10 September, 2019

New pictures in The Scorpion Files gallery

Unfortunately, I do not have the time to take many scorpion pictures myself, but fortunately I regularly get sent pictures from scorpion enthusiasts to be used in The Scorpion Files Gallery. Recently, I have added more than 40 high quality pictures that have been donated to The Scorpion Files by Japanese scorpion enthusiast Kawai Kazusa. You can find the pictures by searching for his name in the gallery. A big thanks to Kawai for sharing his pictures with us!

Please note that the species identifications in The Scorpion Files Gallery may not be correct for all pictures. Picture identification is very difficult, and sometimes a 100% identification is not possible. The taxonomy of all taxa in the gallery may also not be updated. This is a work in progress, but given less priority than the species files.

Jan Ove Rein

The scorpion Files Gallery

09 September, 2019

New information on the super-rare scorpion Pectinibuthus birulai from Turkmenistan

Victor Fet and co-workers recently published an article on the very rare and enigmatic, psammophile scorpion Pectinibuthus birulai Fet, 1984 (Buthidae) from Turkmenistan. The original types of this species are probably lost and today the species is known from just one specimen. This specimen is designated as neotype.

The specimen is described and detailed pictures are provided. P. birulai is a psammohile scorpion and some aspects of the morphology of psammophile scorpions are discussed. The biogeography of this species is also discussed.

A neotype is designated for a very rare Central Asian scorpion, Pectinibuthus birulai Fet, 1984, the sole species of the genus Pectinibuthus Fet, 1984. It is the only currently known specimen, collected by Victor Fet in July 1985, and deposited in ZISP (St. Petersburg, Russia). The original types are considered lost. Detailed photographs of the neotype are provided, as well as comments on this unique psammophile buthid. We also discuss and compare pectinal tooth counts of psammophile scorpions relative to other scorpions.

Fet V, Kovarik F, Lowe G. Neotype designation for Pectinibuthus birulai Fet, 1984 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Turkmenistan, with remarks on pectine teeth of psammophile scorpions. Euscorpius. 2019(286):1-14. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

06 September, 2019

An updated edition of Conspectus Genericus Scorpionorum

Oscar Francke has published a new edition of Conspectus Genericus Scorpionorum, which is a list of all genus and subgenus names introduced for all recent and fossil scorpions from 1758–2018. This work is based on previous edition made by Francke (1985) and Dupré (2007).

I refer to the abstract and the paper for further details! NB! Please note that The Scorpion Files' list of valid genera has not yet been compared to the Conspectus Genericus Scorpionorum and updated. This will take some time and will be done in the weeks to come.

Genus and subgenus names introduced for all Recent and fossil scorpions from 1758–2018, are listed. The treatment follows the Conspectus of Francke (1985) and Dupré (2007) with considerable additional information accumulated during intensive scorpiological research of 2006–2018. The list also includes all available generic and subgeneric synonyms, incorrect spellings and unavailable emendations. For Recent taxa the new totals are 19 families compared to only nine in the first Conspectus, 220 genera with an increase of almost 100 from the first version, and 23 subgenera; for fossil taxa there are 43 families and 80 genera, 12 of which are incertae sedis. The type species of all accepted genus-group names are given.

Francke OF. Conspectus Genericus Scorpionorum 1758–1985 (Arachnida: Scorpiones) updated through 2018. Zootaxa. 2019;4657(1):1-56. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Oscar for sending me his article!

27 August, 2019

A revision of the Colombian Tityus with the description of a new species

Jairo A. Moreno-González and co-workers have recently published a revision of the Tityus fauna of Colombia (Buthidae). One new species is described and two species are synonymized.

Tityus guane Moreno-Gonzalez, Gonzalez O & Florez D, 2019
Tityus betschi Lourenço, 1992 is synonymized with Tityus parvulus Kraepelin, 1914, and Tityus wayuu Rojas-Runjaic & Armas, 2007 is synonymized with Tityus tayrona Lourenço, 1991.

The article has an identification key for the Colombian Tityus.

We present a taxonomic revision of the Colombian Tityus (Archaeotityus) species based on morphological and morphometric evidence. We examined more than 385 specimens and evaluated new and previously used qualitative and quantitative morphological characters. We redescribe the Colombian species and present morphological characters for both sexes and an emended diagnosis for the subgenus Tityus (Archaeotityus). We describe a new species Tityus guane sp. nov. from Santander department, Colombia, Tityus betschi Lourenço 1992 is synonymized with Tityus parvulus Kraepelin, 1914, and Tityus wayuu Rojas-Runjaic & Armas, 2007 is synonymized with Tityus tayrona Lourenço, 1991. We measured 186 specimens and performed a multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) for 34 selected morphometric ratios for each sex. We found that a few morphological ratios support species level distinctions within the Colombian species. We provide updated distributional maps with new records and an identification key for both sexes. Furthermore, we provide an updated checklist for the subgenus and a discussion about the character systems used within Tityus (Archaeotityus). The new morphological characters proposed and the traditional morphometry examined with a PCA are useful for studying Tityus (Archaeotityus) taxonomy.

Moreno-Gonzalez JA, Gonzalez O R, Florez D E. Taxonomic revision of the Colombian Tityus (Archaeotityus) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) species: a morphological and morphometric approach, with a description of a new species. Zootaxa. 2019;4660(1):1-94. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Jairo A. Moreno-González for sending me their article!

Family Buthidae

16 August, 2019

Resurrection of the Malagasy family Microcharmidae and a description of three new Microcharmus species

The small soil living species in the genus Microcharmus Lourenço, 1995 and Neoprotobuthus Lourenço, 2000 have been placed in the family Buthidae since 2008, when Volschenk et al. rejected Lourenco's family status for these two genera. Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have now published an article re-validating the family status of the family Microcharmidae and transferring relevant taxa back from Buthidae.

Three new species of Microcharmus are also described from Madagascar.

Microcharmus andrei Lourenço, Waeber & Wilme, 2019

Microcharmus antongil Lourenço, Waeber & Wilme, 2019

Microcharmus djangoa  Lourenço, Waeber & Wilme, 2019

The biogeography of the genus Microcharmus is also discussed.

A more up to date biogeographic analysis of the patterns of distribution presented by the scorpions of the family Microcharmidae Lourenço 1 996 are presented. This family is revalidated here based on numerous morphological characters. This Malagasy group of scorpions is represented by two genera, Microcharmus Lourenço 1 995 and Neoprotobuthus Lourenço 2000 both endemic to the Island. The family Microcharmidae seems to be restricted to dry and wet forests formations in the northern and northwestern portions of the island. Here we describe three species new to science: Microcharmus andrei sp. n., Microcharmus antongil sp. n. and Microcharmus djangoa sp. n. The distribution of these new species seems to be restricted to the northern range of Madagascar, in habitats ranging from dry to wet forests, confirming therefore the patterns previously observed.

Lourenco WR, Waeber PO, Wilme L. Additions to the geographical distribution of the Malagasy family Microcharmidae Lourenço 1 996 (Scorpiones: Buthoidea) and description of three new species of Microcharmus Lourenço, 1995. Madagascar Conservation & Development. 2019;14(1):IN PRESS. [Open Access]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for informing me about this article!

Family Microcharmidae

13 August, 2019

A new species of Catalinia from California, USA

Riolando Teruel and Brandon Myers just published a new article with the description of a new species in the small genus Catalinia Soleglad, Ayrey, Graham & Fet, 2017 (Vaejovidae) from southern California, USA.

Catalinia ayreyi Teruel & Myers, 2019

Herein we describe a new species of the vaejovid scorpion genus Catalinia Soleglad, Ayrey, Graham & Fet, 2017. It was collected in a single locality of the northwestern foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. It is most closely related to both Catalinia andreas (Gertsch & Soleglad, 1972) and C. minima (Kraepelin, 1911), but is clearly distinguished by tegumentary sculpture, morphometric ratios and pectinal tooth counts. The new species is described and illustrated in detail, with some ecological data included; moreover, a minor correction is introduced to the diagnosis of the genus.

Teruel R, Myers B. A new species of Catalinia Soleglad et al., 2017 (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) from southern California, USA. Euscorpius. 2019(285):1-15. [Open Access]

Family Vaejovidae

09 August, 2019

There and back again: Diplocentridae is back as a family in The Scorpion Files

For more than a decade, Diplocentridae and the taxa within have been considered a subfamily (Diplocentrinae) within Scorpionidae. This, and other decisions about the higher systmatics of scorpions by Fet & Soleglad have been critized by some researchers, while others supported their deccisions. The scorpion Files' family structure have mainly been following Fet & Soleglad, 2005.

In the last years, several publications have provided support for the family status of Diplocentridae. Based on these and the advice from scorpion taxonomists that regularly comments and advices me on The Scorpion Files, I have decided to implement Diplocentridae as a family in The Scorpion Files. Hopefully, future studies will clarify the status of other scorpion familes and their relations and that a consensus can be achived for higher scorpion taxonomy.

Selected References:

Santibanez-Lopez C, Gonzalez-Santillan E, Monod L, Sharma PP. Phylogenomics facilitates stable scorpion systematics: Reassessing the relationships of Vaejovidae and a new high-level classification of Scorpiones (Arachnida). Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2019;135:22-30.

Santibanez Lopez CE, Kriebel R, Sharma PP. Eadem figura manet: Measuring morphological convergence in diplocentrid scorpions (Arachnida : Scorpiones : Diplocentridae) under a multilocus phydlogenetic framework. Invertebrate Systematics. 2017;31:233-48.

Sharma PP, Fernández R, Esposito LA, González-Santillán E, Monod L. Phylogenomic resolution of scorpions reveals multilevel discordance with morphological phylogenetic signal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 2015;282(1804):1-10.

Fet V, Soleglad ME. Contributions to scorpion systematics. I. On recent changes in high-level taxonomy. Euscorpius. 2005(31):1-13.

Thanks a lot to all of you that support the Scorpion Files with articles, comments and advices! The project is not possible without you.

Family Diplocentridae