28 October, 2010

The female reproductive system in scorpions - a review

For those interested in the the reproductive system of scorpions, professor Warburg has now published a partial review on the reproductive system of female scorpions.

The female scorpion ovariuterus was examined in 10 scorpion species belonging to five families: Buthidae, Vaejovidae, Scorpionidae, Urodacidae, and Diplocentridae. Two main patterns of development are known in scorpions: (1) The apoikogenic type with an ovariuterus containing yolkrich eggs housed in follicles. This type is found in many scorpion taxa (largely buthids). A peculiar case of apoikogenic ovariuterus is a ‘‘beaded’’ ovariuterus where most of the ova’s embryogenesis takes place inside the ovariuterus rather than on pedicels situated on the external wall of the ovariuterus as in most buthids. This type is found in a few scorpion species. (2) The katoikogenic type with an ovariuterus where the embryo develops in a diverticulum composed of four parts: a stalk (pedicel), a thickened collar, a conical portion containing the ovum, and an appendix containing the oral feeding apparatus where the embryos’ chelicerae grip a ‘‘teat’’-like structure, described in four families: Hemiscorpiidae, Scorpionidae, Urodacidae, and Diplocentridae. There are three kinds of diverticulae: small rudimentary finger-like diverticulae, embryonic (ED) large projections, and postpartum diverticulae (PPD) empty diverticulae, which are remnants after parturition. The subject is reviewed and its bearing on reproduction in scorpions are discussed.

Warburg MR. Reproductive system of female scorpion: A partial review. Anat Rec. 2010;293(10):1738-54. [Subscription required for fulltext]

20 October, 2010

A two-tailed Euscorpius

Two tailed scorpions have been known since ancient times, but this anomaly is rare. In a short note Lourenco & Hypolite report about a juvenile Euscorpius flavicaudis (Euscorpiidae) with complete duplication of the metasoma and telson.

Lourenco WR, Hypolite F. A new case of duplication of the metasoma and telson in the scorpion Euscorpius flavicaudis (DeGeer, 1778) (Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2010(102):1-2. [Free fultext]

Two new Hottentotta species from Oman

Graeme Lowe is continuing his study of the scorpion fauna of the Middle East. This time he reports of two new species of Hottentotta (Buthidae) from northern Oman:

Hottentotta pellucidus Lowe, 2010
Hottentotta saxinatans Lowe, 2010

Two new endemic species of Hottentotta Birula, 1908, are described from the Al Hajar Mountains of northern Oman: H. pellucidus sp. nov., from the Shir Plateau of Jabal Bani Jabir in the eastern Al Hajar, characterized by: medium size, uniform yellow color, dense cover of long and short macrosetae on pedipalps, legs and metasoma, only two macrosetae on tergite posterior margins, and slender male pedipalp chelae with very weakly scalloped fingers; and H. saxinatans sp. nov., from Jabal Akhdar in the western Al Hajar, characterized by: medium size, uniform yellow color with faint fuscosity on metasomal carinae, nearly bare body and appendages with few short macrosetae, and slender male pedipalp chelae with unscalloped fingers. Both are lapidicolous or lithophilic scorpions, inhabiting very rocky terrain. Their disjunct distribution in high altitude refugia suggests that they are relict species, descendents of a more widespread fauna adapted to temperate climates in the Pleistocene or post-glacial times.

Lowe G. Two new species of Hottentotta Birula, 1908 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from northern Oman. Euscorpius. 2010(103):1-23. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

04 October, 2010

More on the genera Hadrurus and Hoffmannihadrurus

Michael Soleglad and Victor Fet have recently published a paper with further observations on the genera Hadrurus Thorell, 1876 and Hoffmannihadrurus Fet & Soleglad, 2004 (both Caraboctonidae).

Multiple populations of Hadrurus pinteri from Baja California Sur, Mexico have been examined. It is demonstrated that the southern populations of this species have a larger number of accessory trichobothria (neobothriotaxy) than the northern populations, numbers exceeding the maximum currently recorded for the genus. Examination of carapace and chela coloration and its patterns show a close affinity between H. pinteri and the dark phase of H. concolorous. A new morphometric ratio of the carapace is defined that distinguishes Hadrurus from Hoffmannihadrurus, further supporting the monophyly of the latter genus.

Soleglad ME, Fet V. Further observations on scorpion genera Hadrurus and Hoffmannihadrurus (Scorpiones, Caraboctonidae). ZooKeys. 2010;59:1-13. [Free fultext]

Thanks to Victor Fet for sending me this paper!

Family Caraboctonidae

Observations on Calchas gruberi from Greece

Iasmi Stathi and co-workers have studied Calchas (Iuridae) materials from the Greek island Megisti (= Kastelorizo). Fet, Soleglad & Kovarik (2009) described two new Calchas in addition to the previous known species Calchas nordmanni Birula, 1899 from Turkish populations, but did not conclude on the the Greek populations (on Megisti and Samos). Stathi and co-workers now conclude that the Megisti populations belongs to Calchas gruberi Fet, Soleglad & Kovarik, 2009 and that C. nordmanni is not present in the Greek fauna.

Interestingly, the Megisti populations of C. gruberi is significantly larger than specimens from Turkey.

A series of Calchas specimens from the Greek island of Megisti (= Kastelorizo) was examined. It is shown by detailed analysis of several key diagnostic characters that this population from Megisti Island belongs to C. gruberi Fet, Soleglad et Kovařík, 2009. Therefore, C. nordmanni Birula, 1899 is not present in Greek fauna. The population of C. gruberi from Megisti comprises the largest specimens so far reported.

Stathi I, Fet V, Soleglad ME. Etudes on iurids, IV. Observations on Calchas gruberi from Megisti Island, Greece (Scorpiones: Iuridae). Euscorpius. 2010(101):1-9. [Free fulltext]

Family Iuridae

01 October, 2010

Scorpion stings in Turkey - An epidemiological study

Cesaretli & Ozkan have published an interesting epidemiological study on scorpion stings in Turkey between 1995 and 2004.

The most important health-threatening scorpions found in Turkey are; Androctonus crassicauda, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Mesobuthus gibbosus and M. eupeus species, all of which belong to the Buthidae family. The epidemiological and clinical findings of scorpion stings in Turkey were evaluated between the years 1995 and 2004 based on data recorded in the National Poison Information Center (NPIC). A total of 930 cases were recorded. The cases mostly occurred in the month of July. The gender distribution was 50.22% female and 45.48% male. It was shown that the 20-29 age group presented more scorpion stings. Most of the stings occurred in Central Anatolia and Marmara regions of Turkey. Patients at the hospital showed signs of localized (pain, hyperemia, edema and numbness) and systemic effects (hyperthermia, nausea and vomiting, tachycardia, shivering and lethargy) but no lethality was notified. According to records, 33% of the poisoned patients were treated with antivenin in healthcare facilities.

Cesaretli Y, Ozkan O. Scorpion stings in Turkey: Epidemiological and clinical aspects between the years 1995 and 2004. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2010 Jul-Aug;52(4):215-20. [Free fulltext]

New Vaejovis from Mexico

Matthew Graham and Robert Bryson Jr. have described a new species of Vaejovis from the Sierra Madre Occidental, Meixco in the latest issue of Journal of Arachnology:

Vaejovis montanus Graham & Bryson, 2010 (Vaejovidae)

A new species of montane scorpion is described from the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. The species is morphologically similar to scorpions distributed throughout the ‘‘sky island’’ region of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico and is a member of the ‘‘vorhiesi’’ subgroup of the Vaejovis ‘‘mexicanus’’ group. The morphology of the new species is compared to that of ‘‘vorhiesi’’ subgroup taxa, and biogeographic hypotheses about the diversification of this group are provided.

Graham MR, Bryson Jr RW. Vaejovis montanus (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae), a new species from the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. Journal of Arachnology. 2010;38(2):285-93. [Fulltext not yet available on the homepage]

Family Vaejovidae