26 July, 2021

Yet another Buthus species from Portugal


As mentioned in my previous post today, the number of species in the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) in Southwestern Europe has increased a lot. Wilson Lourenco has also recently published a new species from Portugal.

Buthus lusitanus Lourenco, 2021

A new species belonging to the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) is described from the region of Manteigas, ‘Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela’ in the Zêzere Valley in the centre of Portugal. Buthus lusitanus sp. n., shows some morphological affinities, coloration in particular, with Buthus occitanus known from South of France and some regions in Spain. The two species probably represent vicariant elements of an older common ancestor, but only a global molecular study of all presumed populations from the Iberian Peninsula will bring a more clear clarification on their status.

Lourenco WR. Une nouvelle espèce appartenant au genre Buthus Leach, 1815 (Scorpiones : Buthidae) collectée dans le Parc Naturel de la ‘Serra da Estrela’ au Centre du Portugal. Faunitaxys. 2021;9(13):1-7. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

A new species of Buthus from Portugal


As with Euscorpius in Europe Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae),  the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) in Southwestern Europe has also turned out to be a species complex with many hidden species. E.g., the number of species in the Iberian Peninsula has increased from one to 14 in the last decade. One of these species is a newly described species from the Algarve region, in the South of Portugal.

Buthus gabani Ythier, 2021

A new species of Buthus is described on the basis of one male and one female collected from Cape St. Vincent (Cabo de São Vicente), located in the Algarve region, in the South of Portugal. This new scorpion taxon represents the 3rd known species of the genus Buthus reported from Portugal and the 14th reported from the Iberian Peninsula. In light of recent studies on the genus Buthus in the Iberian Peninsula (Teruel & Turiel, 2020, 2021; Lourenço, 2021) and considering the geographical distribution presented by the new species with respect to the geographically closest species and their respective habitats, previous records of specimens from Algarve originally considered to belong to Buthus ibericus (Lourenço

Ythier E. The southwesternmost scorpion species in Europe: Buthus gabani sp. n. from Cape St. Vincent, Algarve, Portugal (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Faunitaxys. 2021;9(25):1-6. [Open Access]

Thanks to Eric for informing me about the new article!

Family Buthidae

30 June, 2021

Sexual dimorphism in Uroplectes lineatus and a tool for testing specific hypotheses of sex differences in scorpions

Striped Lesser-thicktail Scorpion Uroplectes lineatus. Photo: John Visser (C). Used with permission.

As with many other animals, scorpions also shows sexual dimorphism to a greater or lesser degree. The reasons why we see these somtimes large differences between the sexes are less understood. Jacobus Visser and Sjirk Geerts has used the method static allometry to investigate sexual dimorphism in Uroplectes lineatus C. L. Koch, 1844 (Buthidae).

The results indicate that the sex differences in males may have a function during courtship, while the differences seen in females may have a postive effects on reproduction and parental care. It is important to note that the forces that shapes scorpion morphology are complex and studies of more species are necessary to learn more about the evolution of sexual dimorphism in scorpions.

Scorpions exhibit extreme forms of sexual dimorphism, with a number of recent studies highlighting general patterns. Explanations surrounding the potential drivers of these patterns remain speculative, even though static allometry offers a method for testing specific hypotheses. Importantly, a recent study describes a method of reference character choice when investigating sexual dimorphism and static allometry in scorpions. Here, commonly measured morphometric characters are used to investigate patterns of sexual dimorphism and static allometry in the South African scorpion Uroplectes lineatus C. L. Koch, 1844. Several analyses were used to select telson length as the sexually neutral reference character. Sexual body component dimorphism characterises U. lineatus males, while females generally display sexual size dimorphism. Similar patterns of static allometry characterise both sexes, with negative allometry retrieved for most characters, while three characters display positive allometry. For negatively allometry characters, inter-sexual selection likely favours a standard size of body parts in the population to facilitate inter-sexual interaction during courtship. In contrast, positively allometric characters may be under intrasexual selection, following the utility of features during contests. Even so, the differences in allometric slopes between the sexes indicate the possible functions of male features during courtship, while the female morphology is adapted to enhance reproductive output and parental care. Here, we demonstrate that a set of verification analyses may be effective in choosing an appropriate neutral reference character, but the selective forces which shape scorpion morphology are complex, and standardized methods need to be established to allow for robust inferences and inter-study comparability.

Visser JH, Geerts S. Static allometry and sexual dimorphism in the Striped Lesser-thicktail Scorpion Uroplectes lineatus. Arachnology. 2021;18(7):700-7. [Subscription required for full text]

28 June, 2021

David Gaban - RIP

 I got the sad news this morning from multiple postings on Facebook that David (Dave) Gaban is no longer among us. Most, if not all of us in the scorpion community knew Dave. Either by personal communication or from his numerous contributions in different fora on the internet and in ATS publications like "Gaban's Scorpion Tales" from 1998. He also published some scientific work like the article "Ecdysis in scorpions: Supine behavior and exuvial ultrastructure" which he co-authored together with professor Roger Farley in 2005.

Dave was a major source of knowledge and always interested in sharing this knowledge with the rest of us. He was one of my first international contacts when I started participating in the old "Scorpion Enthusiast email list" almost 30 years ago. He always answered my emails even though I suspect that I was not the only one sending him questions. I will always be grateful for this!

Dave was also a good photographer and started early taking pictures of his scorpions. And when I started The Scorpion Files, Dave was more than willing to allow me using his pictures in my new web site. There are more than 40 of his pictures in the gallery today.

My thought are with Dave's family.


Jan Ove Rein
Editor of The Scorpion Files

25 June, 2021

Updated identification on a few scorpions in a museum collection


There are a lot of scorpions in museum- and university collections around the world. Many of these were collected and identified decades and even centuries ago. In the meantime, scorpion taxonomy has been revised and updated and I guess a lot of the specimens in these collections may have both new status and names.

Ersen Yagmur has recently examined several specimens of Euscorpiidae collected by R. Kinzelbach in Turkey in the 1970s and deposited in the Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz (NMM), Germany and updated their identification.

I examined the specimens of Euscorpiidae collected by R. Kinzelbach in Turkey in the 1970s and deposited in the Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz (NMM), Germany. According to the current taxonomy, one “Euscorpius carpathicus” specimen from the İzmir Province is identified as E. avcii; two “E. carpathicus” specimens from the Mersin Province are identified as E. koci; and one “E. germanus mingrelicus” specimen from the Düzce Province is identified as Alpiscorpius phrygius.

Yagmur EA. On R. Kinzelbach‘s euscorpiid specimens from Turkey deposited in the Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz, Germany (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2021(334):1-5. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

New knowledge on the rare scorpion Cryptoiclus rodriguezi from Cuba


Rolando Teruel has just published an article with new information on the rare, endemic scorpion Cryptoiclus rodriguezi Teruel & Kovarik, 2012 (Diplocentridae) from Cuba. Updated morphological descriptions and data on distribution, habitat, ecology and reproduction are presented.

The adult male of Cryptoiclus rodriguezi Teruel & Kovarik, 2012, is herein described and illustrated in detail. It represents both the single species of its genus and one of the most seldom-collected , endemic scorpions from Cuba. Its generic diagnosis is emended and new data on its morphological, morphometric and meristic variability are contributed on the basis of the type and 28 additional specimens. Abundant information on its ecology and reproduction are given and its geographic distribution is updated with new records, including the first from Maisi municipality. Despite this, both the genus and the species remain known only from a reduced area in northeastern Guantanamo Province.

Teruel R, Rodriguez-Cabrera TM. La subfamila Diplocentrinae (Scorpiones: Diplocentridae) en Cuba. Septima parte: complementos a la descripcion de Cryptoiclus rodriguezi Teruel & Kovarik, 2012. Boletin de Grupo de Sistematica y Ecologia de Artropodos Caribeños. 2021(8):1-23.

Thanks to Rolando for sending me his article!

Family Diplocentridae

22 June, 2021

First record of Euscorpius lesbiacus from in Turkey


 The recently described species Euscorpius lesbiacus Tropea et al., 2020 (Euscorpiidae) from the Greek island Lesvos has now been discovered in Turkey by Ersen Yagmur.

The scorpion species Euscorpius lesbiacus Tropea et al., 2020, previously known only from Lesvos Island (Greece), is recorded for the first time from the İzmir Province, Turkey. Detailed illustrations of E. lesbiacus are given.

Yagmur EA. The first record of Euscorpius lesbiacus Tropea et al., 2020 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) in Turkey. Euscorpius. 2021(333):1-5. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae