28 June, 2013

Scorpiops kraepelini restored to species status

Wilson Lourenco has recently restored Scorpiops kraepelini Lourenco, 1998 (Euscorpiidae) from Pakistan to species status. It has previously been in synonymization with Scorpiops lindbergi Vachon, 1980.

Scorpiops kraepelini Lourenço, 1998, described from Pakistan and previously placed in the synonymy of Scorpiops lindbergi Vachon, 1980 from Afghanistan, is revalidated. A more accurate analysis of several characters in both species clearly demonstrates that this synonymy is invalid and that it was based on a subjective and unjustified decision.

Lourenco WR. Sur l’identite de deux especes du genre Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae, Scorpiopinae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2013 (22):67-9.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Euscorpiidae

New Buthus species described from Sicily, Italy

Wilson Lourenco and Andrea Rossi have recently published a very interesting discovery of a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) from Sicily, Italy. This is the first discovery of a member of the family of Buthidae from Italy.

Buthus trinacrius Lourenco & Rossi, 2013

Unfortunately, the species is probably extinct. The new species is described from old museum materials, and field work on Sicily has not revealed any specimens. Urbanization and habitat destruction is suggested as potential causes for the extinction. If anyone finds Buthus on Sicily, please let me know!

The paper also discuss biogeographical and ecological implications of the disovery, and the authors also discuss the validity of their finding.

A new species belonging to the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) is described from Palermo province, in Sicily. Buthus trinacrius sp. n. shows morphological affinities with Buthus occitanus (Amoreux), originally described from southern France, but, in some characters, also with some African Buthus species. For morphological, biogeographical and geological reasons, the new species could represent a link between African and European Buthus populations. If Buthus inhabited the Italian Peninsula in past geological times, it probably regressed and became extinct due to severe climatic modifications which took place since the end of the Tertiary period. Regarding the occurrence in Sicily of Buthus, surely still present on the island during the 19th century but maybe extinct now, a possible explanation could be the heavy urbanization of the Palermo region.

Lourenco WR, Rossi A. Confirmation of a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 from Sicily (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Biogeographical implications. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2013 (22):9-14.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Buthidae

Scorpionism in French Guiana

Benmesbah Mohamed and co-workers have recently published a epidemiological study on scorpion envenomations in French Guiana.

Scorpion envenomations are an increasing problem in French Guiana, but so far there have been no deaths recorded. Only a few serious cases are presented in this paper, all involving young children. Involving scorpions are usually not identified (color and claw size only), but serious cases probably have Tityus species involved (e.g. Tityus obscurus is a common black species in French Guyana).

The authors conclude that scorpion envenomations in French Guiana pose no major medical problem, but warn that cases involving children may be more serious and should be monitored carefully.

Scorpion envenomation is a poorly explored problem in French Guiana. The aim of our study was to describe the epidemiological and clinical features of scorpion stings.
Methods: Our study is retrospective. It was conducted in the emergency department (ED) of Cayenne General Hospital study, over an 8-year period (2003–2010).
Results: During the study period, 253 patients presented to the emergency department with a history of a scorpion stings. The mean incidence was 32 8 cases per year. The peak of incidence was observed in April and May which are the rainiest months in the year. In most cases, the envenomation occurred between 6:00 and 11:00 am. The site of the sting was on the extremities (hand or foot) in 81% of cases. The scorpion was identified or brought to the hospital in 113 cases. It was described as a slim pincers scorpion in 97 cases. The mean time elapsed between the scorpion sting and admission was 4 5 h. The main clinical symptoms at admission to the ED were local signs in 178 cases (70.4%), digestive disorders in 13 cases, neurologic manifestations in 18 cases, and respiratory manifestations in 7cases. Adrenergic syndrome was found in 117 cases (46.2%), and cholinergic syndrome in 5 cases (2%). Hypertension was found in 80 patients, 14 of them had already a history of chronic hypertension. Overall, a total of 118 patients (46.6%) had Class I envenoming, 131 patients (51.8%) had Class II envenoming, and 4 patients (1.6%) experienced Class III envenoming. The evolutionwas favorable in all cases and no death was recorded. However, 42 patients (18.2%) were hospitalized in a medical unit and 4 patients were hospitalized in ICU without needing mechanical ventilation, inotropes or vasoactive drugs.
Conclusion: Scorpion envenomation is an increasing accident in French Guiana. Symptoms vary from mild to severe and can require ICU admission. Practitioners have to be made aware of severe cases found mainly in children.

Mohamed B, Guegueniat P, Mayence C, Egmann G, Narcisse E, Gonon S, et al. Epidemiological and clinical study on scorpionism in French Guiana. Toxicon. 2013 Jun 19; Article in Press. [Subscription required for fulltext]

27 June, 2013

Three new species of Ananteris from Brazil

Wilson Lourenco and co-workers are still updating our knowledge on South American scorpions. This time three new species of Ananteris Thorell, 1891 (Buthidae) are described from Brazil.

Ananteris camacan Lourenco, Giupponi & Leguin, 2013
Ananteris desiderio Lourenco, Giupponi & Leguin, 2013
Ananteris infuscata Lourenco, Giupponi & Leguin, 2013

Three new species of the genus Ananteris Thorell have been discovered in Brazil. Ananteris desiderio sp. n., Ananteris camacan sp. n. and Ananteris infuscata sp. n. are respectively described from specimens collected in the regions of São Desidério, Camacã, Rebio UNA and Jequié in the state of Bahia, and Grão Mogol and Novo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. New records are also proposed for Ananteris luciae Lourenço, Ananteris mauryi Lourenço and Ananteris franckei Lourenço. The number of known Ananteris species known in the scorpion fauna of Brazil is now raised to 24.

Lourenco WR, Giupponi APL, Leguin E-A. Description of three more new species of the genus Ananteris Thorell, 1891 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) from Brazil. An Acad Bras Cienc. 2013;85(2):371-87. [Free full text - Link to Table of Content page because direct link to issue didn't work when I tested]

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his recent paper!

Family Buthidae

26 June, 2013

A revision of a Mexican Diplocentrus group with three new species

Santibanez-Lopez, Francke and Prendini have recently published a revision of the keyserlingi group of Diplocentrus Peters, 1861 (Scorpionidae) in Mexico. Revised, updated diagnosis are presented for alle species belonging to this group and three new species are described (all from Mexico):

Diplocentrus krapelini Santibanez-Lopez, Francke & Prendini, 2013
Diplocentrus sagittipalpus Santibanez-Lopez, Francke & Prendini, 2013
Diplocentrus sissomi Santibanez-Lopez, Francke & Prendini, 2013

In addition, Diplocentrus formosus Armas & Martin-Frias, 2003 is reinstated as valid species after previous synonymization with Diplocentrus tehuano Francke, 1977.

The scorpion genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861, comprising more than 50 species, most of which are endemic to Mexico, is the most diverse in the family Diplocentridae Karsch, 1880 (Santibáñez-López et al., 2011). Hoffmann (1931) divided the Mexican species into two groups, the whitei group and the keyserlingi group, based largely on differences in size and coloration. Francke (1977) redefined these groups. The whitei group, renamed the mexicanus group because it included the type species of the genus, comprised species with short cheliceral fingers and the pedipalp femur wider than high. The keyserlingii group comprised species with long cheliceral fingers and the pedipalp femur higher than wide. Several new species of Diplocentrus were since described, but no attempt was made to synthesize the taxonomy of the species assigned to either group or further clarify the validity of the groups. In the present contribution, the species of Diplocentrus with the pedipalp femur higher than wide are reviewed. An operational diagnosis is provided for the keyserlingii group. Diplocentrus formosus Armas and Martín-Frías, 2003, previously synonymized with Diplocentrus tehuano Francke, 1977, is reinstated. Revised, updated diagnoses are provided for all previously described species and three new species, Diplocentrus kraepelini, n. sp., Diplocentrus sagittipalpus, n. sp., and Diplocentrus sissomi, n. sp., are described. The female of Diplocentrus mitlae Francke, 1977, is described for the first time. A dichotomous key is provided for identification of the 10 species in the keyserlingii group.

Santibanez-Lopez CE, Francke OF, Prendini L. Systematics of the keyserlingii group of Diplocentrus Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Diplocentridae), with descriptions of three new species from Oaxaca, Mexico. American Museum Novitates. 2013 (3777):1-47. [Free full text]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this paper!

Family Scorpionidae

24 June, 2013

A new species of Buthus from Algeria

Wilson Lourenco has recently described a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) from Algeria.

Buthus pusillus Lourenco, 2013

During the last 12 years, the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 (family Buthidae) was the subject of an impressive number of studies. These concerned particularly the species belonging to the ‘Buthus occitanus’ complex. A number of populations previously considered as subspecies or varieties of Buthus occitanus Leach were raised to the rank of species, but also many new species were described. Most of the species considered in these studies come from North Africa, in particular from Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia and Egypt, but only one new species was recorded from Algeria. At present, one more new species of Buthus, B. pusillus sp. n., is described from the Algerian Atlas Mountains, raising the number of confirmed Buthus in Algeria to four.

Lourenco WR. A new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 from Algeria (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Entomologische Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum Hamburg. 2013;16(189):63-8.

Thanks to Professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Buthidae

New species of Grosphus from Madagascar

Wilson Lourenco has discovered a new species of Grosphus Simon, 1880 (Buthidae) from Central Madagascar.

Grosphus rossii Lourenco, 2013

A new species of scorpion belonging to the genus Grosphus (Buthidae) is described from the Central region of Madagascar. By its general morphology and pattern of coloration it shows clear affinities with species found in the Southwest portion of the island. The discovery of one more new species of Grosphus in the island brings further evidence to the existence of patterns of micro-endemism among Malagasy scorpions.

Lourenco WR. A new species of Grosphus Simon, 1880 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) from Central Madagascar. Entomologische Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum Hamburg. 2013;16(189):57-62.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Buthidae

10 June, 2013

Euscorpius avcii confirmed for Samos, Greece

Aristeidis Parmakelis and co-workers have studied the Euscorpius population on the Greek island of Samos and confirmed though morphological and DNA analysis that this population belongs to the recently described species Euscorpius avcii Tropea et al., 2012 (Euscorpiidae) from western Turkey.

Euscorpius avcii Tropea et al., 2012 has been recently described from Dilek Peninsula in western Anatolia (Turkey, Aydın Province). The population from Samos Island in eastern part of the Aegean Sea is found to match closely the Anatolian E. avcii, making it a new, rare species for the Greek fauna, confirmed by two DNA markers as well as morphology. Samos also shares with western Anatolia two other local recently described scorpion species, Iurus kinzelbachi and Neocalchas gruberi (family Iuridae).

Parmakelis A, Kotsakiozi P, Tropea G, Yağmur EA, Stathi I, Fet V, et al. DNA markers confirm presence of Euscorpius avcii Tropea et al., 2012 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) on Samos Island, Greece. Euscorpius. 2013 (161):1-6. [Free full text]

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me this paper!

06 June, 2013

A new Tityus from Ecuador

Wilson Lourenco and Eric Ythier have recently published a new species of Tityus C. L. Koch, 1836 (Buthidae) from Ecuador.

Tityus crassicauda Lourenco & Ythier, 2013

A new species of Tityus, subgenus Atreus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) is described from the Province of Pichincha in the Ecuadorian Andes. Ecuadorian scorpion fauna remains one of the less well studied among those of South America. Nevertheless, some comments are addressed about its remarkable diversity and high level of endemic elements.

Lourenço W, Ythier E. The remarkable scorpion diversity in the Ecuadorian Andes and description of a new species of Tityus C. L. Koch, 1836 (Scorpiones, Buthidae). ZooKeys. 2013 (307):1-13. [Free full text?]

Thanks to Dr. Lourenco and Eric Ythier for sending me their paper!

Family Buthidae

05 June, 2013

Major revision of Chactopsis with two new genera and four new species

Jose Ochoa and co-workers have recently published a major revision of the genus Chactopsis Kraepelin, 1912 (Chatidae) from South America.

The genus Chactopsis has now eight species and revised diagnosis are presented for all species. Two new species are described:

Chactopsis chullachaqui Ochoa, Rojas-Runjac, Pinto-Da-Rocha & Prendini, 2013
Chactopsis curupira Ochoa, Rojas-Runjac, Pinto-Da-Rocha & Prendini, 2013

Two new genera are described with the following species (species with status "New combination" were transfered from Chactopsis):

Chactopsoides Ochoa, Rojas-Runjac, Pinto-Da-Rocha & Prendini, 2013 - New genus
Chactopsoides anduzei (Gonzalez-Sponga, 1982) - New combination
Chactopsoides gonzalez-Spongai Ochoa, Rojas-Runjac, Pinto-Da-Rocha & Prendini, 2013 - New species
Chactopsoides marachuacaensis (Gonzalez-Sponga, 2004) - New combination
Chactopsoides yanomami (Lourenco, 2011) - New combination

Megachactops Ochoa, Rojas-Runjac, Pinto-Da-Rocha & Prendini, 2013 - New genus
Megachactops coriaceo (Gonzalez-Sponga, 1991) - New combination
Megachactops kuemoi Ochoa, Rojas-Runjac, Pinto-Da-Rocha & Prendini, 2013 - New species

In additon, Chactopsis carolinae Botero-Trujillo, 2008 is synonymized with Chactopsoides anduzei (Gonzalez-Sponga, 1982).

The paper has a key to the three genera and their species.

The Neotropical chactid scorpion genus Chactopsis Kraepelin, 1912, is revised. New diagnoses are presented for all previously described species, most of which have not been revised since their original description. The trichobothrial pattern is reinterpreted and the hemispermatophore described for the first time. Chactopsis is restricted to eight species, two of which are new: Chactopsis chullachaqui, n. sp., from Peru and Chactopsis curupira, n. sp., from Brazil. Chactopsis insignis Kraepelin, 1912, is redescribed and supplementary data on pedipalp trichobothria and hemispermatophore (where known) provided for Chactopsis amazonica Lourenc¸o and Francke, 1986, Chactopsis barajuri Gonzalez-Sponga, 1982, Chactopsis buhrnheimi Lourenco, 2003, Chactopsis siapaensis Gonzalez-Sponga, 1991, and Chactopsis sujirima Gonzalez-Sponga, 1982. Two new genera are created to accommodate the remaining species, formerly assigned to Chactopsis, based on a cladistic analysis of morphological characters. Chactopsoides, n. gen., accommodates Chactopsoides anduzei (Gonzalez-Sponga, 1982), n. comb. (type species), and Chactopsoides marahuacaensis (Gonzalez-Sponga, 2004), n. comb., Chactopsoides gonzalezspongai, n. sp., from Venezuela, and Chactopsoides yanomami (Lourenco et al., 2011), n. comb., from Brazil. Chactopsoides anduzei, n. comb., is redescribed and Chactopsis carolinae Botero-Trujillo, 2008, synonymized with it. Supplementary data on pedipalp trichobothria are provided for C. marahuacaensis, n. comb. Megachactops, n. gen., accommodates Megachactops coriaceo (Gonzalez-Sponga, 1991), n. comb., and Megachactops kuemoi, n. sp. (type species), from Venezuela. Supplementary data on pedipalp trichobothria and hemispermatophore are provided for M. coriaceo, n. comb. A key to identification of the species of Chactopsis, Chactopsoides, n. gen., and Megachactops, n. gen., is provided, their morphology illustrated, and distribution records mapped.

Ochoa JA, Rojas-Runjaic FJM, Pinto-da-Rocha R, Prendini L. Systematic revision of the neotropical scorpion genus Chactopsis Kraepelin, 1912 (Chactoidea: Chactidae), with descriptions of two new genera and four new species. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 2013 2013/05/30;378(1):1-121. [Subscription required for full text from BioOne, but free full text later from the journal homepage]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for informing me about this paper!

Family Chactidae

03 June, 2013

Biogeography of scorpions in the Pseudouroctonus minimus complex in North America

Bryson Jr, Savary and Prendini have recently published a study on the biogeography of scorpions in the Pseudouroctonus minimus complex in North America, and the impact of ecological specialization on species diversification of this group.

Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of pre-Quaternary tectonics and orogeny relative to that of Pleistocene climate change on diversification within the Pseudouroctonus minimus complex, a group of vaejovid scorpions with stenotopic habitat requirements. Location South-western North America (United States and Mexico).
Methods: Multilocus sequence data (1899 base pairs from two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes) were generated from 65 samples of scorpions in the minimus complex. Phylogeographical structure within the minimus complex was explored using model-based phylogenetic methods and a general mixed Yule coalescent model to identify independent geographical clusters. A timecalibrated multilocus species tree was reconstructed using a multispecies coalescent approach. Ancestral areas were estimated at divergence events across the tree using a probabilistic Bayesian approach.
Results: Extensive geographical structure was evident within two wellsupported clades. These clades probably diverged over 25 million years ago (Ma), based on estimated mean divergence dates, followed by 14 divergences in the Miocene (25–5 Ma) and 4 divergences in the Pliocene and Pleistocene (< 5 Ma). The ancestral origin of the minimus complex was reconstructed to be across California and the Mexican Highlands. The Chihuahuan Desert was colonized twice from the Mexican Highlands, and one dispersal event occurred from the Mexican Highlands back to California.
Main conclusions: Spatial and temporal patterns of evolution in the minimus complex support predictions that stenotopy promoted pre-Quaternary diversification. Miocene and Pliocene geomorphology, perhaps in concert with climate change, induced allopatric divergence across the heterogeneous landscape of south-western North America. Stenotopic scorpions such as the minimus complex provide a model for exploring correlations between Earth history and biological diversification.

Bryson Jr RW, Savary WE, Prendini L. Biogeography of scorpions in the Pseudouroctonus minimus complex (Vaejovidae) from south-western North America: implications of ecological specialization for pre-Quaternary diversification. Journal of Biogeography. 2013:Early view. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Robert Bryson Jr for sending me this paper!