28 October, 2016
Scientific names for scorpions are based on Latin or Greek, but what do they mean? Some names say something about how this special scorpion looks (e.g. flavidulus = yellowish). Others may say something about the scorpion's habitat (e.g. troglodytes = cave dweller) or the scorpions distribution (e.g. ankarana = from the Ankarana Massif, Madagascar). And in some cases the names are eponyms, they are given to commemorate a person (e.g. reini = [editor is blushing furiously]).
Gerard Dupre has now published an impressing list of scorpion taxa names and their meaning. This is an invaluable tool for us wondering all the time about the meaning of the names of our favorite scorpions.
Dupre G. Dictionary of scientific scorpion names. Arachnides. 2016(78 Supplément):1-68. [Open Access]
A big thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this article, but also for allowing me to include the full text in The Scorpion Files Blog!
27 October, 2016
Andrea Rossi has described a new species of Teuthraustes Simon, 1878 (Chactidae) from north-west Peru. The new species were described in 2015 and has been included in The Scorpion Files for some time, but hasn't been mentioned in the blog until now because I didn't have access to the article.
Teuthraustes castiglii Rossi, 2015
The presence of the genus Teuthraustes Simon, 1878 in Peru is discussed and a new species, Teuthraustes castiglii sp. n., is described from the region of Loreto, in north-west Peru. An identification key for the Peruvian species of the genus is given.
Rossi A. The genus Teuthraustes Simon, 1878 in Peru, with the description of a new species (Scorpiones: Chactidae). Aracnida - Rivista Arachnologica Italiana. 2015;5(Supplemento):21-7.
Thanks to Andrea Rossi for sending me his article!
26 October, 2016
Three new species of Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Buthidae) have been described by Andrea Rossi from Morocco, Ethiopia and Pakistan. The new species were described in 2015 and have been included in The Scorpion Files for some time, but haven't been mentioned in the blog until now because I didn't have access to the article.
Androctonus donarei Rossi, 2015 (Morocco)
Androctonus simonettai Rossi, 2015 (Ethiopia)
Androctonus tropeai Rossi, 2015 (Pakistan)
The article has an updated identification key for the genus Androctonus.
Three new species of the genus Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 are described from Africa and Asia, discussing about their possible medical importance. They are Androctonus donairei sp. n. from Morocco, Androctonus simonettai sp. n. from Ethiopia and Androctonus tropeai sp. n. from Pakistan. An identification key and a check-list are given for all species.
Rossi A. Tre nuove specie di importanza medica del genere Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Aracnida - Rivista Arachnologica Italiana. 2015;5(Supplemento):2-20.
Thanks to Andrea Rossi for sending me his article!
25 October, 2016
Madagascar is a hotspot for scorpion diversity and endemism. Wilson Lourenco and Lucienne Wilme have recently described three new species of Grosphus Simon 1880 (Buthidae) from the island.
Grosphus eliseanneae Lourenco & Wilme, 2016
Grosphus sabineae Lourenco & Wilme, 2016
Grosphus waeberi Lourenco & Wilme, 2016
In addition, Grosphus bistriatus Kraepelin 1900 is redescribed in the article.
A revised redescription is proposed for Grosphus bistriatus Kraepelin 1900. Three new species, associated with both G. bistriatus and G. ankarafantsika Lourenço 2003 are described. Some comments on biogeographic aspects linking the new species with both G. bistriatus and G. ankarafantsika are also provided.
Lourenco WR, Wilme L. Three new species of Grosphus Simon 1880, (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Madagascar; possible vicariant cases within the Grosphus bistriatus group of species. Madagascar Conservation & Development. 2016;11(2):1-14. [Open Access]
Thanks to Carlos Turiel for informing me about this new article!
18 October, 2016
Rony Trujillo and Luis de Armas have recently published a new species of Centruroides Marx, 1890 (Buthidae) from Guatemala.
Centruroides ixil Trujillo & Armas, 2016
A new species of the genus Centruroides Marx, 1890 is described from Sotzil Village (15.61775°N, -91.09745°W, 1173 m a.s.l.), Chajul Municipality, Quiché Department, Guatemala, on basis of one female and one male. It closely resembles Centruroides caral Armas et Trujillo, 2013 from northeastern Guatemala (240 Km southeast of Chajul), but male differs by having a most globose pedipalp manus, as well as metasoma clearly more attenuate (len-gth/width ratio: segments II–IV = 2.4, 2.7 and 1.4, respectively; 1.7, 2.2 and 2.5 in the holotype of C. caral, the only known specimen of this taxon). Data on its habitat and some biogeographical comments are also given.
Trujillo RE, de Armas LF. A New Species of Centruroides (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Quiché, Northwestern Guatemala. Euscorpius. 2016(233):1-8. [Open Access]
Thanks to Rony Trujillo for sending me their article!
14 October, 2016
Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers recently published part IX of their series of papers on the scorpion fauna of the Horn of Africa. In this paper a new species from Somaliland and a new species from Ethiopia are presented (both in the family Buthidae). In addition, the enigmatic scorpion Somalicharmus whitmanae Kovarik, 1998 (Buthidae) is redescribed based on new materials, and its taxonomy is discussed.
Lanzatus somalilandus Kovarik, Lowe & Stahlavsky, 2016 (Somaliland)
Orthochirus afar Kovarik, Lowe & Stahlavsky, 2016 (Ethiopia)
The paper has pictures of live specimens and habitats.
The rare Horn of Africa buthid genera Lanzatus Kovařík, 2001, Orthochirus Karsch, 1891, and Somalicharmus Kovařík, 1998 were newly collected. Lanzatus is reported for the first time from Somaliland, and Orthochirus for the first time from Ethiopia. We describe two new species, Lanzatus somalilandus sp. n. from Somaliland, and Orthochirus afar sp. n. from Ethiopia, both discovered during scorpiological expeditions in 2011–2016. Information is provided for all Horn of Africa species belonging to these three genera: their taxonomy, distribution, and ecology, fully complemented with color photos of live and preserved specimens, as well as their habitat. The morphology of the enigmatic scorpion Somalicharmus whitmanae Kovařík, 1998 is illustrated in detail. The first author recently collected 52 specimens including the first known females, which reveal natural colors, and show sexual dimorphism in the shape of the pedipalp chela and metasoma which are broader in males, and in the shape of the basal middle lamella of the pectines, which in females is extremely dilated and rounded. We describe the hemispermatophore, which is furnished with an atypically elongated basal lobe, and the chelicera, which differs from that of all other known extant buthids. Other characters indicate possible affinity with the south African buthid Karasbergia methueni Hewitt, 1913. We also describe karyotypes of S. whitmanae. We identified 2n=20 in seven males from two localities and 2n=21 in one male. In both analyzed localities we found males with reciprocal translocations that form conspicuous multivalents. The male with 2n=21 includes fission of one chromosome that increases the diploid number and implicates an odd number of chromosomes.
Kovarik F, Lowe G, Stahlavsky F. Scorpions of the Horn of Africa (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part IX. Lanzatus, Orthochirus, and Somalicharmus (Buthidae), with Description of Lanzatus somalilandus sp. n. and Orthochirus afar sp. n. Euscorpius. 2016(232):1-38. [Open Access]
13 October, 2016
The large scorpions in the genus Pandinus (Thorell, 1876), sensu lato (Scorpionidae) have been subjected to several taxonomical changes in the recent years. The genus has been split into new generea, and several new species have been described.
Lorenzo Prendini has now published a major paper criticizing many of the decisions for this group of scorpions in the recent years. Prendini concludes by reversing several taxonomic decisions made other authors on Pandinus, sensu lato. The papers also has a revision of the genus Pandinoides Fet, 1997 and a new species is described from Kenya and Tanzania. The two other species in the genus are redescribed.
The large, black scorpions of Africa are very popular in the pet trade and because of this may be threatened in some areas. Having a correct taxonomy and knowledge of these scorpions is important to ensure that they are protected from extinction because of over-harvesting.
These are the main taxonomical conclusion in the paper:
Pandinurus roeseli (Simon, 1872) is synonymized with Pandinus imperator (C. L. Koch, 1841).
Pandinoides duffmackayi Prendini, 2016 (new species from Kenya and Tanzania).
Pandinoides militaris (Pocock, 1900) (raised to species status after previous synonymization with Pandinoides cavimanus (Pocock, 1888).
The genus Pandinoides Fet, 1997 is restricted to three species: P. cavimanus (Pocock, 1888), P. duffmackayi Prendini, 2016 and P. militaris Pocock, 1900.
The following species are synonymized:
Pandinus camerounensis Lourenco, 2014 is synonymized with Pandinus imperator (C. L. Koch, 1841).
Pandinurus prendinii Rossi, 2015 is synonymized with Pandinurus sudanicus (Hirst, 1911).
Pandinurus janae Rossi, 2015 is synonymized with Pandinurus percivali (Pocock, 1902).
Pandinurus bartolozii Rossi, 2015 is synonymized with Pandinurus viatoris (Pocock, 1890).
Pandinurus flagellicauda Rossi, 2015 is synonymized with Pandinurus viatoris (Pocock, 1890).
Pandinurus lorenzoi Rossi, 2015 is synonymized with Pandinurus viatoris (Pocock, 1890).
Pandinurus pantinii Rossi, 2015 is synonymized with Pandinurus viatoris (Pocock, 1890).
Pandinurus pygmaeus Rossi, 2015 is synonymized with Pandinurus viatoris (Pocock, 1890).
The scorpion fauna of East Africa, encompassing Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, is more diverse than those of West and Central Africa, but a systematic survey has never been conducted and the distributions of its species remain poorly understood. A recent opportunity to examine two extensive collections of East African, and predominantly Kenyan, scorpions and new material acquired by the author permitted a reassessment of the fauna of the region. The present contribution, the first of several emanating from this research, comprises two parts. The first part presents a redefinition and revision of the scorpionid genus Pandinoides Fet, 1997, with a redescription of the type species, Pandinoides cavimanus (Pocock, 1888), a revalidation and redescription of Pandinoides militaris (Pocock, 1900), and a description of Pandinoides duffmackayi, sp. nov. Pending reassessment of the genera and subgenera of Pandinus, sensu lato, based on quantitative phylogenetic analysis, Pandinoides is restricted to the three species with a marked concave depression in the retrodorsal surface of the pedipalp chela manus of the adult male, and Pandinus platycheles Werner, 1916, transferred to Pandinus subgenus Pandinoriens Rossi, 2015, creating a new combination: Pandinus (Pandinoriens) platycheles (Werner, 1916), comb. nov. The availability of large series comprising both sexes and all stages of the three Pandinoides species covered herein revealed considerable variation in counts of pedipalp trichobothria, spiniform macrosetae of the leg telotarsi, and pectinal teeth, among and even within individual conspecifics, calling into question the widespread practice of defining species and supraspecific taxa almost exclusively on trivial meristic differences between small samples of material (often singletons, female or immature). Furthermore, whereas neobothriotaxic patterns with low counts may provide appropriate diagnostic characters for genera and species, in combination with other characters, this is generally inadvisable when trichobothrial counts are high, due to the greater instability of the patterns.
The second part of this contribution assesses the validity of several putative species of Pandinus, sensu lato, recently described or revalidated, in light of data presented in the first part, and presents 10 new synonyms: Heterometrus roeseli Simon, 1872 = Pandinus (P.) imperator (C.L. Koch, 1841), syn. nov.; Pandinus (P.) camerounensis Lourenço, 2014 = Pandinus (P.) imperator (C.L. Koch, 1841), syn. nov.; Pandinurus (P.) prendinii Rossi, 2015 = Pandinurus (P.) sudanicus (Hirst, 1911), syn. nov.; Pandinurus (Pandicaporiaccous) Rossi, 2015 = Pandinurus (Pandiborellius) Rossi, 2015, syn. nov.; Pandinurus (Pandicaporiaccous) janae Rossi, 2015 = Pandinurus (Pandiborellius) percivali (Pocock, 1902), syn. nov.; Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) bartolozii Rossi, 2015 = Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) viatoris (Pocock, 1890), syn. nov.; Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) flagellicauda Rossi, 2015 = Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) viatoris (Pocock, 1890), syn. nov.; Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) lorenzoi Rossi, 2015 = Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) viatoris (Pocock, 1890), syn. nov.; Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) pantinii Rossi, 2015 = Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) viatoris (Pocock, 1890), syn. nov.; Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) pygmaeus Rossi, 2015 = Pandinurus (Pandipalpus) viatoris (Pocock, 1890), syn. nov.
Prendini L. Redefinition and systematic revision of the East African scorpion genus Pandinoides (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae) with critique of the taxonomy of Pandinus, sensu lato. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 2016(407):1-67. [Open Access]
Thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this article!