28 February, 2008

Four species in Tityus (Buthidae) and Chactas (Chactidae) described from Venezuela

Another Gonzalez-Sponga paper from 2006 has surfaced. The following new species from Venezuela are described:

Tityus dulceae
Gonzalez-Sponga, 2006 (Buthidae)
Tityus mucusunamensis Gonzalez-Sponga, 2006 (Buthidae)
Tityus obispoi Gonzalez-Sponga, 2006 (Buthidae)

Chactas campoelisasensis Gonzalez-Sponga, 2006 (Chactidae)

Gonzales-Sponga MA. Biodiversidad. Tres especies nuevas del género Tityus Koch, 1836 (Buthidae) y una del género Chactas Gervais, 1844 (Chactidae). Escorpiones de la cordillera de Los Andes en Venezuela. Bol Acad C Fis Mat Nat. 2006;64(3-4):41-67.

Thanks to Dr. Fernando Rojas-Runjaic for informing me about this paper!

Family Buthidae
Family Chactidae

26 February, 2008

Two new species in Hottentotta and Vachoniolus from Iran and synonymization of Paraorthochirus with Orthochirus

Two new species have been described from Iran:

Hottentotta khoozestanus Navidpour, Kovarik, Soleglad & Fet, 2008
Vachoniolus iranus
Navidpour, Kovarik, Soleglad & Fet, 2008

After analyzing specimens of Orthochirus iranus, Navidpour et al (2008) conclude that the presence or absence trichobothrium d2 on the femur pedipalp is not a generic and perhaps not even a specific character. Since the presence or absence of d2 on the femur of the pedipalp is the only character separating Orthochirus Karsch, 1891 from Paraorthochirus Lourenco & Vachon, 1995, the authors conclude that these two genera are synonyms. This means that the following species from Paraorthochirus now belongs to Orthochirus:

O. blandini (Lourenço & Vachon, 1997)
O. glabrifrons (Kraepelin, 1903)
O. goyffoni (Lourenço & Vachon, 1995)
O. kaspareki (Lourenço & Huber, 2000)
O. kinzelbachi (Lourenço & Huber, 2000)
O. stockwelli (Lourenço & Vachon, 1995)

Navidpour S, Kovarik F, Soleglad ME, Fet V. Scorpion of Iran (Arachnida, Scorpiones). Part I. Khoozestan Province. Euscorpius. 2008(65):1-41. [Fulltext freely available, but large file (12 mb)]

Family Buthidae

Part I of a major review of the scorpions of Iran has been published

Part I of a major review of the scorpions of Iran has been published in issue 65 of the journal Euscorpius.

The paper list 19 species from the Khoozestan region and their distribution. An identification key for the species are given. Good color photos are given for many species and also habitats.

Two new species are described and one genus synonymization (see separate post about this above).

Navidpour S, Kovarik F, Soleglad ME, Fet V. Scorpion of Iran (Arachnida, Scorpiones). Part I. Khoozestan Province. Euscorpius. 2008(65):1-41. [Fulltext freely available, but large file (12 mb)]

25 February, 2008

Three new species in Brotechactas (Chactidae), Chactopsis (Euscorpiidae) and Tityus (Buthidae) from Venezuela

I have learned about another old paper from 2004 previously uknown to me. The following new species are described from Venezuela:

Brotechactas cocuyensis Gonzalez-Sponga, 2004 (Chactidae)
Chactopis marahuacaensis González-Sponga, 2004 (Euscorpiidae)
Tityus guaricoensis Gonzalez-Sponga, 2004 (Buthidae)

Gonzalez-Sponga MA. Arárchnidos de Venezuela. Descripcíon de tres nuevas especies de escorpiones de los géneros Tityus (Buthidae), Chactopsis y Broteochactas (Chactidae). Acta Biologica Venezuelica. 2004;24(1):1-12.

Family Buthidae
Family Chactidae
Family Euscorpiidae

22 February, 2008

26 (!) new species in Ananteris (Buthidae) described from Venezuela

This large number of new species in Ananteris (Buthidae) from Venezuela was described by González-Sponga in a monography published in 2006 by Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador. I didn’t know about this publication until February 2008, so these species have not been listed in The Scorpion Files until now.

New species:
Ananteris asuncionensis
Ananteris barinensis
Ananteris capayaensis
Ananteris caracensis
Ananteris catuaroi
Ananteris caucaguitensis
Ananteris chirimakei
Ananteris claviformis
Ananteris cumbensis
Ananteris curariensis
Ananteris elguapoi
Ananteris guiripaensis
Ananteris inoae
[Published as A. inoi, but name changed by Rojas-Runjaic & De Sousa (2007)]
Ananteris maniapurensis
Ananteris meridana
[Published as A. meridanus, but name changed by Rojas-Runjaic & De Sousa (2007)]
Ananteris norae
Ananteris paoensis
Ananteris paracotoensis
Ananteris plataensis
Ananteris principalis
Ananteris riocaurensis
Ananteris riochicoi
Ananteris sanchezi
Ananteris sepulvedai
Ananteris singularis
Ananteris zuliana
[Published as A. zulianus, but name changed by Rojas-Runjaic & De Sousa (2007)]

A big thanks to Dr. Rojas-Runjaic for help and information about Ananteris in Venezuela and González-Spongas' publication!

Gonzales-Sponga MA. Aracnidos de Venezuela El genero Ananteris Thorell 1891, en Venezuela (Scorpionidae. Buthidae). Caracas, Venezuela: Universidad Pedagogica Experimental Libertador Vicerrectorado de Investigacion y Postgrado; 2006.

Rojas-Runjaic FJM, De Sousa L. Catálogo de los escorpiones de Venezuela (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Boletin Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa. 2007(40):281-307.

Family Buthidae

20 February, 2008

New Opisthacanthus species from Venezuela described in 2004, but not previously listed in The Scorpion Files

González-Sponga described Opisthacanthus autanensis from Venezuela in 2004, but I wasn't aware of this paper until yesterday. The species inhabits the surrounding areas of the town "La Grulla" in the municipality of "Autana", Amazon State, in a humid forest.

Gonzales-Sponga MA. Arácnidos de Venezuela. Opisthacanthus autanensis una nueva especie del género Opisthcanthus (Scorpiones: Ischnuridae). Bol Acad C Fis Mat y Nat. 2004;64(1-2):9-16

Family Hemiscorpiidae

17 February, 2008

Four new species in Chactas (Chactidae) from Venezuela

Gonzales-Sponga & Wall-Gonzalez has recently described the following new species in the genus Chactas (Chactidae) from Venezuela:

Chactas chabasquensis (name corrected 22.02.08)
Chactas maimirensis

Chactas platillonensis
Chactas tumaquensis (name corrected 22.02.08)

The new species live in the states Portoguesa, Yaracuy, Guarico and Lara in altitudes between 500 and 1200 meters.

Gonzales-Sponga MA, Wall-Gonzalez VM. Biodiversidad en Venezuela. Arácnidos. Descripción de cuatro nuevas especies del género Chactas, (escorpiones: chactidae) de la región centro occidental. Rev Invest. 2007(61):35-65.

Family Chactidae

15 February, 2008

Another Leiurus peptid may be important in fighting serious diseases

The venom of Leiurus quinquestriatus has been subjected to massive research in the last years. It has already been shown that a syntetic version the peptid Chlorotoxin (TM-601) binds to malignant brain tumor cells (gliomas) with high affinity and does not seem to bind to normal brain tissue. This ability has been promising in developing new treatment for this serious disease, and the first human trials have been conducted.

In a recent article in Journal of Biological Chemistry, an international research team describes a new peptid from Leiurus (GaTx1). This peptid controls the movement of ions and water out of cells by interacting with a crucial chlorid channel. This particular ability may be instrumental in developing treatment for the very serious disease cystic fibrosis, which affect more than 70 000 peoples worldwide.

A lot more research is of course neccessary before we know for sure that GaTx1 can be used in treating cystic fibrosis, but it is very interesting that what is belived to be the most venomous scorpion in the world also can save lives.

Read more about this story here:
Scorpion peptide may be key to secretory diseases

Original article:
Fuller, M.D., Thompson, C.H., Zhang, Z. R., Freeman, C.S., Schay, E., Szakacs, G., Bakos, E., Sarkadi, B., McMaster, D., French, R.J., Pohl, J., Kubanek, J. & McCarty, N. A. State-dependent inhibition of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator chloride channels by a novel peptide toxin. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2007. 282(52):37545-55 (Subscription required for fulltext).

12 February, 2008

A short note on Italian scorpions

Valerio Vignoli has written a short chapter (in english) on scorpions in a book about the Italian natural Park of the Vesuvio (Naples).

Full reference:

Vignoli V. Short notes 3. Scorpiones, Euscorpidae. In: Nardi G, Vomero V, editors. Ricerche preliminari sugli Artropodi del Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio. Verona: Cierre Edizioni; 2007. p. 385-6.

11 February, 2008

Two new species in Bothriurus (Bothriuridae)

Two new Bothriurus species have been described from Argentina and Chile:

B. huincul
B. sanctacrucis

Mattoni CI. The genus Bothriurus (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae) in Patagonia. Insect Systematics & Evolution. 2007;38(2):173-92.

Family Bothriuridae

08 February, 2008

The Scorpion Files' newsblog

The purpose of this blog is to present important news and updates in The Scorpion Files. The advantage of using a blog is the interested users can get a RSS feed from the blog and automatically be updated when the blog is being updated.