16 December, 2010

A remarkable new genus and species of Pseudochactidae from Vietnam

New scorpion taxa are discovered regularly, but sometimes really fantastic discoveries are made. This is one of them! Lourenco & Pham have recently described a remarkable new troglobitic genus and species from the Tien Son Cave in Vietnam. The new taxa belongs to the enigmatic family Pseudochactidae Gromov, 1998, which now has three genera with three species from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Laos and Vietnam. There is not a consensus within the scorpion community on the phylogenetic position of this family, but there is an agreement that this family has a basal status among recent scorpions.

Vietbocap Lourenco & Pham, 2010
Vietbocap canhi Lourenco & Pham, 2010

This is the first true troglobite (loss of eyes and pigmentation and living in caves) reported for this family.

A new genus and species of scorpion belonging to the family Pseudochactidae are described based on four specimens collected in the Tien Son cave at the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. The new species represents a true troglobitic element, the first one known for the family Pseudochactidae. This represents the third known record of a pseudochactid, and the first from Vietnam.

Lourenco WR, Pham D-S. A remarkable new cave scorpion of the family Pseudochactidae Gromov (Chelicerata, Scorpiones) from Vietnam. ZooKeys. 2010;71:1-13. [Free fulltext, but article not available online yet]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this paper!

Family Pseudochactidae