29 January, 2014

A new species of Chactas from Ecuador

Wilson Lourenco has discovered a new species of Chactas from Ecuador.
Wilson Lourenco has recently described a new species of Chactas Gervais, 1844 (Chactidae) from Ecuador.

Chactas moreti Lourenco, 2014

A new species, Chactas moreti sp. n., is described from Ecuadorian Amazonia. It can be distinguished from  Chactas mahnerti Lourenço, 1995, the other known species of this genus from Ecuador by its smaller body  size, distinct morphometric values, overall darker blackish-brown coloration, totally smooth vesicle, and  a concave anterior margin of carapace. This is the second confirmed record of the genus Chactas Gervais  from Ecuador. The geographical pattern of distribution of the genus is also discussed.

Lourenco WR. The second confirmed record of the scorpion genus Chactas Gervais, 1844 (Scorpiones, Chactidae) from Ecuador with description of a new species from the Amazonian Province of Sucumbíos. ZooKeys. 2014;372:17-26. [Free full text]

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Chactidae

22 January, 2014

Update on scorpion biodiversity in West Central Mexico

Mexico hosts a great scorpion diversity and Javier Ponce-Saavedra and Oscar Francke have now published a paper presenting the current knowledge of scorpion biodiversity in West Central Mexico. The paper is in Spanish and I have only been able to read the abstract.

The current state of knowledge about the biodiversity of scorpions in West Central Mexico is presented. We recorded 67 species (25.6% of  total for the country). The states of Guerrero and Michoacan have the highest richness with 24 and 23 species respectively. Twelve species of the  genus Centruroides are of medical importance because morbidity and mortality recorded by the Secretaría de Salud. Guerrero and Michoacan  have five species of medical importance, representing the greatest number within the states included in this contribution. Scorpionism in this  region is relevant due to the number of species of medical importance and the high incidence and mortality occurring yet. By grouping species  we can distinguish three zones of scorpion fauna affinity according to Jaccard Index

Ponce-Saavedra J, Francke OF. Actualización taxonómica sobre alacranes del Centro Occidente de México. Dugesiana. 2013;20(2):73-9. [Free full text]

Thanks to Oscar Francke for sending me this paper!

17 January, 2014

Fatal scorpion sting in child in Nigeria

Not easy to identify the involved scorpion in this fatal sting case.
Oyedeji and co-workers have recently published a fatal scorpion sting case involving a child from Nigeria. Reports of scorpion stings in Nigeria in literature are rare, this is probably one of the first documented fatal cases involving scorpions in Nigeria.

The involved species is not identified (but a color picture of a crushed scorpion is included in the article). Based on the distribution list in Scorpiones.pl, buthid genera Babycurus, Buthacus, Butheloides, Hottentotta and Uroplectes are represented in Nigeria. Hottentotta is considered medical significant in North Africa, but the other genera are generally not considered dangerous. But with small children, many buthid species can cause more serious symptoms than those observed in adult victims.The scorpion fauna of Nigeria is not well known, so it is possible that other potent genera and/or species also are present in this country.

NB! After publishing this post, I got a suggestion from Dr. Rolando Teruel that this scorpion may be Hottentotta hottentotta, a species reported from Nigeria.

Fatal scorpion stings are rare in Nigeria. Hitherto, there has been no report from Nigeria of death following scorpion  stings. This report is that of a 2-year-old boy who was stung by a scorpion while playing outside his home environment in  Osogbo, South West Nigeria. He subsequently presented to the Children Emergency Unit of Ladoke Akintola University  of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, in pain and with features of shock. He died within 2 h of admission despite all  treatment given to relieve pain and manage shock. The case is reported in order to share the important lessons learned.

Oyedeji OA, Musa TL, Adebami OJ, Oyedeji GA. Fatal scorpion sting in a child. Niger J Clin Pract. 2014 Jan-Feb;17(1):112-4. [Free full text]

16 January, 2014

All you need to know about the status of Chinese scorpions and scorpion research

A new paper provides an updated review on the status of Chinese scorpions and scorpion research.
China is a vast country with many scorpion species. Even though Chinese scorpions started 2000 years ago, several modern studies in the last decade have updated the knowledge of Chinese scorpions considerable. In a recent article, the Wenxin-Li group present an excellent overview on the general situation of scorpion biodiversity in China. At present, 53 scorpion species of 12 genera of five families are recorded in China.

The new article also present an identification key for Chinese scorpions.

This review describes the history of taxonomic research on scorpions and provides an updated checklist and key of the scorpions currently known in China. This checklist is based on a thorough review of the extant literatures on scorpion species whose  presence has been confirmed in China through field expeditions and examination of scorpion collections, excepting a few members that have no clear distribution or are currently in doubt. Totally, the scorpion fauna of China consists of 53 species and subspecies  belonging to 12 genera crossing five families, with 33 species (62.3%) and one genus being recorded as endemic. Additionally,  identification key and the distribution of scorpions from China are provided.

Di Z-Y, Yang Z-Z, Yin S-J, Cao Z-J, Li W-X. History of study, updated checklist, distribution and key of scorpions (Arachnida: Scorpiones) from China. Zoological Research. 2013;35(1):3-19. [Free full text]

Thanks to Dr. Zhi-Young Di for sending me his paper!

10 January, 2014

Lychas news from the Philippines

Lychas armillatus is restored from synonymy.
Wilson Lourenco has recently rediscovered the type specimen of Lychas armillatus (Gervais, 1841) (Buthidae) from the Philippines. Based on the investigation of the type he concludes that this is a valid species and it is restored from its synonymy with Lychas mucronatus (Fabricius, 1798). 

In addition, Lychas infuscatus (Pocock, 1891) from Philippines is synonymized with L. armillatus.

The type specimen of Scorpio armillatus, described by Gervais in 1841, has been considered lost, or at least mislaid, for a very long time. After several months of research in the collections ofthe Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, the female type specimen was rediscovered in the vial labelled RS-1498. A precise diagnosis of this species leadsto two new conclusions: (i) S. armillatus (= Lychas armillatus) is not a synonym of Lychas mucronatus (Fabricius, 1798), but rather a valid species; (ii) Isometrus infuscatus Pocock,  1891 (= Lychas infuscatus), also described from the Philippines, is a junior synonym of L. armillatus.

Lourenco WR. Redécouverte du type de Scorpio armillatus Gervais, 1841 = Lychas armillatus (Gervais) (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2013 (23):117-8.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article.

Family Buthidae

08 January, 2014

New species in Ananteroides from Mauritania

A new species of Ananteroides have been discovered in Mauritania by Wilson Lourenco.
Wilson Lourenco has recently published an article describing a new species in the small genus Ananteroides Borelli, 1911 (Buthidae) from Mauritania.

Ananteroides inexpectatus Lourenco, 2013

A new species of Ananteroides Borelli is described from the region located about 100 km north of Rosso, in southwestern Mauritania. This is the second species to be described for the genus Ananteroides, which was created more than one century ago. The new species may represent an element endemic to this rather arid part of Mauritania. 

Lourenco WR. Une nouvelle espece de Ananteroides Borelli, 1911,  de Mauritanie (Scorpiones, Buthidae) Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2013 (23):79-81.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Buthidae

07 January, 2014

Rhopalurus caribensis back from synonymy

Rhopalurus caribensis is back again as valid species. Picture from Teruel & Roncallo, 2008 (C).
In 2012, Eudardo Florez published an article synonymizing Rhopalurus caribensis Teruel & Roncallo, 2008 (Buthidae) with Rhopalurus laticauda Thorell, 1876. This decision is now refuted in an unusual detailed way by Teruel & Roncallo. The latter authors show in their research note inadequacies, misidentifications and erroneously interpreted data in the Florenz paper. From this it can only be concluded at the synonymization of R. caribensis is not confirmed and this species should still be considered as valid.

No abstract available.

Teruel R, Roncallo CA. Is Rhopalurus caribensis Teruel & Roncallo, 2008, actually a junior synonym of Rhopalurus laticauda Thorell, 1876 (Scorpiones: Buthidae)? A necessary reply. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2013 (23):112-4.

Thanks to Dr. Rolando Teruel for sending me this article!

06 January, 2014

First record of Androctonus australis from Jordan

Androctonus australis is now confirmed for Jordan in recent article.
Michael Seiter and Carlos Turiel have recently published a short note presenting the first record of Androctonus australis (Linneaus, 1758) (Buthidae) from Jordan.

This study reports the first record of Androctonus australis (Linnaeus, 1758) from Jordan. The species is herein recorded from near Al Zarqa‘ city, Al Zarqa‘ province. Body measurements and comparison with similar Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 species in this area are provided.

Seiter M, Turiel C. First record of Androctonus australis (Linnaeus, 1758) from Jordan (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2013 (23):95-8.

Thanks to Carlos Turiel for sending me this article!

02 January, 2014

A new species of Cazierius from Cuba

Rolando Teruel has described a new species of Cazierius from Cuba.
Rolando Teruel is continuing his studies of the scorpion fauna of Cuba and this time he presents a new species of Cazierius Francke, 1978 (Scorpionidae).

Cazierius granulosus Teruel, 2013

Cazierius granulosus sp.n. is herein described upon a single female collected on the southern coast of Granma province, eastern Cuba. The new taxon is very easy to distinguish from all of its congeners by the fine and dense granulation that covers almost the entire body and appendages, the elongate shape of the pedipalps, and the increased setation of pedipalp chelae. This is the seventh Cuban representative of the genus, and raises the species of the subfamily and the order in the country to 14 and 55, respectively.

Teruel R. La subfamilia Diplocentrinae (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae) en Cuba. Sexta parte: Nueva especie de Cazierius Francke 1978. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2013 (23):43-8.

Thanks to Rolando for sending me his article!

Family Scorpionidae

New database for scorpion distribution available from Scorpiones.pl

This years scorpion Christmas present. A database with scorpion distribution around the world.
Jacek Szubert and Scorpiones.pl have opened a new database making it possible to check scorpion distribution by countries. This is a very much needed and greatly welcomed resource for scorpion enthusiasts and I hope that it will be updated when new information about scorpion distribution are published in the future.

Scorpion distribution by countries (from Scorpiones.pl)

Thanks to Jacek Szubert and Scorpiones.pl for sharing this resource with us!