23 July, 2010

Two new Parabuthus from Namibia

The summer holliday is over and its time again for some news from the scorpion world.

Lorenzo Prendini and Lauren Esposito have conducted a reanalysis of Parabuthus phylogeny and described two new species from Namibia:

Parabuthus glabrimanus Prendini & Esposito, 2010 (Buthidae)
Parabuthus setiventer Prendini & Esposito, 2010 (Buthidae)

Revised diagnosis for the related species Parabuthus gracilis Lamoral, 1979 and P. nanus Lamoral, 1979 are also presented.

Two new thick-tail scorpions in the genus Parabuthus Pocock, 1890 are described from the gravel plains of the Central Namib Desert, Namibia: Parabuthus glabrimanus sp. nov.; Parabuthus setiventer sp. nov. The two new species occupy discrete distributional ranges, allopatric with the closely related species Parabuthus gracilis Lamoral, 1979 and Parabuthus nanus Lamoral, 1979. The distributions of the four species are mapped and a key provided for their identification. Revised diagnoses are provided for P. gracilis and P. nanus. The two new species are added to a previously published morphological character matrix for Parabuthus species and their phylogenetic positions determined in a reanalysis of Parabuthus phylogeny. Parabuthus setiventer sp. nov. is found to be the sister species of P. nanus, whereas P. glabrimanus sp. nov. is sister to a monophyletic group comprising P. gracilis, P. nanus, and P. setiventer sp. nov. The discovery of two new scorpion species endemic to the Central Namib gravel plains contributes to a growing body of evidence that this barren and desolate region is a hotspot of arachnid species richness and endemism.

Prendini L, Esposito LA. A reanalysis of Parabuthus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) phylogeny with descriptions of two new Parabuthus species endemic to the Central Namib gravel plains, Namibia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2010;159(3):673-710. [Subscription required for fulltext] NB! Fulltext is now freely available from The Scorpion Systematics Research Group homepage.

Family Buthidae

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