15 April, 2009

Revised diagnosis and redescription of Apistobuthus susanae

Apistobuthus is a remarkable genus in the family Buthidae because of the members incredible "winged" tail (the seccond tail segment is laterally flattened and disc-shaped). This characteristic is unique among scorpions.

For many years, only one species was known (A. pterygocercus Finnegan, 1932 from central and southern regions of the Arabian Peninsula). In 1998, another species was described (A. susanae Lourenco, 1998) from the Khoozestan Province in Iran.

A. susanae has only been known from one specimen, but Navidpour & Lowe (2009) have now published a redescription of the species based on several new specimens. New characteristics separating A. susanae from A. pterygocercus are also presented. Info on habitat is also presented.

The scorpion Apistobuthus susanae Lourenc¸o 1998 is redescribed based on new specimens collected from Khoozestan Province, Iran. It is distinct from A. pterygocercus Finnegan 1932 found in the dunes of Rub’ al-Khali. The two species cannot be separated by previously used diagnostic characters. Instead, A. susanae is differentiated from A. pterygocercus by new characters, including more robust legs and pedipalps, shorter pectines, stronger carination, and complete fusion of central lateral and posterior median carinae of the carapace.

Interestingly, Apistobuthus is the only new scorpion genus ever described by a woman (Dr. Susan Finnegan in 1932). A. susanae is named after her.

Navidpour S, Lowe G. Revised diagnosis and redescription of Apistobuthus susanae (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Jornal of Arachnology. 2009;37(1):49-59. [Subscription required for fulltext, but free fulltext after 12 months]

Family Buthidae

No comments: