18 April, 2018

A new species of Compsobuthus from Somaliland

Frantisek Kovarik recently published an article presenting a new species of Compsobuthus Vachon, 1949 (Buthidae) from Somaliland.

Compsobuthus maidensis Kovarik, 2018

Compsobuthus maidensis sp. n. from Somaliland is described and fully complemented with color photos of specimens, as well as its habitat. Data on the occurrence of the genus Compsobuthus Vachon, 1949 in the Horn of Africa is summarized.

Kovarik F. Scorpions of the Horn of Africa (Arachnida, Scorpiones). Part XVI. Compsobuthus maidensis sp. n. (Buthidae) from Somaliland. Euscorpius. 2018(260):1-11. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

13 April, 2018

A revision of some Italian populations of Euscorpius with five new species

Gioele Tropea published an article in 2017 where he studied several populations of Euscorpius sicanus (C. L. Koch, 1872) (Euscorpiidae) in Italy. I just recently learned about this article, but better late than never.

Tropea's analyses show that Euscorpius sicanus is a species complex and he have done the following taxonomical deccisions:

New species:

Euscorpius altadonnai Tropea, 2017 (Northeastern Sicily and southern Calabria, Italy)
Euscorpius salentinus Tropea, 2017 (Southern Puglia (Salento), Italy)

The following species have been raised to species status from synonymy with Euscorpius sicanus:

Euscorpius calabriae Di Caporiacco, 1950 (Calbria and Basilicata (southern part), Italy)
Euscorpius canestrinii (Fanzago, 1872) (Sardinia, Italy)
Euscorpius garganicus Di Caporiacco, 1950 (Puglia, Molise, Campania and Basilicata, Italy and Pelagosa Island, Croatia)

After Fet et al. (2003), Euscorpius sicanus (C. L. Koch, 1837) was considered a highly polymorphic species, widespread in Italy, North Africa, Malta and Greece, having the characters eb = 5 + eba = 45. In this study, a neotype is designated for E. sicanus. The following forms, synonymized with E. sicanus by Fet et al. (2003), are herein revalidated and elevated to species status: E. calabriae Di Caporiacco, 1950 stat. n.; E. canestrinii (Fanzago, 1872) stat. n.; E. garganicus Di Caporiacco, 1950 stat. n. The latter species is herein recorded for the first time in the Italian regions of Molise and Campania, and in Pelagosa Island, Croatia. Two new species and one new subspecies are described, E. salentinus sp. n. from southern Apulia, E. altadonnai sp. n. from northeastern Sicily and southern Calabria, and E. garganicus molisanus subsp. n. from northeastern Apulia, Molise and southeastern Abruzzo. With these taxonomic changes the number of species in Italy has increased to 18.

Tropea G. Reconsideration of some populations of Euscorpius sicanus complex in Italy (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2017;3(11):2-60.

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me his interesting article!

Family Euscorpiidae

06 April, 2018

Three new species of Gint from Somaliland and a revision of the genus

Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers have published a new article in their ongoing research on the scorpion fauna of the Horn of Africa. This time they have done a revision of the genus Gint Kovarik, Lowe, Pliskova & Stahlavsky, 2013 (Buthidae) and theree new species are described from Somaliland.

Gint amoudensis Kovarik, Lowe, Just, Awale, Elmi & Stahlavsky, 2018

Gint gubanensis Kovarik, Lowe, Just, Awale, Elmi & Stahlavsky, 2018

Gint maidensis Kovarik, Lowe, Just, Awale, Elmi & Stahlavsky, 2018

Additional information is provided on the taxonomy and distribution of the other species in the genus. The following three species are declared nomen dubium because of insufficient descriptions and justifications:

Gint insolitus (Borelli, 1925)
Gint marialuisae Rossi, 2015
Gint monicae Rossi, 2015

The three species are still listed in The Scorpion Files, but are labeled nomen dubium until future research clarify their status.

An identification key for the members of the genus is provided.


We describe herein three new species of Buthidae: Gint amoudensis sp. n., G. gubanensis sp. n., and G. maidensis sp. n. from Somaliland. Additional information is provided on the taxonomy and distribution of other species of the genus Gint, fully complemented with color photos of live and preserved specimens, as well as of their habitat. The hemispermatophores of most Gint species are illustrated and described for the first time. In addition to the analyses of external morphology and hemispermatophores, we also describe the karyotype of four Gint species. The number of chromosomes is different for every one of the analysed species (G. dabakalo 2n=23, G. gaitako 2n=30, G. amoudensis sp. n. 2n=35–36, and G. maidensis sp. n. 2n=34).

Kovarik F, Lowe G, Just P, Awale AI, Elmi HSA, Stahlavsky F. Scorpions of the Horn of Africa (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part XV. Review of the genus Gint Kovařík et al., 2013, with description of three new species from Somaliland (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2018(259):1-41. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

05 April, 2018

Two new, troglobitc species discovered 3000-5000 meters inside a cave system in Vietnam

The family Pseudochactidae Gromov, 1998 contains several enigmatic genera and species, many of them troglobites living in cave systems in Asia. In a recent article, Wilson Lourenco and co-workers present the discovery of two new, troglobitic species in the genus Vietbocap Lourenço & Pham, 2010 from the Thien Duong cave in Vietnam.

Vietbocap aurantiacus Lourenço, Pham, Tran & Tran, 2018

Vietbocap quinquemilia Lourenço, Pham, Tran & Tran, 2018

The two species were discovered 3000-5000 meters inside the cave system. This is a new record of distance from a cave entrance for scorpions.

Two new species of scorpion belonging to the family Pseudochactidae and to the genus Vietbocap are described based on specimens collected in the Thien Duong cave, which belongs to the Vom cave system, in the Phong Nha–Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. The previously described species from this cave, Vietbocap thienduongensis Lourenco & Pham, 2012 was collected in the initial section of the cave (1500 to 1800 m from the cave entrance) and proved to be a true troglobitic element. The diagnosis of this species, only known from males, is completed based on females collected at 750 m from the cave entrance. The two new species described here were collected respectively at 3000 and 5000 m from the cave entrance and are also true troglobitic elements, very similar to V. thienduongensis, but showing some clear morphological differences. This observed situation suggests a possible case of speciation within the cave system, the first one ever reported for scorpions. The population found at 5000 m from the entrance of the cave is a total new record of distance from a cave entrance for scorpions.

Lourenco WR, Pham DS, Tran TH, Tran TH. The genus Vietbocap Lourenco & Pham, 2010 in the Thien Duong cave, Vietnam: A possible case of subterranean speciation in scorpions (Scorpiones: Pseudochactidae). C R Biol. 2018. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Pseudochactidae