04 June, 2014

A review of the scorpion biogeography of Southeast Asia

Wilson Lourenco has written a book chapter on the biogeography of scorpions of Southeast Asia in the book "Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea, volume II". See abstract below for more details.

Biogeographic patterns observed among modern scorpions are the consequence of different major events which can be integrated in the schematic scales proposed by M. Udvardy. The distribution of the principal modern groups (i.e. families and genera) is derived from elements (protofamilies and protogenera of Pulmonate- Neoscorpionina) which originated in Pangea. The main factor in the phylogenetic/palaeobiogeographic scale was probably not the latitudinal and longitudinal overland migration (dispersion) of the ancestors Neoscorpionina, which followed the predominantly southward shift of the warm tropical belt, but a rather more passive vicariant process in association with dispersal in Haffer’s sense, in response to the progressive fragmentation of Pangea. This was followed by continental drift which led to the present configuration of the continents and climates. This suggestion seems to be in accordance with the very poor vagility observed in modern scorpions. On the millennial scale, Pleistocene and post-Pleistocene biogeography has been responsible for the regional level of the distribution pattern which, during its settlement, has led to the selection of some new specific lineages and to the extinction of others. On the secular scale, the ecological biogeography is a consequence of recent natural or anthropic events. This scale has been little used by scorpion biogeographers, mostly because of lack of data on scorpion life history strategies. In this chapter, examples from Southeast (and Wallacea) scorpions are proposed for and discussed in relation to the three biogeographic scales of Udvardy.

Lourenco WR. Biogeography of Southeast Asia (and Wallacea) scorpions, a review. In: Telnov D, editor. Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea, volume II. Riga: Entomological Society of Latvia; 2014. p. 27-46.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me this paper!

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