09 February, 2016

DNA barcoding indicates hidden diversity of Euscorpius in Turkey

For many years, only two species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) were reported from Turkey. Today, we list 12 valid species from Turkey. Victor Fet and co-workers have now published an article were they have studied the phylogenetic relationships of some additional Anatolian Euscorpius populations using molecular markers. The results confirm the validity of several existing species (previously only described by morphological methods), but also show the presence of undescribed taxonomic forms, possibly of species level.

The Anatolian fauna of the genus Euscorpius (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) is in the process of reassessment. Twelve species of this genus are currently recognized for Anatolia, of which seven have been recently described on the basis of morphology. We demonstrate additional cryptic diversity in Anatolian Euscorpius by applying molecular markers (mitochondrial COI and 16S rDNA genes) from 14 populations, of which 13 were morphologically characterized by “em=3,” a phenotypic marker on the pedipalp patella. All studied Anatolian forms are strongly supported as a single clade compared to the European (from the Alps to the Balkans) taxa of the subgenus Alpiscorpius. Of these, six are assigned to known species (E. ciliciensis, E. mingrelicus, E. eskisehirensis, E. phrygius, and E. uludagensis); and two (Ankara and Sakarya) are closely related to a clade containing E. phrygius and E. uludagensis. Four clades represent undescribed taxonomic forms, possibly of species level: Balikesir/Canakkale (Kazdağları National Park), Konya, Denizli, and Trabzon, all with em=3. Another putative species from Kayseri Province, Aladağlar (=Antitaurus) Mts., is related to (E. ciliciensis + E. eskisehirensis) clade; however, it exhibits em=4, which appears to be the first case of reversal in this important trait for the genus Euscorpius.

Fet V, Graham MR, Blagoev G, Karatas A, Karatas A. DNA Barcoding Indicates Hidden Diversity of Euscorpius (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) in Turkey. Euscorpius. 2016 (216):1-12. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

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