31 December, 2012

Euscorpius croaticus from Croatia raised to species status

"Hidden" Euscorpius species are still waiting to be discovered in Europe, especially in Greece and in the Balkans. Matthew Graham and co-workers have now raised Euscorpius germanus croaticus Di Caporiacco, 1950 (Euscorpiidae) to species status based on molecular and morphological evidence.

Euscorpius croaticus Di Caporiacco, 1950

The taxonomic identity of Euscorpius germanus croaticus Di Caporiacco, 1950, described from Croatia and Bosnia, has remained unclear ever since its discovery. We studied the lectotype from the Velebit Mountains as well as new material from Biserujka Cave on Krk Island, Croatia. We reassessed E. g. croaticus using both morphology and DNA barcodes (cox1 sequences) from one of the Biserujka Cave specimens and 15 congeneric species. The resulting DNA phylogeny suggests that E. g. croaticus is not a subspecies of E. germanus. The taxon appears to be a separate lineage, which groups close to subgenus Alpiscorpius but differs from all its members in several morphological characters. We elevate E. g. croaticus to species rank as Euscorpius croaticus Di Caporiacco, 1950, stat. nov., and provide a detailed redescription of both sexes.

Graham MR, Webber MM, Blagoev G, Ivanova N, Fet V. Molecular and morphological evidence supports the elevation of Euscorpius germanus croaticus Di Caporiacco, 1950 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) to E. Croaticus Stat. Nov., a rare species from croatia. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2012 (21):41-50.

Thanks to Professor Victor Fet for sending me this paper!

Family Euscorpiidae

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