26 February, 2009

New Ananteris species from Venezuela

Rojas-Runjaic, Portillo-Quintero & Borges (2008) have described a new species in the genus Ananteris (Buthidae) from Venezuela:

Ananteris riomachensis Rojas-Runjaic, Portillo-Quintero & Borges, 2008 (Buthidae)

The paper also present an updated checklist to all Ananteris species.

Rojas-Runjaic FJM, Portillo-Quintero C, Borges A. Un nuevo escorpion del genero Ananteris Thorell, 1891 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) para la sierra de Perija, Venezuela. Memoria de la Fundacion la Salle de Ciencias Naturales. 2008;169:65-81.

Family Buthidae

20 February, 2009

The trichobothrial pattern of Iurus

Soleglad, Kovarik & Fet (2009) has recently published a major investigation of the trichobothrial patterns of the European genus Iurus (Iuridae). See abstract and free fulltext for more details.


A unique orthobothriotaxic pattern of family Iuridae is examined and illustrated. Significant positional differences in this pattern between two monotypic iurid genera, Calchas and Iurus, are presented. With the analysis of over 100 specimens of genus Iurus, representing many localities in Greece and Turkey, several unique occurrences of neobothriotaxy involving both the chela and patella are discussed and illustrated, representing the first report of neobothriotaxy in family Iuridae.

Soleglad ME, Kovarik F, Fet V. Etudes on iurids, I. The orthobothriotaxic pattern of Iuridae, with observations on neobothriotaxy in genus Iurus (Scorpiones: Iuroidea). Euscorpius. 2009(79):1-21. [Free fulltext]

19 February, 2009

A new species in the African genus Akentrobuthus from Benin

The genus Akentrobuthus (Buthidae) is probably one of the most enigmatic African buthids, and no specimens of the genus have been collected for more than 30 years. Vignoli & Prendini (2008) have recently described a new species from the small Western African country Benin.

Akentrobuthus atakora Vignoli & Prendini, 2008 (Buthidae)

Vignoli, V. and Prendini, L. (2008). A new species of Akentrobuthus Lamoral, 1976 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from the Republic of Benin (Western Africa). Journal of Afrotropical Zoology 4, 61-70. [Free fulltext from The Scorpion Systematics Research Group]

Family Buthidae

18 February, 2009

New species biography in SF - Grosphus madagascarensis

Michiel Cozijn has kindly written a new species biography for The Scorpion Files. This time he has looked into Grosphus madagascarensis from Madagascar. In addition to information about systematics and biology, the biography also has a small section on captive care. Thanks to Michiel for this contribution!

Grosphus madagascarensis biography

Family Buthidae

17 February, 2009

Two new species of Ananteris from Colombia

Ricardo Botero-Trujillo has published a paper where two new species of Ananteris (Buthidae) from Colombia are described:

Ananteris faguasi Botero-Trujillo, 2009
Ananteris volschenki Botero-Trujillo, 2009

Two new scorpion species, Ananteris faguasi sp. nov. and Ananteris volschenki sp. nov., are described from the eastern extreme of El Tuparro Natural National Park, eastern Colombia near the border with Venezuela. These new species are the first of the genus to be known from Vichada department, and represent the easternmost records in the country. With their description, the number of known species of Ananteris is raised to 64, ten of which are present in Colombia. A map with the known distribution of the Colombian species of Ananteris is presented.

Botero-Trujillo R. Two new species of Ananteris (Scorpiones, Buthidae) from El Tuparro Natural National Park, eastern Colombia. Comptes Rendus Biologies. 2009;332(1):83-94. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Buthidae

08 February, 2009

A major review of the tarsal spinules and setae of vaejovid scorpions

Tarsal characters has been used in identification and classification of scorpions. Kari McWest has now done a major mapping of the tarsal spinules and setae of more than 400 vaejovid specimens representing over half of the species in the family. The result of this impressive work can be used in understanding vaejovid systematics and creating ID keys for the family.

The relative importance of tarsal characters in vaejovid scorpions has long been neglected. The spinules and setae of the third leg basitarsus and telotarsus of the North American scorpion family Vaejovidae are illustrated, described, and compared. Nomenclature for tarsal spinules and setae is included. Variation in setal numbers and patterns within taxonomic groups, including some species, is addressed. Certain tarsal setal and spinule patterns are found to provide good characters at the genus, species group, and species levels. Over 400 specimens representing over half of the species in the family Vaejovidae were examined for setal and spinule characters. The majority of these specimens were involved in ananalysis of telotarsal spinule counts of each leg. The most consistent characters that have taxonomic value were found on the telotarsus, including the relative numbers of the retroinferior and proinferior setae, the retroinferior terminal and proinferior terminal setae, and the numbers of the distal spinules of the ventromedian telotarsus surface. Other characters involving the basitarsus and additional telotarsus characters are addressed.

McWest KJ. Tarsal spinules and setae of vaejovid scorpions (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Zootaxa. 2009(2001):1-126 [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Vaejovidae

A survey of the Brandberg Massif, Namibia

Namibia has the most diverse scorpion fauna in southern Africa, and all four African families are represented here (Bothriuridae, Buthidae, Hemiscorpiidae, Scorpionidae). Lorenzo & Bird has now published a survey of the scorpion fauna of the Brandberg Massif in Namibia.

The article has ecolocial notes on most species and color pictures of many species and their habitats. See abstract and article for further details.

A previous list of scorpions from the Brandberg Massif and vicinity, north-western Namibia (Omaruru District, Erongo Region), is updated, based on a survey of the Massif and surrounding areas (the region delimited by 21 degrees 00'S-21 degrees 30'S and 14 degrees 00'E-15 degrees 00'E) conducted during three separate expeditions, and augmented by an examination of material in museum collections. More than 1000 specimens, representing more than 100 point-locality records, were examined for the study. Notes on the ecology and distribution of the scorpions on the Massif and surrounding areas are provided. Excluding one dubious record, 20 scorpion species in seven genera (Brandbergia, Lisposoma, Hottentotta, Parabuthus, Uroplectes, Hadogenes, and Opistophthalmus) of four families (Bothriuridae, Buthidae, Liochelidae, Scorpionidae) are recorded from the area, which presently has the richest scorpion fauna in Namibia, if not southern Africa, and ranks among those with the richest scorpion faunas in the world. The high diversity of scorpions on the Brandberg Massif and vicinity is attributed to the heterogeneity of landforms, substrata and habitats in the area. The scorpions of the Massif and surrounding areas may be classified into seven ecomorphotypes, using every available niche. The species richness of the scorpion fauna is inversely correlated with altitude. The greatest diversity of genera and species occurs at the base of the Massif and in the surrounding areas, and decreases towards the summit. Five species occur in the area surrounding the Massif but not at its base, five at its base (below 500 m) but not on its slopes, two on its lower slopes (500-1000 m), but not on its middle slope (1000-1500 m), upperslope (1500-2000 m) or summit (above 2000 m), and two on its summit, upper and middle slopes only. Only five species occur from the base to the summit of the Massif.

Prendini L, Bird TL. Scorpions of the Brandberg Massif, Namibia: Species richness inversely correlated with altitude. Afr Invertebr. 2008 Dec;49(2):77-107 [Free fulltext (not yet available)]

A review of the Tityus stigmurus complex

Tityus is a very diverse and widespread genus in South America, ranging from the Dominican Republic to Central Argentina. The classification within the genus is still chaotic. Claudio de Souza and co workers has now reviewed the Tityus stigmurus complex. Among the results are the following:

Tityus acutidens Mello-Leitão, 1933 is synonymized with Tityus serrulatus Lutz & Mello, 1922.

Tityus lamottei Lourenco, 1981 is synonymized with Tityus serrulatus Lutz & Mello, 1922.

Tityus cylindricus (Karsch, 1879) is revalidated as species.

See article for further details.

The species included in the Tityus stigmurus complex as established by Lourenco are revised. The male of Tityus serrulatus Lutz & Mello, 1922 is redescribed. New diagnostic characters are given for T. kuryi Lourenco 1997, T. melici Lourenco 2003, T. serrulatus and T. stigmurus Thorell, 1876. Tityus lamottei Lourenco 1981 and T. acutidens Mello-Leitao, 1933 are considered a junior synonyms of T. serrulatus (syn. nov.). The female of Tityus kuryi and the male of Tityus stigmurus are also redescribed. New distribution records are presented for species included in the complex.

De Souza CAR, Candido DM, Lucas SM, Brescovit AD. On the Tityus stigmurus complex (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Zootaxa. 2009(1987):1-38 [Free fulltext?]

Family Buthidae