25 May, 2010

Scorpions of Europe review

I may come as a surprise to many that the number of European species may be as high as 35. Victor Fet has published a review summing up the current status of European scorpions.

This brief review summarizes the studies in systematics and zoogeography of European scorpions. The current “splitting” trend in scorpion taxonomy is only a reasonable response to the former “lumping.” Our better understanding of scorpion systematics became possible due to the availability of new morphological characters and molecular techniques, as well as of new material. Many taxa and local faunas are still under revision. The total number of native scorpion species in Europe could easily be over 35 (Buthidae, 8; Euscorpiidae, 22-24; Chactidae, 1; Iuridae, 3) belonging to four families and six genera. The northern limit of natural (non-anthropochoric) scorpion distribution in Europe is in Saratov Province, Russia, at 50°40’54”N, for Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae).

Fet V. Scorpions of Europe. Acta Zool Bulg. 2010;62(1):3-12.

Thanks to professor Fet for sending me this paper!

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