27 January, 2016

The vaejovid Pseudouroctonus peccatum is rediscovered after habitat destruction

Richard Ayrey have recently published the result of several field trips to Spring Mountains, Nevada (USA) where the aim was to check the population status of the scorpion Pseudouroctonus peccatum Tate, Riddle, Soleglad & Graham, 2013. In spite of several fires that have destroyed much of the habitat of the species, several specimens were found indicating that Pseudouroctonus peccatum is still an extant species.

Shortly after the discovery of Pseudouroctonus peccatum Tate, Riddle, Soleglad et Graham, 2013 (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) there was a large wildfire in the Spring Mountains of Nevada. At the time the species description was published, it was noted that the only known population of this species may have been extirpated by the fire and subsequent flooding of the type locality habitat (Tate et al. 2013). Today it is certain that the species has survived after the collection of 12 new specimens. Additional data on males are also presented.

Ayrey RF. Pseudouroctonus peccatum Tate et al., 2013, Rediscovered. Euscorpius. 2016 (214):1-5. [Open Access]

22 January, 2016

Two new species from the island of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic

Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently published two new species from the island of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic.

Centruroides altagraciae Teruel, de Armas & Kovarik, 2015 (Buthidae)

Heteronebo barahonae Teruel, de Armas & Kovarik, 2015 (Scorpionidae)

Two new species of scorpions are describe herein from Dominican Republic, in the Greater Antillean island of Hispaniola. The buthid Centruroides altagraciae n.sp. was found in several localities at the eastern tip of the island (La Altagracia province), whereas the diplocentrine Heteronebo barahonae n.sp. was captured at a single site of the northeastern section of the Bahoruco Range (Barahona province). Both taxa are compared in detail with their closest relatives, with abundant illustrations of habitus, main morphologically diagnostic characters and habitat.

Teruel R, de Armas LF, Kovarik F. Two new species of scorpions (Scorpiones: Buthidae, Scorpionidae) from Dominican Republic, Greater Antilles. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (27):13-33.

Thanks to Dr. Teruel for informing me about this paper!

Family Buthidae
Family Scorpionidae

21 January, 2016

A major review on Mexican scorpions, their biology, distribution and medical importance

Carlos Santibáñez-López and co-workers have recently published an extensive review article summing up the current knowledge on Mexican scorpions. The article covers taxonomy, distribution, biology, venom and medical importance, and is an important work for those interested in the diverse and interesting scorpion fauna of Mexico.

Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some of the world’s medically important scorpion species. The systematics and diversity of Mexican scorpion fauna has not been revised in the past decade; and due to recent and exhaustive collection efforts as part of different ongoing major revisionary systematic projects, our understanding of this diversity has changed compared with previous assessments. Given the presence of several medically important scorpion species, the study of their venom in the country is also important. In the present contribution, the diversity of scorpion species in Mexico is revised and updated based on several new systematic contributions; 281 different species are recorded. Commentaries on recent venomic, ecological and behavioral studies of Mexican scorpions are also provided. A list containing the most important peptides identified from 16 different species is included. A graphical representation of the different types of components found in these venoms is also revised. A map with hotspots showing the current knowledge on scorpion distribution and areas explored in Mexico is also provided.

Santibanez-Lopez CE, Francke OF, Ureta C, Possani LD. Scorpions from Mexico: From Species Diversity to Venom Complexity. Toxins (Basel). 2015;8(1). [Open Access]

Thanks to Dr. Santibáñez-López and Carlos Turiel for both sending me this paper!

19 January, 2016

A new species of Thaicharmus from Northeast India

Zeeshan Mirza and co-workers have discovered a new species of Thaicharmus Kovarik, 1995 (Buthidae) from Northeast India.

Thaicharmus guptai Mirza, Sanap & Kunte, 2016

The species may also occur in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

A new species Thaicharmus guptai sp. nov. is described from the northeast Indian state of Tripura. The new species differs from the known members of the genus in the following set of morphological characters: large size (total length 45.6 mm); trichobothrium d2 is distal to i1 on femur; trichobothria est, em and et on the external surface of the patella do not form a straight line. Subaculear tubercle is absent. The movable finger of pedipalp chela has 12 cutting rows of denticles. The movable finger is much longer than the pedipalp patella. Number of pectinal teeth 20/19; pectines with distinct lamellae and fulcra. Two horn-like projections are present on the ventrolateral aspect of the metasomal segment V.

Mirza ZA, Sanap RV, Kunte K. A New Species of the Genus Thaicharmus Kovařík, 1995 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Northeast India  Euscorpius. 2016(215):1-11. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

08 January, 2016

New Euscorpius species from western Balkans

Gioele Tropea has recently described a new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

Euscorpius borovaglavaensis Tropea, 2015

A new species of scorpion, Euscorpius borovaglavaensis sp. n. from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, in Western Balkans, is described. It is similar to Euscorpius tergestinus (C. L. Koch, 1837), but with a dark brown color and a more south-eastern distribution.

Tropea G. A new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(5):30-41.

Thanks to Dr. Tropea for sending me his article!

Family Euscorpiidae

07 January, 2016

A new species of Androctonus from Niger

A new species of Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Buthidae) has recently been described by Wilson Lourenco from the Aïr Massif in Niger.

Androctonus santi Lourenco, 2015

A new species of scorpion belonging to the genus Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Family Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837) is described on the basis of one male specimen collected in the Aïr Massif in Niger. This population was previously associated with Androctonus hoggarensis (Pallary, 1929), originally described from the Hoggar Mountains in Algeria. A more precise analysis of several morphological characters from these rare Androctonus populations, attests for some important differences between the two species. As in previous studied cases, these Saharan Massifs prove to be very important endemic centres within the Sahara desert.

Lourenco WR. A new species of Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 from the Aïr Massif in Niger (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Serket. 2015;14(4):167-75. [Open Access]

Thanks to Dr. Hisham El-Hennaway for sending me the latest issue of the journal Serket.

Family Buthidae

06 January, 2016

Mexican scorpion found in Spain

Ronaldo Teruel and Gabriel de Biurrun Baquedano recently reported about the findings of a specimen of Vaejovis mexicanus C. L. Koch, 1836 (Buthidae) in Bidaurreta, Northern Spain. Interestingly, this species was also found in Norway in 2009 (Teruel & Rein, 2009). The latter was a stowaway and the cause for its appearance in cold Norway was discovered. The finding of the Spanish specimen is more of a mystery and no explanation for its appearance has been found.

A live specimen of the North American scorpion Vaejovis mexicanus C. L. Koch, 1836 (Vaejovidae) was found in Bidaurreta, a small town of Navarra, northern Iberian Peninsula. This is the first record of the species from Spain and the second from Europe.

Teruel R, de Biurrun Baquedano G. Primer registro del escorpión Norteamericano Vaejovis Mexicanus C. L. Koch, 1836 (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) en España. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (27):124-6.

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

05 January, 2016

A new species of Buthacus from Algeria

Wilson Lourenco and Salah Sadine have recently described a new species of Buthacus Birula, 1908 (Buthidae) from the Ghardaïa Region of Central Algeria.

Buthacus samiae Lourenco & Sadine, 2015

Since the early 2000s, the genus Buthacus Birula, 1908 (family Buthidae) has been the subject of an important number of studies. Most of the species considered in these studies come from North Africa, in particular from Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria. One more new species of Buthacus is here described from the Algerian Saharan desert, raising the number of confirmed Buthacus species in Algeria to six. This new discovery brings further evidence about the complexity of this genus, and also attests to a considerable degree of diversity found in the Algerian Saharan desert.

Lourenco WR, Sadine SE. A new species of Buthacus Birula, 1908 from the region of Ghardaïa, Algeria (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (27):55-9.

Thanks to Dr. Sadine for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae