09 March, 2012

Orobothriurus - Phylogeny, biogeography and diagnostic characters

The Andean genus Orobothriurus Maury, 1976 was recently revised. The same authors have now published a follow-up paper looking into the phylogeny, Andean biogeography and the importance of some diagnostic characters of Orobothriurus.

The paper confirms the validity of the genera Pachakutej Ochoa, 2004 and Rumikiru Ojanguren-Affilastro, Mattoni, Ochoa & Prendini, 2012.

The genus Orobothriurus Maury, 1976 (Bothriuridae Simon, 1880) displays an Andean pattern of distribution, most of its species occurring at high altitudes (over 2000–2500 m to a maximum altitude record of 4910 m) from central Peru to Argentina. The recent discovery of several new species and the uncertain phylogenetic position of Orobothriurus lourencoi Ojanguren Affilastro, 2003, required a reanalysis of Orobothriurus phylogeny. Thirty bothriurid taxa, including all species of Orobothriurus and Pachakutej Ochoa, 2004, were scored for 65 morphological characters and analysed with parsimony under equal and implied weighting. The resulting topology justifies the establishment of a new genus, Rumikiru Ojanguren Affilastro et al., in press, for O. lourencoi and a closely related, new species, Rumikiru atacama Ojanguren Affilastro et al., in press. It also offers new insights about the phylogeny and biogeography of Orobothriurus and related genera. Characters from the male genitalia (i.e. hemispermatophore), comprising approximately 26% of the morphological matrix, were found to be less homoplastic than those from somatic morphology, contradicting suggestions that genitalia are uninformative or potentially misleading in phylogenetic studies.

Mattoni CI, Ochoa JA, Ojanguren Affilastro AA, Prendini L. Orobothriurus (Scorpiones: Bothriuridae) phylogeny, Andean biogeography, and the relative importance of genitalic and somatic characters. Zoologica Scripta. 2012;41(2):160-76. [Subscription required for full text]

No comments: