28 July, 2014

A new species of Pandinus from Cameroon


The large scorpions from West Africa in the genus Pandinus Thorell, 1841 (Scorpionidae) are well known among both experts and amateurs, and in particular the "celebrity" species Pandinus imperator (C. L. Koch, 1841). Surprisingly, very little research have been done on the different Pandinus populations of western Africa.

Wilson Lourenco has recently published an article on the genus Pandinus in western Africa which resulted in one new species and one restored species from synonymy.

Pandinus camerounensis Lourenco, 2014 - New species from Cameroon.

Pandinus roeseli (Simon, 1872) - Restored from synonymy with P. imperator. Guinea.

Abstract:
Among the ‘giant species’ of scorpions which belong to the genus Pandinus Thorell, 1876, three are protected by the Washington Convention. These are Pandinus imperator (Koch, 1841), Pandinus dictator (Pocock, 1888) and Pandinus gambiensis Pocock, 1899. In theory, these species can be easily recognised by scorpion experts and even non-experts. However, at least one, P. imperator, remains dubious and unclearly characterized. Herein, the argument pleading for the status of P. imperator is discussed. It is hypothesized that across the known distribution of P. imperator at least three or four distinct populations may be recognized. Pandinus roeseli (Simon, 1872) is restablished as a valid species and a new species, Pandinus camerounensis sp. n. is described from the North of Cameroon.


Reference:
Lourenco WR. Further considerations on the identity and distribution of Pandinus imperator (C. L. Koch, 1841) and description of a new species from Cameroon (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae). Entomologische Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum Hamburg. 2014;17(192):139-51.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Scorpionidae

27 June, 2014

Two-tailed scorpions

Two-tailed female Centruroides nitidus with scorplings on her back.

Body malformations and anomalies in scorpions are reported from time to time. One of the most famous cases was Pepe - The two-tailed scorpion (a Centruroides excilicauda with two tails). In a recent article, Michael Seiter and Rolando Teruel report of two more cases of metasomal duplication (two-tailed scorpions). Interestingly, the female Centruroides nitidus (Thorell, 1876) with two tails grew up, mated and got offspring.

Abstract:
Herein we report two further cases of metasoma duplication in buthid scorpions: a second instar juvenile Tityus obscurus (Gervais, 1843) and an adult female Centruroides nitidus Thorell, 1876. Both individuals were born in captivity; the former died after its first ecdysis, but the latter reached adulthood and reproduced normally. This represents the first published record of the occurrence of such an anomaly in either species.

Reference:
Seiter M, Teruel R. Two new cases of metasomal duplication in scorpions, with notes on their reproductive biology (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2014 (24):127-9.

Thanks to Rolando for sending me his article!

26 June, 2014

A new species of fossil scorpion in Mexican amber

Scorpions are rarely found in amber and specimens like this one is uncommon.
Wilson Lourenco has recently described a new species of fossil scorpion found in amber from Chiapas, Mexico.

Tityus knodeli Lourenco, 2014 (Buthidae)

The new species is quite similar to extant members of Tityus, but this genus is not present in Mexico today. As this is a fossil species, it is not listed in the species list of The Scorpion Files.

Abstract:
Tityus (Brazilotityus) knodeli sp. n., a new species of fossil scorpion, is described from a specimen in amber from Chiapas, Mexico. The new species is clearly related to the extant fauna of the Neotropical region and is tentatively placed in the genus Tityus C. L. Koch, 1836, presently largely distributed in the Neotropical region but not in Mexico.

Reference:
Lourenco WR. A new species of scorpion from Chiapas amber, Mexico (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2014 (24):59-63.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

25 June, 2014

High altitude scorpions in Cuba


Tomás M. Rodríguez-Cabrera and Rolando Teruel have recently published a review of scorpions found above 800 meters altitude in Cuba.

Abstract:
All findings of scorpions above 800 m altitude in Cuba are herein revised; this contour is seen to be exceeded only by four members of Buthidae: Centruroides anchorellus Armas, 1976, Centruroides baracoae Armas, 1976, Centruroides stockwelli Teruel, 2000, and Rhopalurus junceus (Herbst, 1800). Some of the previous records from the literature are corrected and the upper limit is found to correspond to C. baracoae in eastern Cuba (1,600 m at the source of Palma Mocha River). Also, the occurrence of C. stockwelli is documented at the highest mountain of central Cuba (1,140 m at Pico San Juan, Cienfuegos), as well as new upper records for C. anchorellus (1,362 m on the southern slope of Pico Martí) and R. junceus (1,231 m at Pico El Toldo).

Reference:
Rodríguez-Cabrera TM, Teruel R. On the highest altitudinal occurrences of scorpions in Cuba (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2014 (24):119-22.

Thanks to Rolando for sending me his paper!

23 June, 2014

Redescription and corrected distribution of Chactas rubrolineatus


Lourenco & Leguin have recently confirmed the species status of Chactas rubrolineatus Simon, 1880 (Chactidae) after rediscovering the type specimen. A redescription is presented and the species' confirmed distribution is corrected to Brazil.

Abstract:
The type specimen of Chactas rubrolineatus, described by Simon in 1880, was considered lost, or at least mislaid, for long time. After several months of research in the collections of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, the female type specimen was located in the vial labelled RS-0778. A precise diagnosis of this species and also of several personal notes of E. Simon leads to two new conclusions: (i) Chactas rubrolineatus is a valid species and not a synonym of Chactas vanbenedenii Gervais, 1843, neither of Chactas brevicaudatus (Karsch, 1879); (ii) Chactas rubrolineatus was described by Simon from Rio Içá, which is not located in Ecuador but rather in Brazil. The presence of this species in Ecuador has yet to be proved.

Reference:
Lourenco WR, Leguin E-A. Le véritable statut de l’espèce Chactas rubrolineatus Simon, 1880 (Scorpiones: Chactidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2014 (24):87-9.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Chactidae

A new species in the rare genus Lissothus in Northern Africa


Wilson Lourenco and Salah Eddine Sadine have recently discovered a new species in the rare, North African genus Lissothus Vachon, 1948 from Central Algeria (Buthidae).

Lissothus chaambi Lourenco & Sadine, 2014

This is only the third species in this rarely collected genus, the other two species originating in Libya and Mauritania.

Abstract:
Taxonomic considerations are given for the genus Lissothus Vachon, 1948 (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Two species are currently known, Lissothus bernardi Vachon, 1948 from Libya and Lissothus occidentalis Vachon, 1950 from Mauritania. In this contribution, a new species, Lissothus chaambi sp. n., is described from the desert of Central Algeria. The new species is most closely related to L. bernardi. The geographical distribution of the genus is discussed.

Reference:
Lourenço WR, Sadine SE. A new species of the rare buthid scorpion genus Lissothus Vachon, 1948 from Central Algeria (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Comptes Rendus Biologies. 2014;337(6):416-22.[Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Dr. Sadine for sending me his paper!

Family Buthidae

20 June, 2014

A new species of Hottentotta from the Hoggar Mountains in Algeria

Hottentotta hoggarensis Lourenco & Leguin, 2014 is probably endemic to the Hoggar Mounatins in Algeria.

Wilson Lourenco and Elise-Anne Leguin have recently described a new species of Hottentotta Birula, 1908 (Buthidae) from the Hoggar Mountains in Algeria.

Hottentotta hoggarensis Lourenco & Leguin, 2014

Abstract:
A new species of scorpion belonging to the genus Hottentotta Birula, 1908 is described on the basis of a single female specimen collected in the Mountains of Hoggar, southern Algeria. This new species may yet represent another endemic and relict element of the Saharan mountain system. It can also constitute a possible link between the northern and southern Hottentotta populations in Africa. Some comments are also included on the geographical distribution of the genus Hottentotta in Africa.

Reference:
Lourenco WR, Leguin E-A. Une nouvelle espèce d’Hottentotta Birula, 1908 pour le massif du Hoggar en Algérie (Scorpiones, Buthidae); conséquences biogéographiques sur la répartition du genre. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2014 (24):15-8.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Buthidae