11 October, 2012

A new Vaejovis species from Arizona, USA

Vaejovis halli from Arizona, USA. Photo: Rich Ayrey (C)

Richard Ayrey has described another Vaejovis C. L. Koch, 1836 (Vaejovidae) from the Mogollon Highlands of northern Arizona (USA).

Vaejovis halli Ayrey, 2012

A new scorpion species, Vaejovis halli sp. nov., is described. This relatively small, brown new species is found on Mount Ord in the Mazatzal Mountains along the Mogollon Rim of northern Arizona. The new species appears most similar to V. vorhiesi Stahnke and V. deboerae Ayrey. The most distinguishing characteristic of this new species is the number of inner denticles (ID) found on the pedipalp fingers with six on the movable finger and usually five on the fixed finger, which more closely correlates with Vaejovis species from the mountains of southern Arizona rather than those geographically closer in northern Arizona.

Ayrey RF. A New Vaejovis from the Mogollon Highlands of Northern Arizona (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Euscorpius. 2012 (148):1-13. [Free full text]

Thanks to Rich Ayrey for sharing a picture of the new species with The Scorpion Files!

Family Vaejovidae

10 October, 2012

Two new species of Chaerilus from Vietnam and Cambodia

Wilson Lourenco has described two new species in the genus Chaerilus Simon, 1877 (Chaerilidae).

Chaerilus anneae Lourenco, 2012 (Vietnam)
Chaerilus kampuchea Lourenco, 2012 (Cambodia)

Two new species of Chaerilus are described from Southeast Asia: C. anneae sp. n. from southern Vietnam and C. kampuchea sp. n. from Cambodia. These new species are compared to the other Chaerilus species known from Southeast Asia and Indonesian islands. This study suggests that different species are not too much distinct morphologically, rather corresponding to micro-endemic populations. Molecular studies, now in preparation, are deemed to bring further evidence to favor or refute this hypothesis.

Lourenco WR. More about the genus Chaerilus Simon, 1877 in Vietnam and Cambodia, with descrptions of two new species. Arthropoda Selecta. 2012;21(3):235-41. [Free full text]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this paper!

Family Chaerilidae

05 October, 2012

Intraguild predation in scorpions: Tityus vs. Chactas

Scorpions are generalist predators and it is agreed that one of the greatest predator of scorpions are scorpions themselves. Despite this, interspesific predation in scorpions have rarely been observed in the field (most observations being done in captivity).

Jairo Moreno-Gonzalez and Nicolas Hazzi reported this summer about a case of intraguild predation in Colombia involving a Tityus forcipula Gervais, 1843 feeding on a Chactas vanbenedeni Gervais, 1843.

The first case of intraguild predation in the neotropical region by Tityus forcipula (Gervais) (Buthidae) predating upon Chactas vanbenedeni (Gervais) (Chactidae) in Yotoco Forest Reserve, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, is recorded. A comprehensive table including known records of intraguild predation is provided. Despite similarity between the microhabitats of both species, this observation of predation might be casual.

Moreno-Gonzalez JA, Hazzi NA. Intraguild predation case: Tityus forcipula Gervais, 1843 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) feeding on Chactas vanbenedeni Gervais, 1843 (Scorpiones, Chactidae) in Colombia. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2012;20:117-20.

Thanks to Jairo Moreno-Gonzalez for sending me his paper!

On the type locality of Mesobuthus vesiculatus

Aysegül Karatas and Muhammed Mouradi Gharkheloo have previously published a redescription of Mesobuthus vesiculatus (Pocock, 1899) (Buthidae) from Iran. Now these author, together with Victor Fet, have published a short note discussing the type locality of this species.

The type locality for Mesobuthus vesiculatus (Pocock, 1899) (Scorpiones: Buthidae) is identified as Astarqān, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, at 38°32'03"N, 46°12' 36"E.

Karatas A, Fet V, Gharkheloo MM. On the type locality of Mesobuthus vesiculatus (Pocock, 1899) (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2012 (147):1-3. [Free full text]

04 October, 2012

Another new species in the enigmatic, troglomorphic genus Troglotayosicus from Colombia

Ricardo Botero-Trujillo and co-workers have discovered another species in the rare and enigmatic genus Troglotayosicus Lourenco, 1981 (Troglotayosicidae) in leaf litter in southwestern Colombia.

Troglotayosicus hirsutus Botero-Trujillo, Ochoa, Tovar & Souza, 2012

This scorpion is found in leaf litter, and is not a cave dweller. It has troglomorphies like reduces and eyes and pigmentation.

Troglotayosicus hirsutus, a new species of troglomorphic scorpion, is described based on three adult males, three adult females and eight juveniles captured by ultraviolet light detection in forest leaf litter of the municipality of Buesaco, southwestern Colombia. Though similar to the other Colombian species in the genus, Troglotayosicus humiculum Botero Trujillo & Francke, 2009, T. hirsutus sp. nov. exhibits a combination of distinctive morphological features, including a densely hairy appearance which gives the name to the new species. With this description, the number of known species in the genus Troglotayosicus is raised to three, two of which inhabit leaf litter in forests of Nariño department (Colombia), whereas the type species, Troglotayosicus vachoni Lourenço, 1981, remains known only from Los Tayos Cave in Ecuador. With this new finding, it is plausible that the genus Troglotayosicus is not much rare after all, but that its apparent rarity might be a sampling artifact instead. However, this possibility does not imply that the genus is necessarily common, and only additional studies may tell about the vulnerability of the genus.

Botero-Trujillo R, Ochoa JA, Tovar OA, Souza J. A new species in the scorpion genus Troglotayosicus from forest leaf litter in Southwestern Colombia (Scorpiones, Troglotayosicidae). Zootaxa. 2012 (3506):63-76. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Dr. Botero-Trujillo for sending me his article!

Family Trglotayosicidae

03 October, 2012

A new species of Scorpio from Niger

The previous monotypic genus Scorpio Linnaeus, 1758 (Scorpionidae) in Africa has been under investigation for some time. Lourenco & Cloudsley-Thompson has now discovered a new species from Niger.

Scorpio niger Lourenco & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012

This is the first record of Scorpio from Niger and the third species to be reported beyond the Saharan region of Africa (the two other species being S. savanicola Lourenco, 2009 from Cameroon and S. occidentalis Werner, 1936 from Senegal).

For almost a century, Scorpio maurus L., 1758 (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae) has been considered to be no more than a widespread and presumably highly polymorphic species. Recent investigation of the ancient classifications by Birula (1910) and Vachon (1952) have led to the consideration of several African populations at the rank of species. Two new species have also been described from Cameroon (Lourenço, 2009) and Sudan Lourenço & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2009), countries not previously recorded as containing members of the genus Scorpio. In the present paper, the enigmatic presence of the genus Scorpio in Congo has been tentatively clarified, and this record is attributed to mislabelling. A new species is also described from Niger. It is the first confirmed record of a species of Scorpio from that country.

Lourenco WR, Cloudsley Thompson JL. About the enigmatic presence of the genus Scorpio Linnaeus, 1758 in Congo with the description of a new species from Niger (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). Serket. 2012;13(1/2):1-7.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Scorpionidae

A new species of Buthus from Egypt

Lourenco & Simon have recently published a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) from Alexandria, Egypt.

Buthus orientalis Lourenco & Simon, 2012

This species was described from specimens found in a museum collection. Interestingly, no scorpion species can be found in the area where the this species originally was collected because of the development of the city of Alexandria. Collecting in a nearby area revealed no Buthus specimens either. It is therefor possible that this species is now extinct due to habitat destruction.

During the last decade, the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 (Family Buthidae) was the subject of several studies. These concerned in particular the ‘Buthus occitanus’ complex of species. Several populations previously considered as subspecies or varieties were raised to the rank of species and many new species were also described. The majority of the species considered in these studies come mostly from Northwest Africa. In a recent paper, the questionable presence of the genus Buthus in Egypt, in other regions than Sinai, was reconsidered and one new species was described from the region of Siwa. In some unpublished notes by E. Simon, the genus Buthus was recorded from Alexandria, but these data were not confirmed subsequently. The material studied by E. Simon was recently ‘relocated’ in the collections of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris. It is described here as a new species.

Lourenco WR, Simon E. Confirmation of a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 from Alexandria, Egypt (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Serket. 2012;13(1/2):8-15.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Buthidae

02 October, 2012

A new extinct species found in Baltic amber

Wilson Lourenco has published a new species of fossil scorpion based on a specimen found in baltic amber.

Palaeolychas weitschati Lourenco, 2012 (Buthidae)

A new species of Baltic fossil scorpion, Palaeolychas weitschati sp. n. is described based on a specimen found in amber from the Samland Peninsula in Baltic coast. The new species is the second one described for the genus Palaeolychas Lourenço et Weitschat, and thus belongs to the same lineage as the majority of other scorpions known from Baltic amber, which is clearly associated with the extant scorpion fauna of tropical regions in America, Asia and Africa. This new find attests, however, to a considerable degree of diversity in the Baltic amber-producing forests.

Lourenco WR. Further Considerations on Scorpions Found in Baltic Amber, with a Description of a New Species (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2012 (146):1-7. [Free full text]