13 January, 2010

Two new Hemiscorpius species from Oman

The scorpion fauna of the Arabian Peninsula has still a lot of secrets. Graeme Low has collected scorpions in northern Oman and has now described two new species of Hemiscorpius (Hemiscorpiidae):

Hemiscorpius falcifer Lowe, 2010
Hemiscorpius flagelliraptor Lowe, 2010

Both species are ultralithophiles (adapted for life in cracks and crevices of rock surfaces).

The paper has a identification key for Hemiscorpius (females only).

Two new species of Hemiscorpius, H. falcifer, sp. nov. and H. flagelliraptor, sp. nov., are described from the Al Hajar Mountains of northern Oman. Although both are lithophilic or ultralithophilic scorpions beautifully adapted for living in rock crevices, they exhibit divergent morphologies and may not be closely related. H. falcifer is distinguished by: smaller size, relatively short compact metasoma, bulbous telson, relatively distal placement of lamellar double hook of hemispermatophore, pedipalp chela with wide, sub-triangular manus and exceptionally elongated fingers with single file dentition along distal half of movable finger (in adults); H. flagelliraptor is distinguished by: extremely elongated, sexually dimorphic metasoma, slender telson, proximal placement of lamellar double hook of hemispermatophore, slender pedipalp chela with double denticle rows along the distal half of movable finger. Although orthobothriotaxic, in other respects H. flagelliraptor appears most similar to the neobothriotaxic species H. enischnochela Monod et Lourenço, 2005 and H. gaillardi (Vachon, 1974) from Iran.

Lowe G. Two new Hemiscorpius Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Hemiscorpiidae) from northern Oman. Euscorpius. 2010(91):1-24. [Free fultext]

Family Hemiscorpiidae

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