26 February, 2014

A new Euscorpius species from Italy

The new Euscorpius species is so far only known from the Naples Province in Italy.
Gioele Tropea and co-workers have studies an Euscorpius population in the Naples Province (including the Capri island) and concluded that this is an unique species.The populations in this area was previously included in E. sicanus and E, tergestinus (Capri population).

Euscorpius parthenopeius Tropea, Parmakelis, Sziszkosz, Balanika & Bouderka, 2014 (Euscorpiidae)

The new species is anthropotolerant (as many other species in the genus). It was collected in inhabited areas such as in the city of Naples, inside a classroom of an art institute and in the ruins made of tuff bricks, but also in lapidicolous and corticolous habitats.

The name is an ancient name for the city of Naples and has nothing to do with parthenogenesis.

A new scorpion species, Euscorpius parthenopeius sp. n., is described from Naples Province, Italy. It is characterized by long-limbed overall appearance, medium size, light to medium brown to reddish color, and a typical trichobothrial count (Pv = 8–9, et = 6, em = 4, and eb = 4). Due to its morphological ambiguity, it cannot be included in any of the described subgenera of the genus. We include in the new species three specimens from Capri Island described among syntypes of E. carpathicus ilvanus Di Caporiacco, 1950.

Tropea G, Parmakelis A, Sziszkosz N, Balanika K, Bouderka A. A new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 from Naples Province, Italy (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2014 (182):1-12. [Free full text]

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me their article!

Family Euscorpiidae

21 February, 2014

A new Hottentotta from Southern Morocco

The new species, Hottentotta sousai, is closely related to H. gentili.
Carlos Turiel has recently published a new species of Hottentotta (Buthidae) from southern Morocco.

Hottentotta sousai Turiel, 2014

A new scorpion species, Hottentotta sousai sp. n. is described based on two males and two females collected around Tan-Tan, in southern Morocco. Sousa et al. (2011) reported four distinct clades within the genus Hottentotta from Morocco. This description of a new species is based on the specimens from the Low Draa Valley clade, which is closely related to Hottentotta gentili (Pallary, 1924). The new species, however, differs from the central clade of H. gentili by 12.1% divergence in COI mitochondrial DNA sequence, and is morphologically characterized primarily by very dense setation over all body parts and a lower length to width ratio of all metasomal segments.

Turiel C. A New Species of Hottentotta Birula, 1908 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Southern Morocco. Euscorpius. 2014 (181):1-9.

Family Buthidae

20 February, 2014

Hormuridae reinstalled after study on the evolution, biogeography and phylogeny of Indo-Pacific taxa

Indo-Pacific hormurid scorpion phylogeny from one of the two new studies on hormurid scorpions.
Lionel Monod and Lorenzo Prendini have recently published a major study on the evolution, biogeography and phylogeny of Indo-Pacific scorpions belonging to several genera previously placed in Hemiscorpiidae. This is a complicated study and I recommend to read the paper to get all details concerning the conclusions listed below.

Another paper by Monod, Harvey and Prendini on hormurid scorpions was published in the end of last year. This paper actually preceded the Monod & Prendini paper in content, and I have therefor not written about it until now, when the latter paper is published. In the first paper three new species of Hormurus are described and the evolution of burrowing behavior in the reinstalled family Hormuridae is discussed.

Main conclusions:

Family Hormuridae Laurie, 1896 is elevated to family rank after being a subfamily in Hemiscorpiidae.

The genera Hormiops Fage, 1933 and Hormurus Thorell, 1876, previously placed in synonymy with Liocheles Sundevall, 1833, are reinstated as valid genera. See Scorpion Files family page for list of species which are included in the reinstalled genera.

Genera Cheloctonus Pocock, 1892, Chiromachetes Pocock, 1899, Chiromachus Pocock, 1893, Hadogenes Kraepelin, 1894, Hormiops Fage, 1933, Hormurus Thorell, 1876, Iomachus Pocock, 1893, Liocheles Sundevall, 1833, Opisthacanthus Peters, 1861, Palaeocheloctonus Lourenco, 1996 and Tibetiomachus are included in Hormuridae.

The family Hemiscorpiidae includes now only the genus Hemiscorpius Peters, 1861.

Based on the conclusions in the current paper, I have chosen to reinstall the family Heteroscorpionidae Kraepelin, 1905 in The Scorpion Files and moved the genus Heteroscorpion Birula, 1903 from Hemiscorpiidae to Heteroscorpionidae. See familiy pages (links below) for more details.

The following new species are described from Australia:

Hormurus ischnoryctes Monod & Prendini, 2013
Hormurus macrochela Monod, 2013
Hormurus ochyroscapter Monod, 2013

Hormurus longimanus (Locket, 1995) is reinstated as the valid name for this species and the replacement name, Liocheles extensus Locket, 1997 is placed in synonymy.

Abstract 1:
Scorpions previously assigned to the genus Liocheles Sundevall, 1883, of the family Hormuridae Laurie, 1896, are widely distributed in the tropical forests of the Indo-Pacific region. Revisionary systematics of these poorly known scorpions has revealed a tremendous diversity of species. As part of an ongoing investigation, the first analysis of Indo-Pacific hormurid scorpion phylogeny based on morphological data scored for all currently recognized species of Hormiops Fage, 1933, Hormurus Thorell, 1876, and Liocheles, is presented. The taxonomy of these scorpions is reassessed and their biogeography reinterpreted in the light of the phylogeny. Phylogenetic, morphological, and distributional data support the revalidation of Hormiops and Hormurus, previously synonymized with Liocheles. The phylogeny indicates that the Australasian hormurids are more closely related to the Afrotropical and Neotropical hormurids than to the Indian hormurids, as previously proposed, refuting the “out-of-India” origin of Asian hormurids. A recent paleogeographical hypothesis, the “Eurogondwana model”, is supported instead. According to this hypothesis, hormurid scorpions colonized Laurasia from Africa via the Apulia microplate (Europa terrane) in the Cretaceous, subsequently colonized the Australo-Papuan archipelago in the early-mid Cenozoic, and then went extinct in the Northern Hemisphere during the second half of the Cenozoic. These results suggest that, contrary to the traditional paradigm, dispersal and extinction may affect spatial and temporal biotic distributions as much as vicariance, even in animals with limited vagility, such as scorpions.

Abstract 2:
Three new species from the semi-arid ecosystems of Queensland, Australia, are described in the present contribution: Hormurus ischnoryctes n. spec., Hormurus macrochela n. spec., Hormurus ochyroscapter n. spec. Additionally, the discovery of the first female specimens of Hormurus longimanus (Locket, 1995) from the Northern Territory of Australia, as well as additional diagnostic characters and locality records for this species, warranted its redescription. Hormurus longimanus (Locket, 1995) is reinstated as the valid name for this species and the replacement name, Liocheles extensus Locket, 1997 placed in synonymy. Unlike most species of Hormurus and of the closely related genera, Hormiops Fage, 1933 and Liocheles Sundevall, 1883, which inhabit humid tropical ecosystems (evergreen forests), the four Australian species treated here inhabit seasonally dry (monsoon) habitats, and two of these (H. ischnoryctes and H. ochyroscapter) are the first fossorial hormurids to be recorded in Australia, and the first fossorial species of Hormurus to be described. The four species treated here appear to be relicts of an old hygrophilous lineage that sustained a major adaptive radiation during the late Tertiary aridification of the continent. Endemism and conservation issues coneerning these phylogenetically valuable species are discussed in the context of high sensitivity to habitat disturbance and high risk of extinction of stenotopic species.

Reference 1:
Monod L, Prendini L. Evidence for Eurogondwana: The roles of dispersal, extinction and vicariance in the evolution and biogeography of Indo-Pacific Hormuridae (Scorpiones: Scorpionoidea). Cladistics. 2014;In Press. [Subscription required for full text]

Reference 2:
Monod L, Harvey MS, Prendini L. Stenotopic Hormurus Thorell, 1876 scorpions from the monsoon ecosystems of northern Australia, with a discussion on the evolution of burrowing behaviour in Hormuridae Laurie, 1896. Rev Suisse Zool. 2013 Jun;120(2):281-346.

Family Hormuridae
Family Hemiscorpiidae
Family Heteroscorpionidae

14 February, 2014

Two new species of Microtityus from Puerto Rico

One of the two new species of Microtityus recently discovered in Puerto Rico.
Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently described two new species of Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966 (Buthidae) from Puerto Rico.

Microtityus borincanus Teruel, Rivera & Sanchez, 2014
Microtityus santosi Teruel, Rivera & Sanchez, 2014

This is the first record of Microtityus from Puerto Rico.

In the present note, we report for the first time the genus Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966, from Puerto Rico, on the basis of two new species belonging to the subgenus Parvabsonus Armas, 1974. One of them occurs in the southwest of the main island and is morphologically most similar to Microtityus virginiae Armas, 1999, from Hispaniola, while the other occurs in a small satellite islet offshore the northeast coast and somewhat resembles Microtityus waeringi Francke & Sissom, 1980, from the Virgin Islands.

Teruel R, Rivera MJ, Sanchez AJ. First record of the genus Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966, from Puerto Rico, with description of two new species (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2014 (180):1-11. [Free full text]

Thanks to Rolando Teruel for sending me their article!

Family Buthidae

10 February, 2014

A new species of Neoscorpiops from India

The new species of Neoscorpiops from India resembles Hadogenes spp. from South Africa (and both are rock dwellers).
A new species of Neoscorpiops (Euscorpiidae) from India has been described by Zeeshan Mirza and co-workers.

Neoscorpiops maharashtraensis Mirza, Sanap & Upadhye, 2014

A new species of scorpion of the genus Neoscorpiops Vachon, 1980 is described from Northern Maharashtra. Neoscorpiops maharashtraensis sp. nov. is a medium-sized scorpion species ranging from 36 to 42 mm. Carapace, mesosoma and metasoma brown, legs and telson yellow; pedipalp in a shade of brown with carinae dark drown to black. Granulation on carapace coarse, with a few smooth patches; on mesosoma, which is restricted to the posterior half. Anterior margin of carapace with a moderately deep ‘‘U’’-shaped emargination medially lacking elevated edges. Pectines well developed 7/7. Trichobothria on patella ventral 13–16. Pedipalp chela narrow and elongate in males, length-to-width ratio in males is 4.86–5.05.

Mirza ZA, Sanap RV, Upadhye R. A new species of scorpion of the genus Neoscorpiops Vachon, 1980 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) from India. Comptes Rendus Biologies. 2014;In Press. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Zeeshan Mirza for sending me their article.

Family Euscorpiidae

04 February, 2014

New Euscorpius from Tinos Island, Greece

The new Euscorpius is named after Austrian zoologist Erich Kritscher (1927-2010).

 Victor fet and co-workers have recently published the discovery of yet another "hidden" Euscorpius species from Greece, more precisely from the Greek island of Tinos.

E. kritscheri Fet, Soleglad, Parmakelis, Kotsakiozi & Stathi, 2013

The number of Euscorpius species in Greece is now 12.

The scorpion genus Euscorpius has been insufficiently studied on the Aegean Islands of Greece. We describe a new species from the Western Cyclades, E. kritscheri sp. n., from Tinos Island. The species-level status of this form is confirmed by a phylogenetic study based on multiple DNA markers. In addition, a population from nearby Andros Island is characterized as E. cf. kritscheri, which could be potentially a separate species

Fet V, Soleglad M, Parmakelis A, Kotsakiozi P, Stathi I. A new species of Euscorpius from Tinos Island, Greece (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2013 (23):3-10.

Thanks to Professor Victor Fet for sending me his article!

Family Euscorpiidae