28 November, 2016

The scorpion fauna in desert oases in Morocco

Desert oases are unique habitats having their special fauna and flora. Few studies have been done on the diversity of scorpions in this kind of habitat, but Moulay Abdelmonaim El Hidan and co-workers have now published a study on the scorpion fauna of five oases in south eastern Morocco.

El Hidan MA, Touloun O, Boumezzough A. New data on the diversity of scorpion fauna in the oases of south eastern Morocco. Serket. 2016;15(1):1-7. [Open Access]

Oases form a unique ecosystem, characterized by its specialization precisely due to the effect of isolation and richness. We studied scorpion communities of south eastern Morocco at five oases. Sampling of scorpions was based on hand collecting, during the day and at night with ultraviolet light detection; 246 individuals of six species of family Buthidae were collected. The richest site contained 5 species and had the highest diversity, H’= 1.57. The lowest diversity was H’= 0.85. The most similar communities were Tagounit and M’hamid elghizlane (100%). The scorpion community at Boumalne was the most dissimilar to the other four sites. Hottentotta gentili was the most abundant species, comprising 36.58% of the material collected, while Buthus boumalenii was the rarest. Most species within the collection of individuals had a greater affinity for rockyearthy habitats (66.67%). In terms of seasonal pattern, scorpion abundance was highest during spring and summer seasons. Our results indicate that species composition differ between the northern oases (Boumalne) and the four southern oases.

Thanks to Carlos Turiel for sending me this article!

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