16 December, 2011

A new Vaejovis from Arizona (USA) and a redescription of five other Vaejovis

Garrett Hughes have a published an interesting study of the montane Vaejovis (Vaejovidae) from Arizona (USA). A new species is described:

Vaejovis electrum Hughes, 2011

A morphological analysis of five other related species is presented with a revised diagnosis.

Several scorpions of the genus Vaejovis in Arizona are restricted in range to mountain-top forests. These scorpions, informally referred to as the ‘‘vorhiesi complex’’ are very similar morphologically, but their geographic distribution has attracted the attention of several researchers, resulting in the description of a few new species in recent years. However, these species were described from small sample sizes and were diagnosed with questionable characters that were not sufficiently analyzed. This study evaluates the morphology of scorpions of the ‘‘vorhiesi complex’’ from seven regions in Arizona to verify the validity of the species and their accompanying diagnoses. Morphological characters examined include morphometrics, hemispermatophores, size and shape of subaculear tubercles of the telson vesicle, pectinal tooth counts, pedipalp chela denticle counts, metasomal setal counts, development of metasomal carinae, and tarsal spinule counts. New diagnoses are given for previously described species (V. vorhiesi Stahnke 1940, V. lapidicola Stahnke 1940, V. paysonensis Soleglad 1973, V. cashi Graham 2007 and V. deboerae Ayrey 2009), which are considered valid, based on the morphological evidence gathered. A new species of Vaejovis, V. electrum, is described from the Pinaleno Mountains in Arizona.

Hughes GB. Morphological analysis of montane scorpions of the genus Vaejovis (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) in Arizona with revised diagnoses and description of a new species. J Arachnol. 2011;39(3):420-38. [Subscription required for fulltext, but free fulltext after 12 months]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for informing me about this paper!

Family Vaejovidae

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