03 October, 2012

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 In some unpublished notes by E. Simon, the genus Buthus was recorded from Alexandria, but these data were not confirmed subsequently.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

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