22 October, 2015

Two new Euscorpius species from Turkey

Gioele Tropea and Ersen Yagmur have recently published a paper describing to new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) from Turkey.

Euscorpius eskisehirensis Tropea & Yagmur, 2015 (northwestern Turkey)

Euscorpius koci Tropea & Yagmur, 2015 (southern Turkey)

The total number of Euscorpius species in Turkey is now raised to 12.

Two new species of scorpion, Euscorpius eskisehirensis sp. n. from the province of Eskisehir, in northwestern Turkey, and E. koci sp. .n. from the province of Mersin, in southern Turkey, are described. The first is kindred with E. ciliciensis, but has a lower number of Trichobothria; the second is kindred with the subgenus Euscorpius sensu lato.

Tropea G, Yagmur EA. Two new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 from Turkey (Scorpionidae: Euscorpiidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(4):13-32.

Thanks to both Gioele and Ersen for sending me their new article!

Family Euscorpiidae

16 October, 2015

Four new buthid species from Amazonian Peru

Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers have recently published an article describing four new species in two buthid genera from a single Amazonian location in Peru.

Ananteris ashaninka Kovarik, Teruel, Lowe & Friedrich, 2015

Tityus dillerorum Kovarik, Teruel, Lowe & Friedrich, 2015

Tityus panguana Kovarik, Teruel, Lowe & Friedrich, 2015

Tityus wachteli Kovarik, Teruel, Lowe & Friedrich, 2015

The article is illustrated with many color pictures.

We  describe  four  new  species  of  buthid  scorpions  from  a  single  Amazonian  locality  in  Peru, situated  at  the  pre- Andean piedmont: Ananteris ashaninka sp. n., Tityus dillerorum sp. n. (a member of the “melanostictus” species-group), Tityus panguana sp. n.(a member of the “bolivianus” species-group), and Tityus wachteli sp. n.(a member of  the “clathratus” species-group).  Additional  information  is  given  on  their  taxonomy,  distribution,  ecology,  and reproductive  biology,  fully  complemented  with  color  photos  of  live  and  preserved  specimens,  as  well  as  their habitat

Kovarik F, Teruel R, Lowe G, Friedrich S. Four new scorpion species (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Amazonian Peru. Euscorpius. 2015 (210):1-40. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

07 October, 2015

First report of death due to Hemiscorpius acanthocercus envenomation in Iran

It has been well known for a long time that the non-buthid species Hemiscorpius lepturus Peters, 1861 (Hemiscorpiidae) is dangerous and have caused serious morbidity and even death. Now, Mehran Shahi and co-workers report of the death of a 15 year male after being stung by a Hemiscorpius acanthocercus Monod & Lourenço, 2005. This is the first documented case involving serious scorpionism in this species, even though it has been assumed that the species in this genus may all be dangerous.

What makes the Hemiscorpius sting so special is that there is no pain or special symptoms involved short after the sting. In the present case, the patient did not seek medical help until 12 days after the envenomation and then he had developed severe complications. Other studies also reports that deaths due to Hemiscorpius stings are connected with delayed medical care due to none or mild symptoms in the days following the sting.

Hemiscorpius occurs throughout Asia (Iran, Iraq, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates) and Africa (Eritrea, Somalia, and Egypt) and it is clear that genus may be a public health risk in some areas.

Scorpion stings are significant causes of death in the western and southern regions of Iran. To date, reports have indicated that the H. lepturus species is the main cause of mortality due to scorpion stings. One of the species that belongs to this genus is Hemiscorpius acanthocercus (H. acanthocercus). This scorpion's venom is cytotoxic, and it causes pathological changes in the blood and can cause severe damage to the kidneys. The pain of Hemiscorpius’ sting is mild and asymptomatic in the early hours. Delays in the treatment of these victims can cause hemolysis, hematuria, kidney failure, and even death. In this paper, we report the first known death due to an H. acanthocercus’ sting in Iran.

Shahi M, Rafinejad J, Az-Khosravi L, Moosavy SH. First report of death due to Hemiscorpius acanthocercus envenomation in Iran: Case report. Electronic physician. 2015 Sep;7(5):1234-8. [Open Access]

Taxonomical formalities regarding Belisarius xambeui types

Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879 from Spain (Photo: Hans Henderickx).
Types are important in systematics/taxonomy. Types are one or more physical examples (or illustrations) of an organism, known to have been used when the species (or lower-ranked taxon) was formally described.

Tropea, Rossi & Lourenco have now published a research note reconsidering the original type material of Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879 (Troglotayosicidae).

In the present note we reconsider the original type material of Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879, mainly basing on unpublished historical notes by Simon. We recognize only one type specimen, which according to the ICZN, must be considered the holotype. Thus all other specimens regarded as a part of the typical series in previous papers, do not have typical status.

Tropea G. Notes on the typical series of Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879 (Scorpiones: Troglotayosicidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(2):64-8.

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me this article!

Family Troglotayosicidae

01 October, 2015

Biogeography of the Malagasy genus Neogrosphus and a description of a new species

Only two species have been known in the endemic Malagasy genus Neogrosphus Lourenco, 1995 (Buthidae). Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have now discovered a third species.

Neogrosphus andrafiabe Lourenco, Wilme & Waeber, 2015

The article also sums up the biogeographical status of the genus and try to explain the genus' distribution in Madagascar.

The distributional patterns of Malagasy scorpions belonging to the endemic genus Neogrosphus Lourenco, 1995 are revised. Up to now only two species were known for this genus: Neogrosphus griveaudi (Vachon, 1969), restricted to the dry forests formations in the southern and western portions of Madagascar, and Neogrosphus blanci Lourenco, 1996 only known from the Massifs of the Central region. Diagnoses are proposed for the genus and known species and a new vicariant species is described from the Ankarana Massif. The actual range of distribution of the members of this genus is currently patchy and fragmented over a large area extending from subarid to subhumid bioclimates.Based on the eco-biogeographical analyses of the genus Neogrosphus, we formulate a global rule to explain species diversity and vicariance.

Lourenco WR, Wilme L, Waeber PO. More about the geographical distribution of the Malagasy genus Neogrosphus Lourenco, 1995 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) and description of a vicariant new species. C R Biol. 2015 Sep 1. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Buthidae

The first phylogenetic analysis of the genus Brachistosternus based on molecular and morphological data has been published

Brachistosternus Pocock, 1893 (Bothriuridae) is a very abundant taxa in most arid to semi-arid habitats of southern and western South America. Andres Ojanguren-Affilastro and co-workers have recently published the first phylogenetic analysis of Brachistosternus based on molecular and morphological data.

See abstract and article for further details.

A phylogenetic analysis of the scorpion genus Brachistosternus Pocock, 1893 (Bothriuridae Simon, 1880) is presented, based on a dataset including 41 of the 43 described species and five outgroups, 116 morphological characters and more than 4150 base-pairs of DNA sequence from the nuclear 18S rDNA and 28S rDNA gene loci, and the mitochondrial 12S rDNA, 16S rDNA, and Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I gene loci. Analyses conducted using parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference were largely congruent with high support for most clades. The results confirmed the monophyly of Brachistosternus, the nominal subgenus, and subgenus Ministernus Francke, 1985, as in previous analyses based only on morphology, but differed in several other respects. Species from the plains of the Atacama Desert diverged basally whereas the high altitude Andean species radiated from a more derived ancestor, presumably as a consequence of Andean uplift and associated changes in climate. Species limits were assessed among species that contain intraspecific variation (e.g., different morphs), are difficult to separate morphologically, and/or exhibit widespread or disjunct distributions. The extent of convergence in morphological adaptation to life on sandy substrata (psammophily) and the complexity of the male genitalia, or hemispermatophores, was investigated. Psammophily evolved on at least four independent occasions. The lobe regions of the hemispermatophore increased in complexity on three independent occasions, and decreased in complexity on another three independent occasions.

Ojanguren-Affilastro AA, Mattoni CI, Ochoa JA, Ramirez MJ, Ceccarelli FS, Prendini L. Phylogeny, species delimitation and convergence in the South American bothriurid scorpion genus Brachistosternus Pocock 1893: Integrating morphology, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2015 Aug 28;94(Pt A):159-70. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Victor Fet and Andres Ojanguren for both sending me this article!

Family Bothriuridae