17 September, 2013

Three new species of Euscorpius from Greece

Euscorpius candiota from Crete (Greece) has finally gotten species status. Photo: Jan Ove Rein
Victor Fet and co-workers have worked for many years investigating the Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) fauna of Europe and especially the populations of Greece and the Balkans. Several of the "main" Euscorpius species have turned out to be species complexes with several "hidden species". This has especially been true for the "Euscorpius carpathicus species complex".

In the present publication three subspecies in the "Euscorpius carpathicus species complex" from Greece are elevated to species status based on both morphological and DNA analysis.

Euscorpius candiota Birula, 1903 (Crete, Greece)

Euscorpius ossae Di Caporiacco, 1950 (Mt. Ossa mountain range, Thessaly, Greece)

Euscorpius scaber Birula, 1900 (Greece: Mount Athos; Central Macedonia: Chalkidiki, Thessaloniki; East Macedonia and Thrace: Thasos Island)

In Greece, scorpion genus Euscorpius has been insufficiently studied. Taxonomy of several species and subspecies has been inconsistent and confusing. We provide new morphological data and redescriptions of type specimens of three “old” taxa, described from Greece and formerly listed under a “catch-all” taxon Euscorpius carpathicus. We elevate to, or confirm at species status: Euscorpius scaber Birula, 1900 (type locality: Mt. Athos), E. candiota Birula, 1903 (type locality: Heraklion, Crete), and E. ossae Di Caporiacco, 1950, stat.n. (type locality: Mt. Ossa, Thessaly). Species-level separation of these taxa is also confirmed by multiple species delimitation methods implemented on the phylogenetic data generated using four different DNA markers.

Fet V, Soleglad ME, Parmakelis A, Kotsakiozi P, Stathi I. Three More Species of Euscorpius Confirmed for Greece (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2013 (165):1-27. [Free full text]

Family Euscorpiidae

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