25 March, 2012

A new species discovered in California, USA

Most of you probably already know, as there have been an unusual amount of news buzz on the Internet, about the discovery of an ultra-rare species in the elusive genus Werneri Soleglad & fet, 2008 (Vaejovidae) in the Inyo Mountains in California by Webber, Graham & Jaeger.

Werneri inyoensis Webber, Graham & Jaeger, 2012

Interestingly, the authors have a new theory on why the members on this genus is so rare. This may be because they are mainly subterranean in their habitats and not because they exist in low densities.

A new scorpion species is described from the Inyo Mountains of California (USA). The presence of a strong subaculear spine, along with other characters, places the new species within Wernerius, an incredibly rare genus that until now consisted of only two species. Wernerius inyoensis sp. n. can be most easily distinguished from the other members of the genus by smaller adult size, femur and pedipalp dimensions, and differences in hemispermatophore morphology. Previous studies have suggested that the elusive nature of this genus may be attributed to low densities and sporadic surface activity. Herein, we provide another hypothesis, that Wernerius are primarily subterranean. Mitochondrial sequence data are provided for the holotype.

Webber M, Graham M, Jaeger J. Wernerius inyoensis, an elusive new scorpion from the Inyo Mountains of California (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae). ZooKeys. 2012;177:1-13. [Free full text]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this paper!

Family Vaejovidae

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