26 July, 2017

Scorpionism in Jordan


Scorpions are a public health problem in the Middle East with several buthid species in the genera Leiurus Ehrenberg, 1828 and Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 causing cases of death and serious morbidity every year.

Zuhair Amr and co-workers have recently published an epidemiological study on scorpion envenomations in Jordan between 2006 and 2012. The main conclusion is that scorpion stings remain a medical problem in Jordan as they are in other countries in the region.

Abstract:

Objective

Scorpionism is an endemic public health problem in Jordan encountered by health providers in all parts of the country. This study updates epidemiological data on scorpion sting encounters in Jordan.

Methods

Data on scorpion sting encounters were obtained from government and military hospitals around the country, and the National Drug and Poison Information Center (NDPIC). P values and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using SPSS Professional Statistics Package version 22 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY) program.

Results

Epidemiological data on 1205 scorpion sting cases reported between 2006 and 2012 are reported. Male to female ratio was 1.18:1, aged 23.3±16 (mean±SD) and 26.4±16.9 years for males and females, respectively. Age groups between 1 to 20 years old constituted 44.6% of the total sting encounters, while adults aged >30 years constituted 30%. Scorpion sting encounters peaked in July (22.5%) and August (23%), with the lowest numbers of recorded cases in February and January (1.6 and 1.9%, respectively). Scorpion stings occurred mostly outdoors (66%). Medical complications associated with scorpion sting cases included fever, difficulty in breathing, drowsiness and dizziness, and numbness, while severe complications include respiratory failure and tachycardia. Hospitalization required 1 to 3 days among admitted patients with no fatalities.

Conclusions

Scorpion stings remain a medical problem in Jordan that requires more attention by health providers. Reporting of scorpion sting cases should be enforced from all healthcare centers throughout the country to better understand the epidemiology and health implications of human encounters.

Reference:
Amr ZS, Al Zou'bi R, Abdo N, Bani Hani R. Scorpion Stings in Jordan: An Update. Wilderness Environ Med. 2017;In Press. [Subscription required for full text]

24 July, 2017

A new species of Buthacus from Algeria


Wilson Lourenco and co-workers recently published an article describing a new species of Buthacus Birula, 1908 (Buthidae) from the Tamanrasset region in Algeria.

Buthacus ahaggar Lourenco, Kourim & Sadine, 2017

Abstract:
In the last 1520 years, the genus Buthacus Birula, 1908 (family Buthidae) has been the subject of an important number of studies. Most of the species considered in these studies come from North Africa and more recently our studies were concentrated in the Central deserts of Algeria. With the present study, we start a new series of contributions to the knowledge of the scorpions distributed in the South range of the country. A new species of Buthacus is described from the southern Saharan Deserts of Algeria, raising the number of confirmed known species in this area to three and the total number of known species in Algeria to nine. This new discovery brings further evidence to the considerable degree of diversity found in the Algerian Saharan Desert but in particular suggests once again the presence in these deserts of microendemic populations.

Reference:
Lourenco WR, Kourim ML, Sadine SE. Scorpions from the region of Tamanrasset, Algeria. Part I. A new species of Buthacus Birula, 1908 (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2017;3(8):31-41.

Thanks to Salah Eddine Sadine for sending me their article!

Family Buthidae

21 July, 2017

A new genus and species from Myanmar (Burma)


Wilson Lourenco has recently published a new genus and species from a cave in Myanmar (Burma).

Plethoscorpiops Lourenço, 2017 (Scorpiopinae, Euscorpiidae*)

Plethoscorpiops profusus Lourenço, 2017 (Scorpiopinae, Euscorpiidae*)

* The author of this paper is treating Scorpiopinae as a valid family: Scorpiopidae

The new taxa has a unique trichobothrial pattern, but shows no special cave-adaptions (troglomorphic adaptions) like pigment and eye reductions.

Abstract:
Plethoscorpiops profusus gen. n., sp. n., belonging to the family Scorpiopidae Kraepelin, 1905 is described on the basis of two specimens, one adult female and one male juvenile collected in the Saddan Cave, in Kayin State, Hpa-An, Burma (Myanmar). This new scorpion taxon most certainly represents an endemic element for the fauna of Burma and seems to be strictly distributed inside the cave system. The new genus is characterized by a previously unknown and totally unique plethotaxic trichobothrial pattern within the family Scorpiopidae.

Reference:
Lourenco WR. A new genus and species of scorpion from Burma [Myanmar] (Scorpiones: Scorpiopidae): Implications for the taxonomy of the family. C R Biol. 2017; In Press. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

20 July, 2017

There and back again: Revalidation of three recently synonymized Cuban species of Heteroctenus


Luis de Armas recently published an article where he revalidated three recently synonymized Cuban species of Heteroctenus Pocock, 1893 (Buthidae) (the three species previously belonged to Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876). This means that the following species are considered valid:

Heteroctenus aridicola (Teruel et Armas, 2012)

Heteroctenus melloleitaoi (Teruel et Armas, 2006)

Heteroctenus granulimanus (Teruel, 2006)

In addition, the buthid subfamily Rhopalurusinae Bücherl, 1971 is regarded as a junior synonym of Centruroidinae Kraus, 1955.

For more information about the synonymization of the three species, see my blog post from yesterday.

Abstract:
The scorpion genus Heteroctenus Pocock, 1893 was restored from synonymy with Rhopalurus in a recent revision by Esposito et al. (2017). Here, we restore two eastern Cuban species Heteroctenus melloleitaoi (Teruel et Armas, 2006) and H. aridicola (Teruel et Armas, 2012) as valid species. They were synonymized by Esposito et al. (2017) under Heteroctenus junceus (Herbst, 1800), without examination of corresponding specimens and with erroneous interpretations of some aspects of the original descriptions. Heteroctenus granulimanus (Teruel, 2006) is also restored as a valid species. The subfamily Rhopalurusinae Bücherl, 1971 is regarded as a junior synonym of Centruroidinae Kraus, 1955.

Reference:
De Armas LF. Revalidation of Three Recently Synonymized Cuban Species of Heteroctenus Pocock, 1893 (Scorpiones: Buthidae: Centruroidinae). Euscorpius. 2017(248):1-3.

Family Buthidae

19 July, 2017

A systematic revision of the neotropical club-tailed scorpions, Physoctonus, Rhopalurus, and Troglorhopalurus has been published


Lauren Esposito and several co-workers have recently published a major systematic revision of the neotropical club-tailed scorpions, Physoctonus Mello-Leitao, 1934, Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876 and Troglorhopalurus Lourenço, Baptista & Giupponi, 2004 (Buthidae). This is a major study with many taxonomical changes. I have tried to sum up the main results here:

New genera:

Ischnotelson Esposito, Yamaguti, Souza, Pinto da Roacha & Prendini, 2017 (Brazil).

Jaguajir Esposito, Yamaguti, Souza, Pinto da Roacha & Prendini, 2017 (North and northeastern South America).

Heteroctenus Pocock, 1893 (revalidated from synonymization).

New species:

Ischnotelson peruassu Esposito, Yamaguti, Souza, Pinto da Roacha & Prendini, 2017 (Brazil).

Physoctonus striatus Esposito, Yamaguti, Souza, Pinto da Roacha & Prendini, 2017 (Brazil).

Rhopalurus ochoai Esposito, Yamaguti, Souza, Pinto da Roacha & Prendini, 2017 (Venezuela).

New combinations:

All of these species previously belonged to the genus Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876.

Heteroctenus abudi (Armas and Marcano Fondeur, 1987)

Heteroctenus bonettii (Armas, 1999)

Heteroctenus garridoi (Armas, 1974)

Heteroctenus gibarae (Teruel, 2006)

Heteroctenus princeps (Karsch, 1879)

Ischnotelson guanambiensis (Lenarducci et al., 2005)

Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839)

Jaguajir pintoi (Mello-Leitão, 1932)

Jaguajir rochae (Borelli, 1910)

Troglorhopalurus lacrau (Lourenço and Pinto-da-Rocha 1997)

Synonymizations:

"=" means "synonymized with".

Rhopalurus crassicauda Caporiacco, 1947 = Rhopalurus laticauda Thorell, 1876.

Rhopalurus amazonicus Lourenço, 1986 = Rhopalurus laticauda Thorell, 1876.

Rhopalurus crassicauda paruensis Lourenço, 2008 = Rhopalurus laticauda Thorell, 1876.

Rhopalurus brejo Lourenço, 2014 = Troglorhopalurus lacrau (Lourenço and Pinto-da-Rocha, 1997).

Rhopalurus acromelas
Lutz and Mello, 1922 = Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839).

Rhopalurus melleipalpus Lutz and Mello, 1922 = Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839).

Rhopalurus iglesiasi Werner, 1927 = Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839).

Rhopalurus lambdophorus Mello-Leitão, 1932 = Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839).

Rhopalurus dorsomaculatus Prado, 1938 = Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839).

Rhopalurus goiasensis Prado, 1940 = Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839).

Rhopalurus aridicola Teruel and Armas, 2012 = Heteroctenus junceus (Herbst, 1800).

Rhopalurus melloleitaoi Teruel and Armas, 2006 = Heteroctenus junceus (Herbst, 1800).

Rhopalurus granulimanus Teruel, 2006 = Heteroctenus gibarae (Teruel, 2006).

Rhopalurus virkkii Santiago-Blay, 2009 = Heteroctenus abudi (Armas and Marcano Fondeur, 1987).

The article has an updated identification key for the involved taxa.

Abstract:


Reference:
Esposito LA, Yamaguti HY, Souza CA, Pinto da Rocha R, Prendini L. Systematic revision of the neotropical club-tailed scorpions, Physoctonus, Rhopalurus, and Troglorhopalurus, revalidation of Heteroctenus, and descriptions of two new genera and three new species (Buthidae: Rhopalurusinae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 2017(415):1-134. [Open Access]

Thanks to Ricardo Pinto-da-Rocha and Carlos Turiel for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae

17 July, 2017

A second record of a relict Akrav israchanani from Israel


One of the more fascinating scorpion discoveries in the last 20 years was the discovery of a new scorpion family, genus and species in a closed cave system in Israel. Unfortunately, only dead specimens represented by exoskeletons of A. israchanani Levy, 2007 (Akravidae) were found, and the species is considered extinct.

Victor Fet and co-workers have now published the findings of new, relict specimens of this troglobitic species from a new cave-system. This second record indicates a wider distribution of this unique cave scorpion, which, however, is extinct in both caves. There is still no evidence that live populations of this species exist.

Abstract:
We report the remnants of five new scorpion specimens discovered dead in Levana Cave in Israel in December 2015. We confirm that they belong to the relict scorpion Akrav israchanani Levy, 2007 (Akravidae), famously described from the neighboring Ayyalon Cave, also from dead specimens. The details of morphology of the new specimens are given; they match completely the characters of A. israchanani redescribed by Fet, Soleglad & Zonstein (2011). This second record indicates a wider distribution of this unique cave scorpion, which, however, is extinct in both caves. There is still no evidence that live populations of this species exist.

Reference:
Fet V, Soleglad ME, Zonstein SL, Naaman I, Lubaton S, Langford B, et al. The Second Record of a Relict Akrav israchanani Levy, 2007 (Scorpiones: Akravidae) from Levana Cave, Israel. Euscorpius. 2017(247):1-12. [Open Access]

Family Akravidae