26 July, 2013

Tityus tenuicauda in Venezuela: Taxonomy, distribution and a synonymization

Pablo Cornejo-Escobar and co-workers have recently published a paper on the taxonomical- and distributional status of Tityus tenuicauda Prendini, 2001 (Buthidae) in Venezuela.

In the paper, Tityus irapaensis Gonzalez-Sponga, 2002 is synonymized with T. tenuicauda.

Tityus tenuicauda was originally described as a scorpion species endemic to the Caribbean Sea island of Trinidad. We extend the distribution range of T. tenuicauda westward until Las Melenas, a location in the western side of Paria Peninsula National Park, Sucre State, northeastern Venezuela. In addition, we determined that T. irapaensis González-Sponga, 2002, is a junior synonym of T. tenuicauda. The assessment of 56 adult individuals of T. tenuicauda from Venezuela demonstrated that this species is an arboreal dweller that frequently inhabits peridomicile areas. To provide a molecular counterpoint to our taxonomical assessment, we have characterized the nucleotide sequence (and its encoded protein primary structure) of a gene segment encoding subunit 1 of the enzyme cytochrome oxidase (COI), amplified from T. tenuicauda mitocondrial DNA. Comparison with the equivalent CO1 regions from congeneric Venezuelan species revealed that T. tenuicauda is significantly more related to the also northeastern species, T. arellanoparrai González-Sponga, 1985 and confirms its divergence from the northcentral species, T. discrepans Karsch, 1879, and the western species T. zulianus González-Sponga, 1981.

Cornejo-Escobar P, Borges A, Bonoli S, Vasquez-Suarez A, Gregorian T, De Sousa L. Tityus tenuicauda Prendini, 2001 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) en Venezuela. Notas taxonomicas con sinonimia, distribución e historia natural. Saber. 2013;25(1):57-72. [Free full text]

Family Buthidae

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