14 September, 2016

Two new articles on scorpions found in Burmese amber

Even though rare, scorpions (and other arthropods) found in amber is an important tools for learning about scorpion development and evolution. Wilson Lourenco has now published two new papers with several new taxa based on scorpions found in Cretaceous amber of Myanmar.

Please note that the The Scorpion Files only lists extant taxa.

Abstract 1:
A study of three new scorpion specimens from the Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (Burma) leads to descriptions of one new genus, Burmesescorpiops gen.n., with the sole, and type, species, B. groehni sp.n., as well as of further two new species, Chaerilobuthus gigantosternum sp.n. and C. serratus sp.n., and to a confirmed validity of the subfamily Archaeoscorpiopinae Lourenço, 2015. At present, 18 scorpions and 21 fossil scorpions have been described from Burmese amber. This attests to a considerable degree of scorpion diversity in the Cretaceous Burmese amber- producing forests.

Abstract 2:
A preliminary study on fossil scorpions found in amber, from the Lower Cretaceous through the Palaeocene and up to the Miocene is proposed. Scorpions remain rare among the arthropods found trapped in amber. Only 24 specimens are known from Cretaceous amber, representing eight families and subfamilies, ten genera and 21 species; in parallel, 10 specimens have been recorded from Baltic amber representing seven genera and ten species. A few more recent fossils from Dominican and Mexican amber have also been described. The present study of a new scorpion specimen from the Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (Burmite) resulted in the description of one new species, Betaburmesebuthus bellus sp. n. – belonging to the subfamily Palaeoburmesebuthinae Lourenço, 2015. The new description brings further elements to the clarification of the status of this subfamily, which is now raised to family level. Once again, this new Burmite element attests to the considerable degree of diversity in the Burmese amber-producing forests.

Reference 1:
Lourenco W. A new genus and three new species of scorpions from Cretaceous Burmese amber (Scorpiones: Chaerilobuthidae: Palaeoeuscorpiidae). Arthropoda Selecta. 2016;25(1):67-74. [Open Access]

Reference 2:
Lourenco WR. A preliminary synopsis on amber scorpions with special reference to Burmite species: an extraordinary development of our knowledge in only 20 years. Zookeys. 2016(600):75-87. [Open Access]

Thanks to professor Victor Fet for sending me article 1!

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