. However, they may have wider
distributions than a single cave and are likely restricted to a geologic formation rather than the caves in which they
were found. Additional surveys will be required to better define their distributional ranges, as well as access their
susceptibility to human disturbance.
Despite the impressive biological diversity found throughout China, there are no government regulations, nor
is any government agency responsible for managing and protecting cave resources. Development projects progress
steadily in karstic regions and tourist caves are developed without consideration for subterranean resources and the
rich biodiversity they often support (Whitten 2009). While we recognize environmental conditions are improving
and environmental regulations have strengthened, deforestation (Trajano 2000, Ferreira & Horta 2001, Clements et
al. 2006, Stone & Howarth 2007), intensive agriculture and water diversion (van Beynen & Townsend 2005, Stone
& Howarth 2007, Harley et al. 2011), alien species introductions (Taylor et al. 2003, Price 2004, Howarth et al.
2007), heavy metals and agrochemicals (Whitten 2009), and global climate change (Chevaldonné & Lejeune 2003,
Mammola et al. 2018) continue to present conservation challenges for cave fauna in China. Thus, we recommend
monitoring environmental conditions of the surface and subsurface of caves, as well as developing systematic in-
ventories and vulnerability assessment procedures (Mammola et al. 2019) to help safeguard China’s subterranean
While these longer-term programs may take more time to develop, cave biological resources in Fangshan World
Geopark are under immediate threat by human activities, and community-based conservation measures should also
be explored and potentially implemented. Shenxian cave is approximately 50 m from agriculture and human activi-
ties, and we observed direct evidence of recent human visitation to this cave. While Magang Cave is much further
from human activities (1 km), this cave was also recently visited by humans.
Gao et al. (2018) proposed several community-based conservation measures for caves in the Guangxi Province,
which may also be applicable in the north. These measures include outreach activities to educate villagers, school
children and tourists concerning the fragility of cave biological resources, as well as posting educational signs dis-
cussing the sensitivity of these resources both within the villages and potentially at proximity to the cave entrances.
Cave gating may also be appropriate in some situations, but should be endeavored only as a last resort.
Finally, to both gain inference into the distributions of these two new species, as well as to identify other poten-
tial management species, we recommend conducting additional biological inventories within these and other known
caves of the Fangshan Geopark to obtain a more comprehensive picture of northern China cave arthropod biological
diversity. We suggest applying a systematic sampling framework similar to the approach elucidated by Wynne et
al. (2018); if this is not possible, minimally researchers should aim to conduct additional direct intuitive searches in
cave deep zones, as well as bait sampling in cave deep zones to more thoroughly inventory subterranean-adapted
taxa (sensu Wynne et al. 2019).
As biological inventories continue to expand in northern China, we anticipate more subterranean-adapted ar-
thropod species will ultimately be discovered. These findings will not only better characterize the cave arthropods
of the north, but will further contribute to the already impressively rich cave fauna known to China as a whole.
We are grateful to Weitong Wang, Zhaoyi Li, Hui Wang and Yang Chen for their help in the specimens collection.
We thank also Dr. Zhizhong Gao and Dr. Xiangbo Guo for their valuable suggestions and sincere help in improv-
ing this article. Dr. Weixin Liu verified the millipede species in Figure 9. This work was supported by the National
Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31872198), and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s
Republic of China (MOST Grant No. 2015FY210300).
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