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

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