21 July, 2020

A new species of Buthus from Algeria

From one to many. Buthus occitanus (Amoreux, 1789) (Buthidae) was for many year one species with a large distribution. But it turned out to be a species complex "hiding" numerous species in southwestern Europa and Africa. Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have recently described a another new species belonging to the "Buthus occitanus species complex" from Algeria.

Buthus apiatus Lourenco, El Bouhissi & Sadine, 2020

From the beginning of the 1950s until the early 2000s the composition of the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 remained extremely conservative. Following the preliminary revisions by Lourenço in 2002 and 2003 an increasing number of studies were published, concerning mostly the species associated to the ‘Buthus occitanus’ complex. The status of many populations previously considered as subspecies or varieties of Buthus occitanus (Amoreux, 1889) has been reviewed, and these have been raised to the rank of species. A considerable number of new species have also been described. The majority of the species considered in these studies come from North Africa, but only five new species have been recorded from Algeria. Nevertheless, only the studies conducted in Algeria have been done with precise methods and a clear definition of the populations. In order to stabilise the nomenclature, a new diagnosis is here proposed for the classical species found in Algeria, Buthus paris (C. L. Koch, 1839). One more new species of Buthus is also described, from the region of Sidi Bel Abbès, in the north-western mountains of the country. This new species may represent a possible vicariant element of Buthus saharicus Sadine, Bissati & Lourenço, 2016, known from the central deserts of Algeria. The number of confirmed species of Buthus in Algeria is thus raised to eight.

Lourenco WR, El Bouhissi M, Sadine SE. Further considerations on the Buthus Leach, 1815 species present in Algeria with description of a new species (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2020(36):103-8.

Thanks to Dr. Sadine for sending me their article!

Family Buthidae

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