24 September, 2012

Scorpion diversity in Northeastern Algeria

Salah Eddine Sadine and co-workers have recently published a paper on the diversity and ecological distribution of scorpions in the Natiornal Park of Belezma in northeastern Algeria.

Three species were found (see abstract below for details). The authors report of Buthus occitanus (Amoreux, 1789), but this species is now limited to Europe only and the African subspecies and forms were elevated to species level. It is not clear from the paper which species of Buthus that actually occur in the study area.

This study refers to the observations and collections of scorpions at National Park of Belezma (NPB), in Batna, Northeast Algeria. During the summer of 2006, the investigations conducted in the forests of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica M.), of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis L.) and Holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) resulted in collecting a total of 103 scorpion specimens representing three species, belonging to two different families. The family Buthidae is represented by Androctonus bicolor (relative abundance “RA” = 1.9%) and Buthus occitanus (RA = 82.5%). The family Scorpionidae is represented only by Scorpio maurus (RA = 15.5%). According to the canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), two groups with more or less homogeneous distribution are distinguished: A. bicolor and S. maurus frequent foothills dominated by the herbaceous layer between 900 to 1100 meters of altitude, while B. occitanus was found in high mountain habitats at more than 1300 meters of altitude where the covering of woody vegetation is high. The main habitats colonized by these species are discussed according to their orographic characteristics, general appearance of the substrate and the structure of vegetation cover.

Sadine SE, Alioua Y, Chenchouni H. First data on scorpion diversity and ecological distribution in the National Park of Belezma, Northeast Algeria. Serket. 2012;13(1/2):27-37.

Thanks to Dr. Sadine for sending me this paper!

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