21 November, 2011

A checlist of the scorpions of Panama

Rolando Teruel and Michiel Cozijn have recently published a checklist of the scorpions of Panama. Two new records are reported.

In the present note, we compile a checklist of all scorpion species recorded from Panama. A total of three families, five genera and 14 species are confirmed to occur in the country, and previous records of two other families, four genera, and nine species are discarded as misidentifications, mislabelings, or accidental introductions. Two Buthidae species are herein recorded for the first time from Panama: Tityus tayrona Lourenço, 1991 (so far known only from northern Colombia) and one apparently undescribed species of Ananteris Thorell, 1891.

Teruel R, Cozijn MAC. A checklist of the scorpions (Arachnida: Scorpiones) of Panama, with two new records. Euscorpius. 2011(133):1-6. [Free fulltext]

18 November, 2011

A revision of Centruroides margaritatus and some of its closely related species

Acosta, Teruel and Kovarik have recently published a revision of the South American scorpion Centruroides margaritatus (Gervais, 1841) (Buthidae) and some of its closely related species. Here are some important conclusions:

Centruroides edwardsii (Gervais, 1843) is restored as valid species and its distribution is Mexico through Colombia, but without any reliable records from Guatemala, Belize and Panama. Introduced populations are reported from Cuba and Senegal (Africa).

Centruroides morenoi (Mello-Leitao, 1945) is synonymized with C. margaritatus (Gervais, 1841).

Confirmed distribution of Centruroides margaritatus (Gervais, 1841) is northwestern South America (Peru, Ecuador & Colombia). The species is also introduced to Cuba and Jamaica.

Centruroides edwardsii (Gervais, 1843) comb. nov. is restored as a valid species, and a male neotype from Riohacha, La Guajira Department, Colombia is herein designated; this species ranges from Mexico through Colombia, but there are no reliable records from Guatemala, Belize, and Panama; introduced populations also occur in Cuba (West Indies) and Senegal (Africa). We regard the following species as its junior synonyms: Scorpio (Atreus) degeerii Gervais, 1844, Centrurus gambiensis Karsch, 1879, Centruroides margaritatus septentrionalis Hoffmann, 1932, and Rhopalurus danieli Prado et Rios-Patiño, 1940. We also consider Centruroides margaritatus morenoi Mello-Leitão, 1945 as a junior synonym of Centruroides margaritatus (Gervais, 1841). After these taxonomic changes, the confirmed distribution of C. margaritatus includes northwestern South America (Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia), and the West Indies (introduced in Cuba and Jamaica).

de Armas LF, Teruel R, Kovarik F. On Centruroides margaritatus (Gervais, 1841) and closely related species (Scorpiones: buthidae). Euscorpius. 2011(132):1-16. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

15 November, 2011

Scorpion diversity in the Sidi Ifni province in Morocco

Oulaid Touloun and Ali Boumezzough have studied the scorpion fauna of the province of Sidi Ifni in Morocco. Five species are reported, all endemic to Morocco.

The pre‐Saharan and Saharan regions of Morocco are rarely affected by inventory studies of scorpiofauna. Our investigations in the Sidi Ifni province has allowed to us to inventory five species of scorpions, all of them endemic from Morocco. The family Buthidae is represented by four species Androctonus mauritanicus (Pocock, 1902), Butheoloides (Butheoloides) littoralis Lourenço, Touloun & Boumezzough, 2011, Buthus elmoutaouakili Lourenço & Qi, 2006, Hottentota gentili (Pallary, 1924), that of Scorpionidae is represented by a single species Scorpio mogadorensis (Birula, 1910). This work has also helped to complete the distribution areas of some of these species.

Touloun O, Boumezzough A. Contribution a l'inventaire et la repartition des scorpions de la province de Sidi Ifni (Maroc). Poiretia. 2011(3):8-15. [Free fulltext]

Thanks to Dr. Touloun for sending me this paper!

09 November, 2011

Scorpion diversity in the Souf region in Algeria

Salah Eddine Sadine and co-workers have studied the scorpion fauna in the Souf region in Algeria. Eight species from two families are reported. This is the first study of the scorpion fauna from this region.

No abstract available.

Sadine SE, Bissat S, Ould Elhadj MD. Premieres donnees sur la diversite scorpionique dans la region du Souf (Algerie). Arachnides. 2011(61):2-10.

Thanks to Salah Eddine Sadine and Gerard Dupre for sending me this paper!

A PhD thesis with a major analysis of Rhopalurus

Humberto Yoji Yamaguti has presented a PhD thesis with a major analysis and revision of the South American genus Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876 (Buthidae). The thesis is published in Portuguese, which I can not read, but based on the English abstract the author concludes that the genus should be split into four genera (Rhopalurus, Heteroctenus, new genus A and new genus B). Several species are synonymized. See abstract for details.

NB! Please note that the taxonomic decision made in this thesis are not formally valid as a thesis is not considered published according to the ICZN code (Fet, Kovarik, Teruel, personal communications). I expect Yamaguti will publish his interesting results in scientific journals in the near future, making them formally valid.

A relationship hypothesis is proposed for the genus Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876 (Scorpiones: Buthidae). The genus has 19 valid species and two valid subspecies, and is diagnosed mainly by the presence of an stridulatory apparatus and by the expansion of the metassomal segments. The monophyly of Rhopalurus was never tested within a phylogenetic analysis, neither was the useness of those characters to support the genus. The analysis was made with 14 spp of Rhopalurus and 17 spp from other six Buthidae genera. We have used five genes (18S, 28S, 12S, 16S, and COI) and 86 morphological characters in a total evidence analysis, through parsimony and direct optimization. The genus Rhopalurus is paraphyletic and divided in four genera, here described: Rhopalurus, Heteroctenus (revalidation), gên. nov. A, and gên, nov. B. Synonymies: R. amazonicus and R. crassicauda paruensis with R. crassicauda, R. virkkii with H. abudi, R. acromelas with gên. nov. B agamemnon, R. pintoi kourouensis with gên. nov. B pintoi. Some of the South American genera (Rhopalurus, Physoctonus, and gên. nov. B) relate the Brazilian northeast with the north of South America, and the found patterns suggest allopatric speciation within these genera. The Heteroctenus patterns suggest dispersion from North America to the Greater Antilles, with later speciation events in each island. We also discuss a putative populational structure of gên. nov. B rochae. The presence of the stridulatory apparatus doesn't gather the former species of the genus. Furthermore, a detailed study reveals the existence of three different morphological types. Based on the obtained phylogeny, we related each one of these types with the genera where they occur (Rhopalurus, Heteroctenus, and gên. nov. B).

Yamaguti HY. Analise filogenetica e biogeografica do genero Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876 (Arachnida: Scorpiones: Buthidae) [These de Doctorat]. Sao Paulo: Universidad de Sao Paulo; 2011. [Free fulltext]

Thanks to Carlos Turiel, Jacek Szubert and Rolando Teruel for informing me about this thesis!

Family Buthidae

07 November, 2011

New data on Chilean Urophonius including a new species

Andres Ojanguren-Affilastro, Jaime Pizarro-Araya and Lorenzo Prendini have published new data on some Chilean Urphonius (Bothriuridae). Here are the main results:

New species:
Urophonius mondacai Ojanguren-Affilastro, Pizarro-Araya & Lorenzo Prendini, 2011

Urophonius transandinus Acosta, 1998
Urophonius tumbensis Cekalovic, 1981

The paper has an identification key for the genus in Chile.

New data are provided on Chilean species of the bothriurid genus Urophonius Pocock, 1893. Urophonius mondacai, n. sp., from central Chile is described. Urophonius tumbensis Cekalovic, 1981, is redescribed according to modern standards, and information about its distribution and ecology provided. Urophonius transandinus Acosta, 1998, is redescribed, its known distribution enlarged, and data on the morphological variation among its populations provided. A modification to Maury’s (1973) group division of the genus is presented. Urophonius is divided into two groups instead of three as proposed by Acosta (1988). A distribution map for the three species covered in this contribution is provided, together with a key to the Chilean species of the genus.

Ojanguren Affilastro AA, Pizarro-Araya J, Prendini L. New data on Chilean Urophonius Pocock, 1893 (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae), with description of a new species. American Museum Novitates. 2011(3725):1-44. [Free fultext]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this paper!

Family Bothriuridae

04 November, 2011

Buthus atrostriatus = Vachonus atrostriatus = Mesobuthus eupeus atrostriatus = Compsobuthus atrostriatus

Taxanomy is never easy! Yesterday I blogged about a recent paper about the Scorpions of Iran, Part VII. In this paper, Buthus atrostriatus Pocock, 1897 (Buthidae) was changed to Compsobuthus atrostriatus (Pocock, 1897). I didn't mention this yesterday as I couldn't find any Buthus atrostriatus in The Scorpion Files.

The reason for this is that Tikader & Bastawade moved B. atrostriatus to the new genus Vachonus in 1983, and the current name for this taxa in The Scorpion Files has been Vachonus atrostriatus (Pocock, 1897). This status was not mentioned in the scorpions of Iran paper. It also turns out that Buthus atrostriatus has been reported as Mesobuthus euepus atrostriatus (Pocock, 1897) by some authors after 1983.

Anyway, this taxa is now Compsobuthus atrostriatus (Pocock, 1897) and I hope that decision will stand as it was based on an analysis of the type.

A big thanks to professor Victor Fet for helping me sort out the status of this scorpion!

Navidpour S, Ezatkhah M, Kovarik F, Soleglad ME, Fet V. Scorpions of Iran (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part VII. Kerman Province. Euscorpius. 2011(131):1-32. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae


03 November, 2011

Scorpions of Iran Part VII - Kerman Province

Part VII of a major review of the scorpions of Iran has been published in issue 131 of the journal Euscorpius.

The paper lists 13 species (six new records for the province) in two families from the Kerman Province and their distribution. The taxonomy of some problematic taxa is discussed.

An identification key for the species in the province is given. Good color photos are presented for the species and also some habitat pictures.

Thirteen species of scorpions belonging to two families are reported from the Kerman Province of Iran. Of these, the species Compsobuthus kaftani Kovařík, 2003, Mesobuthus macmahoni (Pocock, 1900), Orthochirus farzanpayi (Vachon et Farzanpay, 1987), Polisius persicus Fet, Capes et Sissom, 2001, Sassanidotus gracilis (Birula, 1900), and Hemiscorpius lepturus Peters, 1861 are recorded from the province for the first time. Kerman Province contains type localities of six species of scorpions, of which Kraepelinia palpator (Birula, 1903) and Orthochirus gruberi Kovařík et Fet, 2006 are valid. Prionurus crassicauda orientalis Birula, 1900 is a synonym of Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807), Buthus eupeus kirmanensis Birula, 1900 and Buthus pachysoma Birula, 1900 are probably synonyms of Mesobuthus eupeus persicus (Pocock, 1899), and Buthus gabrielis Werner, 1929, according to published information and occurrences near the type locality, probably is a synonym of Sassanidotus gracilis (Birula, 1900). These taxonomic problems are discussed below. Also, Buthus atrostriatus Pocock, 1897 is transferred to genus Compsobuthus. A key to all species of scorpions found in Kerman Province is presented.

Navidpour S, Ezatkhah M, Kovarik F, Soleglad ME, Fet V. Scorpions of Iran (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part VII. Kerman Province. Euscorpius. 2011(131):1-32. [Free fulltext]

02 November, 2011

Abnormal pectines in a Vaejovis

Sometimes scorpions with abnormal body parts are discovered. Pepe - The Two-Tailed scorpion is probably one of the most "famous" examples. Richard Ayrey now reports about a Vaejovis lapidicola (Vaejovidae) with abnormal pectines.

Among specimens of Vaejovis lapidicola Stahnke, one female was found to have abnormally shaped pectines, both with only distal pectinal teeth. This rare, possibly teratological anomaly is documented and discussed.

Ayrey RF. An anomaly of pectinal organs in Vaejovis lapidicola (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Euscorpius. 2011(130):1-6. [Free fulltext]