06 March, 2009

A phylogenetic analysis of the South American genus Brachistosternus

Andres Ojanguren-Affilastro & Martin J. Ramirez has recently published a major phylogenetic analysis of the South American genus Brachistosternus (Bothriuridae). The authors have been able to investigate 38 of the 41 known species in the genus. The conclusions of the analysis can be seen in the abstract cited below (but in addition I will mention that Brachistosternus holmbergi Carbonell, 1923 is considered nomen dubium by the authors).

In addition to the phylogenetic analysis, the article also presents data on the distribution of the genus and an identification key for all species in the genus.

A phylogenetic analysis of the scorpion genus Brachistosternus Pocock (Bothriuridae) is presented. The analysis is based on a data set including 38 of the 41 described species of Brachistosternus plus eight outgroup representatives of seven additional bothriurid genera and one buthid, scored for 116 morphological characters. The cladistic analysis of this matrix under implied weighting results in four most parsimonious trees. The monophyly of genus Brachistosternus is well supported; its subgeneric subdivision is redefined: the subgenera Brachistosternus Pocock and Ministernus Francke are considered valid, whereas Leptosternus Maury is synonymized with Brachistosternus. Illustrations of diagnostic structures are provided. The hemispermatophores of Brachistosternus peruvianus Toledo-Piza and Brachistosternus pegnai Cekalovic are illustrated for the first time. A key to species of Brachistosternus and maps with the distribution of the subgenera and main groups of species are provided.

Ojanguren-Affilastro AA, Ramirez MJ. Phylogenetic analysis of the scorpion genus Brachistosternus (Arachnida, Scorpiones, Bothriuridae). Zoologica Scripta. 2009 Mar;38(2):183-98. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Bothriuridae

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