30 July, 2015

An updated checklist of the scorpion fauna of Ecuador and a review on their medical importance

Gabriel Brito and Adolfo Borges have recently published an interesting article on the scorpion fauna of Ecuador. Ecuador is a hotspot for scorpion biodiversity and the authors present an updated checklist of the scorpion fauna of this country. Details of distribution and habitat are also presented.

The article also discuss the medical importance of the scorpion fauna of Ecuador.

Ecuador harbors one of the most diverse Neotropical scorpion faunas, hereby updated to 47 species contained within eight genera and five families, which inhabits the “Costa” (n = 17), “Sierra” (n = 34), “Oriente” (n = 16) and “Insular” (n = 2) biogeographical regions, corresponding to the western coastal, Andean, Amazonian, and the Galápagos archipelago regions, respectively. The genus Tityus Koch, in the family Buthidae, responsible for severe/fatal accidents elsewhere in northern South America and the Amazonia, is represented in Ecuador by 16 species, including T. asthenes, which has caused fatalities in Colombia and Panama, and now in the Ecuadorian provinces of Morona Santiago and Sucumbíos. Underestimation of the medical significance of scorpion envenoming in Ecuador arises from the fact that Centruroides margaritatus (Gervais) (family Buthidae) and Teuthraustes atramentarius Simon (family Chactidae), whose venoms show low toxicity towards vertebrates, frequently envenom humans in the highly populated Guayas and Pichincha provinces. This work also updates the local scorpion faunal endemicity (74.5 %) and its geographical distribution, and reviews available medical/biochemical information on each species in the light of the increasing problem of scorpionism in the country. A proposal is hereby put forward to classify the Ecuadorian scorpions based on their potential medical importance.

Brito G, Borges A. A checklist of the scorpions of Ecuador (Arachnida: Scorpiones), with notes on the distribution and medical significance of some species. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2015;21:23. [Open Access]

Thanks to Dr. Borges for sending me this article!

28 July, 2015

A new species of Hottentotta from India

Wilson Lourenco has recently published a paper on the buthid genus Hottentotta Birula, 1908, describing a new species from southern India.

Hottentotta reddyi Lourenco, 2015

The taxonomic position of Hottentotta and its relation to Mesobuthus Vachon, 1950 is discussed.

A new species of scorpion, Hottentotta reddyi sp. n. (Buthidae), is described. The type materials was collected Thorn Scrub vegetation formation, NW of Salem, in the state of Tamil Nadu, in the south of India. This new species may be the first official precise record of a Hottentotta species for this region of India. Some comments are also added about the characters used in the diagnosis of the genus Hottentotta, and their possible need for the definition of subgenera or, at least, groups of species.

Lourenco WR. New considerations on the genus Hottentotta Birula, 1908 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) with the description of one new species from the south of India. Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(2):37-49.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Buthidae

23 July, 2015

A new species of Grosphus from Madagascar

Wilson Lourenco and Lucienne Wilme have investigated scorpion materials collected in the Makay Mountain range in Madagascar. One new species of Grosphus Simon, 1880 (Buthidae) has been described.

Grosphus makay Lourenco & Wilme, 2015

The taxonomic history of Grosphus limbatus (Pocock, 1889) is also discussed.

New considerations regarding Grosphus limbatus (Pocock, 1889), described from an undefined locality in Madagascar, are proposed. One new species, Grosphus makay sp. n., closely allied to G. limbatus, is described from the Makay sandstone mountain range, Atsimo-Andrefana Region (ex Province of Toliara) in south-western Madagascar. The description of the new species brings further evidence of the existence of micro-endemic and vicariant populations within the Malagasy scorpion fauna.

Lourenco WR, Wilme L. Scorpions collected in the Makay mountain range, Madagascar (Scorpiones: Hormuridae, Buthidae) and with description of a new species. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (26):55-61. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Buthidae

22 July, 2015

Two new buthids from Chad

Wilson Lourenco has recently published two new buthids (Buthidae) from Chad.

Butheoloides vanderberghi Lourenco, 2015

Buthus labuschagnei Lourenco, 2015

Two new species belonging to the genera Butheoloides Hirst, 1925 (subgenus Butheoloides Hirst, 1925) and Buthus
Leach, 1815 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) are described from the Zakouma National Park, located in south-eastern Chad. The local
biotope found in the park corresponds to a more mesic environment than those found in the nearby regions, composed of dry
savannahs and the Sahel. The description of the new Butheoloides species brings further evidence to the peri-Saharan pattern of distribution presented by this genus, while the new species of Buthus is probably associated with the ‘Buthus occitanus’ from French occidental Africa (AOF), as previously reported by Vachon from this large region. This is the second record of a Buthus species from Chad.

Lourenco WR. Deux nouvelles espèces de scorpions de la famille des Buthidae C. L. Koch, 1837 collectées dans le Parc National de Zakouma au Tchad. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (26):19-24. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Buthidae

21 July, 2015

A Revision of the Anatolian-Caucasian “Euscorpius mingrelicus Complex” and three new species

Gioele Tropea, Ersen Yagmur and Victor Fet have recently published a revision of the Anatolian-Caucasian “Euscorpius mingrelicus Complex”, which has not been subjected to modern invesigations. As with many of the other "old" Euscorpius species, E. mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874) (Euscorpiidae) also turns out to hide several species.

These are the main conclusions of this study:

The following subspecies (to E. mingrelicus) have been given species status:

Euscorpius ciliciensis Birula, 1898 (Turkey: Konya and Mersin Provinces (eastern part of the Central Taurus Mts.))

Euscorpius phrygius Bonacina, 1980 (Turkey (northwest: Ankara, Bolu, Düzce, Karabük, and Sakarya Provinces))

Euscorpius uludagensis Lacroix, 1995 (Turkey (northwest: Bursa Province))

Euscorpius mingrelicus is now restricted to Georgia (west), Russia (southwest; Krasnodar Province near its border with northwestern Georgia) and Turkey (north).

Two subspecies are synonymized (see abstract below).

The article has habitat descriptions and pictures, and an identification key for the taxa described in the article.

Interestingly, E. ciliciensis was collected up to 2700 m, which is a record altitude for the genus.

The taxonomic status of the Anatolian-Caucasian subspecies of Euscorpius mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874) is reconsidered. We restrict E. mingrelicus s.str. to Georgia and Turkey, and elevate to species status three of its subspecies: E. phrygius Bonacina, 1980, stat. n., E. uludagensis Lacroix, 1995, stat. n., and E. ciliciensis Birula, 1898, stat. n. We synonymize E. mingrelicus legrandi Lacroix, 1995 with E. phrygius stat. n., and E. m. ollivieri Lacroix, 1995, with E. mingrelicus.

Tropea G, Yagmur EA, Fet V. A Revision of the Anatolian-Caucasian “Euscorpius mingrelicus Complex” (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (203):1-32. [Open Access]

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me the article!

Family Euscorpiidae

20 July, 2015

A new species of Centruroides from Mexico

Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently published a new species of Centruroides Marx, 1890 (Buthidae) from southeastern Mexico.

Centruroides poncei Teruel, Kovarik, Baldazo-Monsivais & Hoferek, 2015

The article also present data on habitat and life history for the new species.

The present paper deals with two species of Centruroides Marx, 1890 of the "nigrovariatus" group. One of them is described as new from two nearby localities of southwestern Oaxaca and southeastern Guerrero (in the Costa Chica region of the Pacific Coastal Plain), while the second represents a new record for Centruroides rodolfoi Santibáñez-López & Contreras Félix, 2013. After this addition, the genus is represented in the country by 41 species, eight of them belonging to the "nigrovariatus" group.

Teruel R, Kovarik F, Baldazo Monsivaiz JG, Hoferek D. A new species of Centruroides of the "nigrovariatus" group (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from southern Mexico. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (26):3-14. [Subscription required for full text]

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

Family Buthidae