11 June, 2014

A new high altitude Scorpiops from the Himalays, India

Amod Zambre and co-workers have described a new and fascinating species of Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Euscorpiidae) from Indian Himalays in a forthcoming issue of the journal Comptes Rendus Biologies.

Scorpiops spitiensis Zambre, Sanap & Mirza, 2014

The new species was found while ground being dug for the construction of houses in Spiti Valley at an altitude of 4000 - 4200 m. Mean summer temperature in this area is around 25 °C, but can drop to minus 35 °C during winters. Precipitation is in the form of snow during months of December to March.The new species must have an interesting strategy to cope with this kind of climatic challenges (burrowing and hibernation is probably involved).

A new high-elevation scorpion species of the genus Scorpiops is described from the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Scorpiops spitiensis sp. nov. is the second highest-elevation scorpion species in Asia and the first one from India occurring at elevations above 4200 m. The new species closely resembles Scorpiops petersii, but it can be distinguished from it based on a suit of characters, one of which is the presence of 16 trichobothria on the external aspect of the patella, which is unique to the new species.

Zambre A, Sanap RV, Mirza ZA. A new high-elevation scorpion species of the genus Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae: Scorpiopinae) from the Himalayas, India. Comptes Rendus Biologies. 2014;In Press. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Zeeshan Mirza for sending me their paper!

Family Euscorpiidae

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