"Contrary to popular belief, rarely are we in the field, collect an animal and then brandish our grubby field flasks of whiskey to toast a new species discovery," Wynne told Live Science in an email.
To confirm the scorpion lookalikes were a new species, the team had to take them back to a taxonomic specialist, who analyzed all the details of the species and pored over all the existing data on similar species. In this case, the team found that one of the species had a thickened pair of legs and a mound on the pincer, while another had a much deeper pincer than other pseudoscorpions - qualifying each as a distinct species, study co-author Mark Harvey, senior curator at the Western Australian Museum in Perth, said in an email.
The creatures, dubbed Hesperochernes bradybaughii and Tuberochernes cohni, respectively, are about 0.12 inches (3 millimeters) long and feed on tiny invertebrates, including springtails, book lice, mites and possibly cricket nymphs. Many of their prey are just one-fourth the length of a grain of rice.