21 September, 2018

Three new species of Chaerilus from Malaysia and Thailand

Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers have recently published a new article describing three new species of Chaerilus Simon, 1877 (Chaerilidae) from Malaysia and Thailand.

Chaerilus majkusi Kovarik, Lowe & Stahlavsky, 2018 (Malaysia)

Chaerilus neradorum Kovarik, Lowe & Stahlavsky, 2018 (Thailand)

Chaerilus stockmannorumi Kovarik, Lowe & Stahlavsky, 2018 (Thailand)

The articles have pictures of live speciemens of the new species.

Chaerilus majkusi sp. n. from Malaysia (Tioman Island), C. neradorum sp. n. and C. stockmannorum sp. n. from Thailand are described and fully illustrated with color photographs of live and preserved specimens, as well as of their habitat. They are compared to the species C. cimrmani Kovařík, 2012, C. sejnai Kovařík, 2005, and C. tichyi Kovařík, 2000, which we also illustrate with color photographs of live unpublished specimens. Hemispermatophores of C. cimrmani, C. majkusi sp .n., C. stockmannorum sp. n., and C. tichyi are illustrated and compared, and we also describe the karyotypes of C. cimrmani, C. majkusi sp. n., C. neradorum sp. n., C. stockmannorum sp. n., C. sejnai and C. tichyi. The diploid numbers of chromosomes range from 76 to 186 and the karyotypes show distinct inter-specific variability among analyzed species. C. stockmannorum sp. n. (2n=186) possesses the highest number of chromosomes within the order Scorpiones and the class Arachnida.

Kovarik F, Lowe G, Stahlavsky F. Three New Chaerilus from Malaysia (Tioman Island) and Thailand (Scorpiones: Chaerilidae), with a Review of C. cimrmani, C. sejnai, and C. tichyi. Euscorpius. (268):1-27. [Open Access]

Family Chaerilidae

13 September, 2018

A review on the epidemiology and distribution of medical important scorpions in North America

It is well known that North America and especially Mexico is a hotspot for medical important scorpions. Canada has no dangerous species, while USA has only one (Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, 1928). Mexico, on the other side, has several species that have great consequences for the public health.

Gonzalez-Santillan & Possani have recently published a review summing up the current knowledge on the distribution and epidemiology of the medical important scorpions of North America. 21 species and one subspecies, all in the genus Centruroides, are identified as medical important, and their distribution is given. The different aspects of scorpionism in North America is also discussed.

Scorpionism is a severe threat to public health in North America. Historically, few species of Centruroides have been considered to be the offending taxa, but we know now that their diversity is greater and our knowledge incomplete. Current distribution maps are inadequate for some species. Epidemiologic studies are sporadic and local, and a complete synthesis for North America is missing. We analyze historical and recent knowledge about the identity, distribution and epidemiology of species of medical importance in North America. PubMed, Google Scholar, the National Collection of Arachnids, and results of recent field work were consulted in the preparation of our analysis. We recognized 21 species and one subspecies of medically important scorpions in need of precise geographical delimitation. All these species are found in Mexico, which is clearly a hotspot for scorpionism. Although mortality has been steadily decreasing, deaths still occur, and morbidity remains high. Mortality is most common at age classes of 0–10 years and>50. Morbidity is highest in age class 15–50 years, including the most economically active segment of the population. The season of the highest incidence of scorpion sting peaks between spring and summer but there appears to be a second, lower peak at the end of the summer. Although the systematics of the genus Centruroides has advanced considerably, our knowledge of its diversity remains fragmentary. There is a disconnection between the actual distribution of the scorpions and the incidence maps constructed from scorpion sting records. Despite a historically robust knowledge of the distribution of wellknown species, most recently described species are known from only a few localities. Some of the epidemiological parameters are consistent among studies reported herein.

Gonzalez-Santillan E, Possani LD. North American scorpion species of public health importance with a reappraisal of historical epidemiology. Acta Trop. 2018;187:264-74. [Subscription required for full text]

17 August, 2018

Genus Babycurus split into a new genus and two new species from the Arabian Peninsula

Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers recently published a review of the genus Babycurus Karsch, 1886 (Buthidae) resulting into splitting this genus into two genera. The taxanomical decisions from this study are:

Barbaracurus Kovarik, Lowe & Stahlavsky, 2018 (New genus distributed mainly in the Arabian Peninsula and The Horn of Africa). Species included after review:
B. exquisitus (Lowe, 2000) (Previously in Babycurus)
B. prudenti Lourenço, 2013 (Previously in Babycurus)
B. somalicus (Hirst, 1907) (Previously in Babycurus)
B. sofomarensis (Kovarik, Lowe, Seiter, Pliskova &Stahlavsky, 2015) (Previously in Babycurus)
B. subpunctatus (Borelli, 1925) (Previously in Babycurus)
B. ugartei (Kovarik, 2000) (Previously in Babycurus)
B. winklerorum Kovarik, Lowe &Stahlavsky, 2018 (New species from Oman)
B. yemenensis Kovarik, Lowe, Seiter, Pliskova &Stahlavsky, 2015 (New species from Yemen)
B. zambonellii (Borelli, 1902) (Previously in Babycurus)

Babycurus Karsch, 1886 (Strictly African distribution). Species included after review:
B. ansorgei Hirst, 1911
B. brignolii Lourenço & Rossi, 2017 (Declared Nomen Dubia)
B. buettneri Karsch, 1886
B. centrurimorphus Karsch, 1886
B. dunlopi Kovarik, Lowe, Seiter, Pliskova &Stahlavsky, 2015
B. gigas Kraepelin, 1896
B. jacksoni (Pocock, 1890)
B. kirki (Pocock, 1890)
B. melanicus Kovarik, 2000
B. multisubaculeatus Kovarik, 2000
B. pictus Pocock, 1896
B. solegladi Lourenço, 2005
B. taramassoi Borelli, 1919
B. wituensis Kraepelin, 1913

Babycurus ornatus Werner, 1936 is declared as a junior synonym of Lychas burdoi (Simon, 1882).

The article has an identification key for Barbaracurus.

The genus Babycurus Karsch, 1886 sensu lato is split into two genera, a strictly African genus Babycurus, and the new genus Barbaracurus gen. n., which mainly includes species from the Horn of Africa and Arabian Peninsula. Two new species Barbaracurus winklerorum sp. n. from Oman and B. yemenensis sp. n. from Yemen are described, compared with other species, and fully illustrated with color photos of morphology, habitus, live specimens and collection localities. Males of Barbaracurus somalicus (Hirst, 1907) comb. n. and Barbaracurus zambonellii (Borelli, 1902) comb. n. are recorded for the first time and fully illustrated. Babycurus ornatus Werner, 1936 from Mozambique is shown to be a junior synonym of Lychas burdoi (Simon, 1882), a species from the same area. Babycurus brignolii Lourenço et Rossi, 2017 is designated to be a nomen dubium. Hemispermatophores are des-cribed and illustrated to show their differences between the species and genera. Analyses of karyotypes reveal a similar degree of interspecific variability of diploid chromosomal numbers within the genera Babycurus (2n=16–30) and Barbaracurus gen. n. (2n=22–36).

Kovarik F, Lowe G, Stahlavsky F. Review of the genus Babycurus Karsch, 1886 (Arachnida, Scorpiones, Buthidae), with descriptions of Barbaracurus gen. n. and two new species from Oman and Yemen. Euscorpius. 2018(267):1-41. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

03 August, 2018

A new species in the genus Alloscorpiops from Myanmar (Burma)

Wilson R. Lourenço and Ondřej Košulič recently published a new article describing a new species of the genus Alloscorpiops Vachon, 1980 (Euscorpiidae) from the northern part of central Myanmar (Burma).

Alloscorpiops viktoriae Lourenço & Košulic, 2018

The article also has information about the habitat for the new species and the distribution and the biogeography of the genus Alloscorpiops.

Among the genera of the family Scorpiopidae Kraepelin, 1905 Alloscorpiops remains yet rather discrete. New species were added to this genus only recently, increasing its number from two to six. Therefore, species of Alloscorpiops can be considered rare and uncommonly collected. One particular new species, Alloscorpiops viktoriae sp. n., is described based on two females and one pre-adult male collected from the northern part of central Myanmar (Burma). The new species presents most features exhibited by scorpions of the genus Alloscorpiops, but it is characterised by a moderate to small size, very strongly marked granulation, and a particular trichobothrial pattern. Aspects of the ecology and distribution of the new species are discussed and compared with those of other species of genus Alloscorpiops.

Lourenco WR, Kosulic O. A new remarkable species of Alloscorpiops Vachon, 1980 from Myanmar (Burma) (Scorpiones, Scorpiopidae). Zookeys. 2018(775):47-58. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

02 August, 2018

A new high altitude species of Scorpiops from China

Wilson Lourenco recently published a new species of Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Euscorpiidae) from Taxkorgan Reserve, Xinjiang, China.

Scorpiops taxkorgan Lourenco, 2018

The new species was collected under stones at 4500-4600 meters. High altitude scorpions are discussed in the article.

Although scorpions have been described from China since the 19th century, it was only in the early 2000s that this fauna has seen a noticeable improvement in terms of the number and diversity of the described taxa. Some regions of China have been extensively prospected, while others remain largely unexplored. The latter is the case for the Province of Xinjiang, in the Extreme West of the country. A few contributions dealing with scorpions from this region are available, but these mainly concern representatives of the family Buthidae. In the present paper, a new species belonging to the genus Scorpiops Peters, of the family Scorpiopidae Kraepelin, is described from the Taxkorgan Natural Reserve. The description is based on one male and one female collected under stones at altitudes of 4500–4600 m. To our knowledge, this is the first species ever described from the Taxkorgan Natural Reserve and may represent an endemic element within the fauna of Xinjiang Province.

Lourenco WR. Scorpions at high altitudes: A new species of Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Scorpiopidae) from the Taxkorgan Reserve, Xinjiang, China. Comptes Rendus - Biologies. 2018;341:362-9. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

01 August, 2018

A new species of Buthus from Algeria

Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have recently published a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) from the region Bou Sâada-M’Sila in Algeria.

Buthus boussaadi Lourenço, Chichi & Sadine, 2018

Since the early 2000s the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 has been the subject of an increasing number of studies. These have concerned in most cases the species belonging to the ‘Buthus occitanus’ complex and have led to a revision of the status of many populations previously considered as subspecies or varieties of Buthus occitanus (Amoreux, 1889) which have been raised to the rank of species. A noticeable number of new species have also been described. The majority of the species considered in these studies come from North Africa but only four new species were recorded from Algeria. One more new species of Buthus is herein described from the region of Bou-Sâada-M’Sila, in the northern range of the country. This new species may represent a possible vicariant element of Buthus saharicus, known from the central deserts of Algeria. The number of confirmed species of Buthus found in Algeria is raised to seven.

Lourenco WR, Chichi S, Sadine SE. A new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 from the region of Bou Sâada-M’sila, Algeria; A possible case Of vicariance for the genus (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2018(32):15-20.

Thanks to Dr. Salah Eddine Sadine for sending me their article!

Family Buthidae

31 July, 2018

A new species of Microtityus from the British Virgin Islands

Luis de Armas has recently published a new species of the small buthid genus Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966 from the British Virgin Islands.

Microtityus eustatia Armas, 2018

Microtityus (Parvabsonus) eustatia sp. n. is herein described from the British Virgin Islands (West Indies): Eustatia Island (type locality), Virgin Gorda Island, and Camanoe Island, based on seven specimens (three males and four females). The new species closely resembles M. waeringi Francke & Sissom, 1980 from St. John Island and St. Thomas Island, U.S. Virgin Islands, differing mainly by the fixed finger of pedipalp having ten rows of denticles (nine in M. waeringi) and more attenuated metasoma. Also, new localities are recorded for Heteronebo yntemai Francke & Sissom, 1980 (Scorpionidae) and Centruroides griseus (C. L. Koch, 1844) (Buthidae).

de Armas LF. A New Species of Microtityus from the British Virgin Islands, West Indies, and New Localities for Other Scorpions (Scorpiones: Buthidae, Scorpionidae). Euscorpius. 2018(264):1-10.

Family Buthidae