04 March, 2011

Biology of scorpions from Syria

There are limited data available about the scorpion fauna of Syria. Awan Shehab and co-workers have recently published a paper on the ecology and biology of scorpions in Palmyra, Syria.

The paper takes an extra look at the population structure of Buthacus tadmorensis (Simon, 1892).

Near Palmyra, in the Syrian Desert, 5 species of scorpions belonging to 2 families (Buthidae and Scorpionidae) were observed; Buthacus tadmorensis, Androctonus crassicauda, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Orthochirus scrobiculosus, and Scorpio maurus palmatus. B. tadmorensis accounted for 80.6% of the total number of recovered or observed scorpions, while O. scrobiculosus was the least common (1.4%). Pitfall traps proved to be more effi cient at sampling (304 individuals) than checking under stones (57 individuals). Pitfall trapping results showed that scorpion abundance differed significantly between the 3 survey areas, while their abundance showed no significant diff erence among the 3 areas when employing the under-stone method. Notes on predation of scorpions (interspecific and intraspecific) and predators of scorpions are also included. Seasonal abundance and emergence of scorpions is described briefly. Biometric data on collected scorpion species indicating their weight are given. Population structure of B. tadmorensis during the study period is analyzed.

Shehab AH, Amr ZS, Lindsell JA. Ecology and biology of scorpions in Palmyra, Syria. Turkish Journal of Zoology. 2011;35(3):1-9. [Free fulltext]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this paper!

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