07 September, 2009

A new cave scorpion from Mexico

Mexico has many deep cave system and in these system there are some fantastic troglobitic scorpions (lacking eyes and pigmentation). Oscar Francke has now described a new species in the genus Aalcran from a cave in Oaxaca, Mexico. This is the seccond species in this genus. The other species (A. tartarus Francke, 1982) is only known from a handful of specimens.

Alacran is currently placed in the family Superstitionidae, but according to the information in Francke's paper a forthcomming paper by Vignoli & Prendini will reinstate the family Typhlochactidae Mitchell, 1971 for Alcran and probably other similar genera in the family Superstitionidae. I will blog details about this as soon as I have access to the paper and it's formally published.

Alacran chamuco Francke, 2009 (Superstitionidae/Typhlochactidae)

Alacran chamuco sp. nov., a new eyeless, troglobitic scorpion from Te Cimutaa, Valle Nacional, is described. This is the second known species in the genus; sharing with Alacran tartarus a very similar trichobothrial pattern and the lack of “petite” trichobothria—both unique characters in the family Typhlochactidae. The new species differs from A. tartarus in the pedipalp finger dentition and the relative size of the telson. The two cave systems in Oaxaca where the two species of Alacran occur are approximately 75 kilometers apart.

Francke OF. A new species of Alacran (Scorpiones: Typhlochactidae) from a cave in Oaxaca, Mexico. Zootaxa. 2009; (2222):46-56. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Thanks to Dr. Jean-Michel Pacaud for sending me the Francke paper!

Family Superstitionidae

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