Chelifer cancroides measure 2.5–4.5 mm (0.098–0.177 in) in length. The pedipalps are very long, measuring 7–9 mm (0.28–0.35 in) when extended. The body is teardrop-shaped and has a rich mahogany color. The abdomen has 12 segments, only 10 of which are easily visible. The cephalothorax has one pair of eyes.
Males maintain small mating territories, few centimeters in size. When a female enters the territory, the male initiates a mating dance and eventually deposits a spermatophore, which is then picked up by the females. Fecundity is 20–40 eggs. The development from egg stage into maturity takes 10 to 24 months and involves three molts; molting may involve building a silk nest. The total life span is 3–4 years.
- Jacobs, Steve. "Pseudoscorpions". Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Entomology. Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
- "Chelifer cancroides". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- Levi, Herbert W. (1948). "Notes on the life history of the pseudoscorpion Chelifer cancroides (Linn.) (Chelonethida)". Transactions of the American Microscopical Society. 67 (3): 290–298. doi:10.2307/3223197. JSTOR 3223197.