31 January, 2013

Five pairs of lateral eyes in buthids more common than previously known

Most scorpions have two median eyes, while the number of lateral eyes varies among different major groups. Many species in the large family Buthidae have been diagnosed with three pairs of lateral eyes.

Xiaofeng Yang and co-workers present now a study showing that a majority of studied species have five pairs of  lateral eyes in stead of three. The taxonomical impact of this discovery is discussed.

This study reports the results of a re-analysis of the number of lateral eyes in extant buthids. Specimens studied were confined mostly to those from China and the adjacent areas. 353 specimens belonging to 20 species (subspecies) and 8 genera were rechecked and found to have 5 pairs of lateral eyes contrary to earlier published works which reported the presence of 3 pairs of lateral eyes only. Combined with reported examples collected through reference investigation including 63 species from 16 genera, our study here shows a total of 79 species from 21 genera of scorpions spanning Asia and Africa had 5 pairs of lateral eyes. Reasons for not observing the presence of the extra lateral eyes are discussed and new protocols for examining specimens including using UV light are proposed to aid lateral eye recognition. Besides, a majority of genera in Buthidae are suggested to be in ‘‘Five-eye’’ model and a re-examination of all previously published taxonomic studies of buthid species is highly recommended.

Yang XF, Norma-Rashid Y, Lourenco WR, Zhu MS. True lateral eye numbers for extant buthids: A new discovery on an old character. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):1-10. [Free full text]

Thanks to Xiaofeng Yang for sending me his paper!

25 January, 2013

Are larger characters in males due to sexual selection?

Catalina Sanchez-Quiros and co-workers have published a study on how body traits used in reproduction may have evolved.

Animal body traits are scaled relative to overall body size depending on the evolutionary context. Most naturally selected traits are scaled approximately isometrically (constitute a constant proportion of the body size at different body sizes), whereas those under sexual selection tend to present positive static allometry (be proportionally larger in larger individuals). However, there are body traits that might be influenced by both natural and sexual selection. We studied the courtship behavior of the scorpion Centruroides margaritatus (Gervais 1841) and analyzed the static allometry of several body traits. We hypothesized that those traits that were actively used in courtship and seemed to be sexually dimorphic could be under sexual selection. The main sexually dimorphic traits were body size (female larger) and metasoma length (male longer). Although metasoma length of males had a steeper allometric slope (larger males had longer metasoma) than that of females, the slopes did not differ significantly. All body traits measured showed isometry with body size, except that the pecten presented negative allometry in males. Thus the length of the metasoma of males, thought to be influenced by sexual rather than natural selection, did not present positive allometry as expected. Males used the metasoma actively while courting females.

Sanchez-Quiros C, Arevalo E, Barrantes G. Static allometry and sexual size dimorphism in Centruroides margaritatus (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Journal of Arachnology. 2012;40:338-44. [Subscription required for full text, but free access for all after 12 months]

21 January, 2013

Scorpion envenomations in Singapore

Hock Heng Tan and co-workers have recently published a study on scorpion envenomations in Singapore. Singapore is a small, industrialized country and scorpion envenomations are rare. Only 13 cases were found during a 6-year period, and not all of these cases were 100% confirmed as scorpion stings.

The only confirmed species involved in a few of the cases was Isometrus maculatus (DeGeer, 1778) (Buthidae), causing mild symptoms like local pain and swelling.

Objective.—We describe the epidemiology and clinical features of scorpion stings presenting to an emergency department in Singapore, including that of the venomous species Isometrus maculatus. A management approach to scorpion stings is proposed.
Methods.—A retrospective study was done for patients from 2004 to 2009. Cases were identified by searching through emergency department records with ICD code E905, inpatient records, and the hospital toxicology service records. Identification of species was assisted by the Venom and Toxin research program at the National University of Singapore.
Results.—A total of 13 cases of scorpion stings were identified. Eleven stings occurred locally, and the remaining 2 stings occurred in neighboring countries. The most common presenting symptoms were pain (92%), numbness (31%), and weakness (23%) confined to the region of the sting. The most common clinical signs recorded were redness (77%), tenderness (77%), and swelling (46%). Only 2 patients had significant alterations of vital signs: 1 had hypertension and the other had hypotension from anaphylaxis. Three patients experienced complications (abscess formation, anaphylaxis, cellulitis) requiring inpatient management. There were no fatalities, and all patients made a good recovery. Three cases were identified to be stings from I maculatus. These cases occurred locally, and mainly had clinical features of pain, redness, and mild regional numbness.
Conclusions.—Scorpion stings are uncommon presentations to the emergency department. Most stings cause local reactions that can be managed with supportive treatment. Stings by I maculatus were observed to cause mild, self-limiting effects.

Tan HH, Mong R. Scorpion Stings Presenting to an Emergency Department in Singapore With Special Reference to Isometrus Maculatus. Wilderness Environ Med. 2013 Jan 8. Epub 2013/01/15. [Subscription required for full text]

17 January, 2013

Scorpions as a health problem in Algeria

Scorpions are a serious public health problems in many countries in North Africa. Fortunately, the number of deaths have decreased in the last decade, but young children still tops the mortality statistics.

Laid and co-workers have now published a study on the incidence and severity of scorpions stings in Algeria in 1991 to 2010. Potential dangerous species in Algeria are Androctonus australis, A. bicolor, Buthus spp. and Leiurus quinquestriatus (all Buthidae). See abstract below for more details on the results.

Scorpion stings are a public health problem in the Maghreb region. In Algeria, epidemiological data were collected over the past twenty years by the Algerian health authorities. This study is an analysis of morbidity and mortality data collected from 2001 to 2010. Annual incidence and mortality due to scorpion envenoming were 152 ± 3.6 stings and 0.236 ± 0.041 deaths per 100,000 people (95% CI), respectively. The risk of being stung by a scorpion was dramatically higher in southern areas and central highlands due to environmental conditions. Incidence of envenoming was especially higher in the adult population, and among young males. In contrast, mortality was significantly higher among children under 15 years, particularly ages 1-4. Upper limbs were more often affected than lower limbs. Most stings occurred at night, indoors and during the summer. Data collected since 2001 showed a reduction of mortality by nearly 50%, suggesting that the medical care defined by the national anti-scorpion project is bearing fruit.

Laïd Y, Boutekdjiret L, Oudjehane R, Laraba-Djebari F, Hellal H, Guerinik M, et al. Incidence and severity of scorpion stings in Algeria. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2012;18(4):399-410. [Free full text]

16 January, 2013

Scorpions in the family Chaerilidae do not fluorescence under UV light

Scorpions fluorescence when they are exposed to ultraviolet light (in the range 320 - 400 nm). Several authors have discussed possible functions for this phenomena or if it has no function at all (previous blog posts on fluorescence).

Wilson Lourenco now reports that species in the family Chaerilidae do not fluorescence when exposed to UV light (Nine species were tested). This surprise finding is very interesting in the quest for any function of the fluorescence in scorpions. Interestingly, professor Lourenco also tested four species in the enigmatic family Pseudochactidae and they all did fluorescence. Pseudochactidae is considered to be the oldest and most primitive scorpion family and the presence of fluorescence may indicate that this is an early adaption in scorpions.

The fluorescence of scorpions in ultraviolet light, a well-known phenomenon, was discovered more than 60 years ago. Its possible function remains, however, a matter of discussion. Even during very recent studies, no conclusion has been reached. As suggested in these recent publications, the lack of or reduction of fluorescence could be a useful tool to explain the phenomenon. It is suggested here that, in at least some species of the family Chaerilidae Simon, this phenomenon is absent. This new discovery may initiate important comparative eco-physiological studies.

Lourenço WR. Fluorescence in scorpions under UV light; can haerilids be a possible exception? Comptes Rendus - Biologies. 2012;335:731-4. [Subscritpion required for full text]

Thanks to professor Wilson Lourenco for sending me his paper!

14 January, 2013

Scorpion envenomations in Pygmies from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The effects of scorpion stings from sub-Saharan species have been considered mild, but little is actually known about scorpionism in western and central areas of Africa. Mudiandambu Biezakala and co-workers have now published an article presenting the results of a survey of scorpion stings among Pygmies in an area of the DRC.

Interestingly, a few deaths were recorded and also dermatological symptoms similar to those observed in Hemiscorpius lepturus in Iran. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to identify the species that may cause serious morbidity in this area (Uroplectes is mentioned and the paper has a picture that looks very much like a male Lychas [Update: Its a male Isometrus maculatus according to Rolando Teruel]). More studies on the scorpion fauna and its potential risk for humans are obviously necessary in this area.

In a survey among the pygmies of central Democratic Republic of Congo, the incidence of scorpion stings seemed very high with a severity greater than expected. Species responsible were not identified. Specific studies are needed to clarify the risk emerging in the equatorial African forest.

Biezakala ME, Odio WT, Kabele NC, Tati KR, Mbanzulu MK. Scorpion envenomation in pygmies from Democratic Republic of Congo, the example of Pelenge Center, Lomela, DRC. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2012;18(4):451-4. [Free full text]

A new Heterometrus from India

Heterometrus atrascorpius from Western Ghats in India (Photo: Zeeshan Mirza)
Zeeshan Mirza and co-workers have recently described a new species of Heterometrus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Scorpionidae) from Western Ghats in India.

Heterometrus atrascorpius Mirza, Joshi, Desouza & Sanap, 2012

A new species of scorpion belonging to the genus Heterometrus Ehrenberg, 1828 is described from the Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. Heterometrus atrascorpius sp. nov. differs from all other known species of the genus reported from India, in particularly from Heterometrus beccaloniae Kovarík, 2004 by bearing the following set of characters: moderate size in comparison to other members of the genus 91.68 (holotype); body coloration dark blackish brown both dorsally and ventrally, with the exception of the vesicle which is yellowish white and the leg tarsi which are paler; pectines, sternum and pectinal basal piece yellowish brown; pedipalp manus tuberculate with carina; patella and femur dorsally tuberculate; pedipalp femur longer than twice as wide; manus length/width ratio 3.22; pectines with 16-16 teeth.

Mirza ZA, Joshi D, Desouza G, Sanap RV. Description of a new species of scorpion of the genus Heterometrus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae) from the Western Ghats, India. Indian Journal of Arachnology. 2012;1(2):1-8. [Free full text]

Thanks to Zeeshan Mirza and Gerard Dupre for sending me this paper and to Zeeshan for allowing me to use his picture of the new species!

Family Buthidae

11 January, 2013

As old as the hills - How did the species diversity in Southwestern USA originate?

Robert Bryson Jr and co-workers have recently published an extensive and important paper investigating the historical diversification of montane scorpions in the Vaejovis vorhiesi group (Vaejovidae) in Southwestern USA and comparing this with landscape- and paleohistory of the highlands of this area. I refer to the detailed abstract below for more details.

Background: The age of lineages has become a fundamental  datum in studies exploring the interaction  between geological transformation and biotic diversification. However, phylogeographical  studies are often biased  towards lineages that are younger than the geological features of the landscapes  they inhabit. A  temporally deeper historical biogeography framework may be required to address episodes of biotic diversification  associated with  geologically older landscape changes. Signatures of such associations may be retained in the genomes of ecologically specialized  (stenotopic) taxa with limited vagility. In the study presented here, genetic data from montane  scorpions in the Vaejovis vorhiesi group, restricted to humid rocky habitats in mountains  across southwestern  North America, were used to explore the  relationship between scorpion diversification and regional geological history.

Results: Strong phylogeographical  signal was evident within the vorhiesi group, with 27  geographically cohesive lineages inferred from a mitochondrial phylogeny. A time-calibrated  multilocus species tree revealed a pattern of Miocene and Pliocene (the Neogene period) lineage  diversification. An estimated 21 out of 26 cladogenetic events probably occurred prior to the onset  of the Pleistocene, 2.6 million years ago. The best-fit density-dependent model suggested  diversification rate in the vorhiesi group gradually decreased through time.

Conclusions: Scorpions of the vorhiesi group have had a long history in the highlands of  southwestern North America. Diversification among these stenotopic scorpions appears to have  occurred almost entirely within the Neogene period, and is temporally consistent with the dynamic  geological history of the Basin and Range, and Colorado Plateau physiographical provinces. The  persistence of separate lineages at small spatial scales suggests that a combination of ecological  stenotopy and limited vagility may make these scorpions particularly valuable indicators of  geomorphological evolution.

Bryson Jr RW, Riddle BR, Graham MR, Smith BT, Prendini L. As Old as the Hills: Montane Scorpions in Southwestern North America Reveal Ancient Associations between Biotic Diversification and Landscape History. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e52822. [Free full text]

09 January, 2013

Description of the male of Tityus raquelae

Wilson Lourenco has published an article describing the male of Tityus raquelae Lourenco, 1988 (Buthidae) from Brazil and a discussion about the taxonomic position om this species.

A precise description of the male of Tityus (Tityus) raquelae Lourenço, 1988 is presented, based on one specimen collected in Rio Preto da Eva, Amazonas State. This locality is very close to the original type locality, km 12 of the road between Manaus and Itacoatiara. The description of the male of T. raquelae brings new evidence about the taxonomic position of this species in relation to Tityus (Tityus) strandi Werner, 1939, a species also described from the Brazilian Amazon.

Lourenco WR. Descrição do macho de Tityus (Tityus) raquelae Lourenço, 1988 (Scorpiones, Buthidae), espécie da Amazônia Brasileira. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2012 (21):65-8.

Thanks to professor Wilson Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Buthidae

A new species of Buthus from northern Morocco

Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have published a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) from northern Morocco. The new species may be the first known link between African and European species of Buthus.

Buthus confluens Lourenco, Touloun & Boumezzough, 2012

A new species belonging to the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) is described from the region of Alhamra near the road between Chefchaouen and Tétouan, in northern Morocco. Buthus confluens sp. n., shows clear morphological affinities with Buthus ibericus, described from Cádiz province in southern Spain. The new species may represent the first known link between African and European species of Buthus.

Lourenco WR, Touloun O, Boumezzough A. Un nouveau Buthus Leach, 1815 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) du nord du Maroc; possible lien entre les populations Marocaines et Européennes. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2012 (21):21-5.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Buthidae

A seven-legged scorpion

David David has recently published a paper describing a leg absence anomaly in a female Scorpio maurus fuscus (Ehrenberg, 1829) (Scorpionidae) found in Israel. This is a birth defect and not an injury.

A teratological leg absence anomaly is reported and discussed in a Scorpio maurus fuscus (Scorpionidae) specimen from Israel. In this scorpion, the third right leg is completely missing, and the fourth right leg has a deformed coxa, which abuts the entire lateral edge of the sternum. The area anterior to the sternum is visibly curved to the right. This is the first leg absence anomaly reported in scorpions.

David D. A Seven-Legged Scorpion: the First Teratological Leg Absence Found in Scorpio maurus fuscus (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae). Euscorpius. 2012 (151):1-4. [Free full text]

07 January, 2013

Scorpions of medical importance in Mali

Max Goyffon and co-workers have recently published an interesting article about potential medical important scorpions in Mali. Little is known about the venom potential of species in this regions so this is an important contribution to our knowledge of African scorpionism.

Androctonus amoreuxi (Audouin, 1826), A. australis (Linnaeus, 1758) and Leiurus quinquestriatus (Ehrenberg, 1828) in the family Buthidae are identified as medical important in Mali.

Although the main Malian scorpion species of medical interest, Androctonus amoreuxi, is responsible for severe envenomings and perhaps some deaths, it has hitherto been considered not dangerous for humans. This population is located in the Saharian North-Eastern regions of Mali where it is accompanied by Leiurus quinquestriatus, a well known dangerous species of the Sahara. In the Gao district, divided by the Niger River, less desolate than the Tessalit and Kidal regions, one specimen of the dangerous species Androctonus australis was found. To summarize, Mali harbors at least three dangerous scorpion species: Leiurus quinquestriatus, Androctonus amoreuxi and A. australis, the latter recently having been identified in Mali for the first time. The absence of Androctonus aeneas is surprising in this context because it is found in neighboring countries (Algeria, Niger) and should be detected by new surveys. The possibility of preparing a single scorpion antivenom intended for Saharian and sub-Saharian populations is discussed.

Goyffon M, Dabo A, Coulibaly SK, Togo G, Chippaux JP. Dangerous scorpion fauna of Mali. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2012;18(4):361-8. [Free full text]

Molecular systematics of the genys Tityus

Adolfo Borges and co-workers published an important study on the molecular systematics of the genus Tityus C. L. Koch, 1836 (Buthidae) back in 2010. By a mistake, I never mentioned this article in my blog. But better late than never.

This paper has important results relating to taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography and medical importance of the genus Tityus in South America.

We provide a mitochondrial DNA-based phylogenetic hypothesis for 21 Tityus species collected in Venezuela, Trinidad, Brazil and Panama, including 12 taxa known to be toxic to humans. Our phylogenetic reconstruction is based on 850 nucleotides of the combined cytochrome oxidase subunit I and 16S rRNA genes for most species, and centered on Venezuelan scorpions owing to the detailed taxonomic and biogeographic information available for Tityus in this region. The principal phylogenetic result was the strong support for mtDNA clades representing geographical groupings associated with the Perija´ mountain range, the Me´ rida Andes, or the central and eastern coastal ranges in Venezuela, suggesting that vicariance has been a potent force in the diversification of local scorpions. Venezuelan Tityus species have been organized by Gonza´ lez-Sponga into three artificial morphological groups, ‘‘androcottoides’’, ‘‘discrepans’’, and ‘‘nematochirus’’, based on the array of ventral carinae in metasomal segments II–IV. We also incorporated a fourth morphological group (‘‘Tityus clathratus’’), recently documented in Venezuela. Our results do not support the clustering of the species in the ‘‘androcottoides’’ and ‘‘discrepans’’ morphological groups, which include the majority of taxa of medical importance, but provided support for the ‘‘nematochirus’’ species group. T. clathratus was found to cluster with the Brazilian T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis. Divergence times of most clades are consistent with major events in the geological history of northern Venezuela and suggest that many Venezuelan Tityus species formed in the late Miocene and the Pliocene. In turn, we used the Tityus mtDNA phylogeny to determine the potential utility of phylogenetic systematics to predict Tityus venom antigenic reactivity by testing the recognition of T. nororientalis, T. discrepans, T. zulianus, T. perijanensis, and T. clathratus venoms by anti- T. discrepans horse antibodies. Cross-reactivity was significantly higher for the closely related eastern (T. nororientalis) and central coastal (T. discrepans) species in comparison to the distantly related Andean (T. zulianus) and Perija´ (T. perijanensis) species. Reactivity of T. clathratus low mol. mass toxic components towards anti-T. serrulatus and anti-T. discrepans antivenoms was low, suggesting that venom components produced by the subgenus Archaeotityus (which encompass ‘‘clathratus’’ species) diverge antigenically from other Tityus scorpions.

Borges A, Bermingham E, Herrera N, Alfonzo MJ, Sanjur OI. Molecular systematics of the neotropical scorpion genus Tityus (Buthidae): The historical biogeography and venom antigenic diversity of toxic Venezuelan species. Toxicon. 2010;55(2-3):436-54. [Subscription required for full text]

06 January, 2013

Revision of Microtityus in the Dominican Republic - Five new species

Luis de Armas and Rolando Teruel have recently published a revision of the genus Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966 (Buthidae) in the Dominican Republic. Five new species are described, all of them previously misidentified as other species.

Microtityus barahona Armas & Teruel, 2012
Microtityus lourencoi Armas & Teruel, 2012
Microtityus prendinii Armas & Teruel, 2012
Microtityus reini Armas & Teruel, 2012
Microtityus solegladi Armas & Teruel, 2012

A sixth species was also identified, but not formally named in this paper. In addition, Microtityus starri Lourenco & Huber, 199 was restored as a valid species (previously synonymized with M. rickyi Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966).

On a personal note I will declare that I have a new favorite species in the scorpion world! ;)

The scorpions of the genus Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966 of the Dominican Republic are revised, and five new species, all of them previously misidentified, are described; also, a sixth species is identified but not formally named. Diagnoses are emended for the subgenera Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966 and Parvabsonus Armas, 1974, and for all the Dominican species. With those additions the number of Dominican species of this genus rises to 11. Microtityus starri Lourenço & Huber, 1999 is restored as a valid taxon, whereas M. ambarensis (Schawaller, 1982) is transferred to the subgenus Parvabsonus.

de Armas LF, Teruel R. Revisión del género Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) en República Dominicana. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2012 (21):69-88.

A specially thanks to Luis de Armas and Rolando Teruel for naming one of the new species after me and thereby honoring my work with The Scorpion Files project! An additional thanks to Rolando for sending me this paper!

04 January, 2013

Euscorpius sting case from Italy

Dutto and co-workers have recently published a case where a pregnant women where stung by an Euscorpius flavicaudis (DeGeer, 1778) (Euscorpiidae) during house work in her home. All Euscorpius species are known to be harmless, and fortunately this paper also confirms this.

We report a case in which a 21-week pregnant woman was stung by a Euscorpius flavicaudis (De Geer, 1778) scorpion. Symptoms and signs experienced by the patient were the same as those documented in the literature and with no ill-effects for the pregnancy. Envenoming was local and of low degree of intensity. It is important to emphasize that the patient was stung in her home, which differs from stings in most other parts of the world, in which scorpionism is mostly a risk in outdoor areas.

Dutto M, dutto L, Bertero M, Goyffon M. Stings from Euscorpius flavicaudis (De Geer, 1778) (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae) during pregnancy: a clinical case report. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2012;18(4):462-6. [Free full text]

03 January, 2013

On the widespread Isometrus maculatus and its adaptive ability

Wilson Lourenco and John Clodusley-Thompson have published a short note discussing the distribution of Isometrus maculatus (DeGeer, 1778) (Buthidae) and possible limitations to the species invasive abilities.

Isometrus maculatus is the most widely distributed scorpion in the world being found in most tropical and subtropical coastal regions. The species' natural origin is probably Sri Lanka, as this is the only place where the species is found under natural conditions inland. The scorpion has probably spread through human activities and its remarkable reproductive potential is probably the most possible explanation for the species distributional success.

The species has rarely been collected in desert and arid areas, and Lourenco and Cloudsley-Thompson conclude that dry climate is probably the main limitation for this opportunistic species' ability to colonize new areas.

No abstract.

Lourenco WR, Cloudsley Thompson JL. Introduction and Adaptation of Isometrus maculatus (DeGeer, 1778) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) in arid and desert formations. Newsl Br Aarchnol Soc. 2012 (125):8-9.

Development and reproduction in two species of Tityus

Michael Seiter has recently published a paper investigating the juvenile instars and reproductive biology of the two neotropical species Tityus confluens Borelli, 1899 and T. ocelote (Francke & Stockwell, 1987) (Buthidae).

Main results are available in the abstract below, but I will mention that this work confirms parthenogenesis (and no males for three generations) for Tityus confluens.

The life cycle and postembryonic development of Tityus confluens Borelli, 1899 and Tityus ocelote (Francke & Stockwell, 1987) are for the first time described. The duration of embryonic development was estimated to range from 86 to 184 (N = 11) days in T. confluens and 68 to 72 (N = 4) days in T. ocelote. The molts between juvenile instars and adult stage took place at the average ages of 5, 38, 106 and 157 days in T. confluens and 4, 60, 62 and 97 days in T. ocelote. Compared with other species of the family Buthidae in the same range of size the figures are similar. The morphometric growth factor (Dyar’s constant) are higher than those observed for other scorpions of the genus Tityus of the same size. Parthenogenesis is confirmed for T. confluens based on captive bred females raised in isolation since offspring (N = 156). No males were observed over a period of 3 generations.

Seiter M. Developmental stages and reproductive biology in Tityus confluens borelli, 1899 and Tityus ocelote (Francke & Stockwell, 1987) (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2012 (21):113-8.

Thanks to Michael Seiter for sending me his paper!

02 January, 2013

A new fossil family/genus/species described from Amber from Myanmar (Burma)

Wilson Lourenco has recently described a new fossil family, genus and species from Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Burma).

Family Palaeotrilineatidae Lourenco, 2012
Genus Palaeotrilineatus Lourenco, 2012
Species Palaeotrilineatus ellenbergeri Lourenco, 2012

A fossil scorpion belonging to a new family, Palaeotrilineatidae fam. n., and to a new genus and species, Palaeotrilineatus ellenbergeri sp. n., is described from Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (Burma). This is the fourth species and the fifth scorpion specimen to be described from Burmese amber. In the light of the previously described families, Electrochaerilinae and Chaerilobuthidae, the description of the new family Palaeotrilineatidae brings further evidence to the phylogenetic position of Burmese Cretaceous amber scorpions, lying at the base of the extant families Buthidae, Chaerilidae and Pseudochactidae.

Lourenco WR. About the scorpion fossils from the Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (Burma) with the descriptions of a new family, genus and species. Acta Biologica Paranaense, Curitiba. 2012;41(3-4):75-87.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Nine new species from mountain areas in Chad


Wilson Lourenco, Bernard Duhem and John Cloudsley-Thompson have recently published a paper describing nine new species based on materials from a collection of scorpions from the Ennedi, Kapka and Tibesti mountain massifs in Chad.


Androctonus pallidus Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012

Buthacus golovatchi Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012

Butheoloides granulatus Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012

Buthus hassanini Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012

Compsobuthus boucheti Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012

Hottentotta mateui Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012

Orthochirus minor Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012
Orthochirus tibesti Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012


Scorpio ennedi Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012


Lourenco WR, Duhem B, Cloudsley Thompson JL. Scorpions from Ennedi, Kapka and Tibesti, the mountains of Chad, with descriptions of nine new species (Scorpiones: Buthidae, Scorpionidae). Arthropoda Selecta. 2012;21(4):307-38. [Free full text]

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Buthidae

Family Scorpionidae