27 August, 2019

A revision of the Colombian Tityus with the description of a new species

Jairo A. Moreno-González and co-workers have recently published a revision of the Tityus fauna of Colombia (Buthidae). One new species is described and two species are synonymized.

Tityus guane Moreno-Gonzalez, Gonzalez O & Florez D, 2019
Tityus betschi Lourenço, 1992 is synonymized with Tityus parvulus Kraepelin, 1914, and Tityus wayuu Rojas-Runjaic & Armas, 2007 is synonymized with Tityus tayrona Lourenço, 1991.

The article has an identification key for the Colombian Tityus.

We present a taxonomic revision of the Colombian Tityus (Archaeotityus) species based on morphological and morphometric evidence. We examined more than 385 specimens and evaluated new and previously used qualitative and quantitative morphological characters. We redescribe the Colombian species and present morphological characters for both sexes and an emended diagnosis for the subgenus Tityus (Archaeotityus). We describe a new species Tityus guane sp. nov. from Santander department, Colombia, Tityus betschi Lourenço 1992 is synonymized with Tityus parvulus Kraepelin, 1914, and Tityus wayuu Rojas-Runjaic & Armas, 2007 is synonymized with Tityus tayrona Lourenço, 1991. We measured 186 specimens and performed a multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) for 34 selected morphometric ratios for each sex. We found that a few morphological ratios support species level distinctions within the Colombian species. We provide updated distributional maps with new records and an identification key for both sexes. Furthermore, we provide an updated checklist for the subgenus and a discussion about the character systems used within Tityus (Archaeotityus). The new morphological characters proposed and the traditional morphometry examined with a PCA are useful for studying Tityus (Archaeotityus) taxonomy.

Moreno-Gonzalez JA, Gonzalez O R, Florez D E. Taxonomic revision of the Colombian Tityus (Archaeotityus) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) species: a morphological and morphometric approach, with a description of a new species. Zootaxa. 2019;4660(1):1-94. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Jairo A. Moreno-González for sending me their article!

Family Buthidae

16 August, 2019

Resurrection of the Malagasy family Microcharmidae and a description of three new Microcharmus species

The small soil living species in the genus Microcharmus Lourenço, 1995 and Neoprotobuthus Lourenço, 2000 have been placed in the family Buthidae since 2008, when Volschenk et al. rejected Lourenco's family status for these two genera. Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have now published an article re-validating the family status of the family Microcharmidae and transferring relevant taxa back from Buthidae.

Three new species of Microcharmus are also described from Madagascar.

Microcharmus andrei Lourenço, Waeber & Wilme, 2019

Microcharmus antongil Lourenço, Waeber & Wilme, 2019

Microcharmus djangoa  Lourenço, Waeber & Wilme, 2019

The biogeography of the genus Microcharmus is also discussed.

A more up to date biogeographic analysis of the patterns of distribution presented by the scorpions of the family Microcharmidae Lourenço 1 996 are presented. This family is revalidated here based on numerous morphological characters. This Malagasy group of scorpions is represented by two genera, Microcharmus Lourenço 1 995 and Neoprotobuthus Lourenço 2000 both endemic to the Island. The family Microcharmidae seems to be restricted to dry and wet forests formations in the northern and northwestern portions of the island. Here we describe three species new to science: Microcharmus andrei sp. n., Microcharmus antongil sp. n. and Microcharmus djangoa sp. n. The distribution of these new species seems to be restricted to the northern range of Madagascar, in habitats ranging from dry to wet forests, confirming therefore the patterns previously observed.

Lourenco WR, Waeber PO, Wilme L. Additions to the geographical distribution of the Malagasy family Microcharmidae Lourenço 1 996 (Scorpiones: Buthoidea) and description of three new species of Microcharmus Lourenço, 1995. Madagascar Conservation & Development. 2019;14(1):IN PRESS. [Open Access]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for informing me about this article!

Family Microcharmidae

13 August, 2019

A new species of Catalinia from California, USA

Riolando Teruel and Brandon Myers just published a new article with the description of a new species in the small genus Catalinia Soleglad, Ayrey, Graham & Fet, 2017 (Vaejovidae) from southern California, USA.

Catalinia ayreyi Teruel & Myers, 2019

Herein we describe a new species of the vaejovid scorpion genus Catalinia Soleglad, Ayrey, Graham & Fet, 2017. It was collected in a single locality of the northwestern foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. It is most closely related to both Catalinia andreas (Gertsch & Soleglad, 1972) and C. minima (Kraepelin, 1911), but is clearly distinguished by tegumentary sculpture, morphometric ratios and pectinal tooth counts. The new species is described and illustrated in detail, with some ecological data included; moreover, a minor correction is introduced to the diagnosis of the genus.

Teruel R, Myers B. A new species of Catalinia Soleglad et al., 2017 (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) from southern California, USA. Euscorpius. 2019(285):1-15. [Open Access]

Family Vaejovidae

09 August, 2019

There and back again: Diplocentridae is back as a family in The Scorpion Files

For more than a decade, Diplocentridae and the taxa within have been considered a subfamily (Diplocentrinae) within Scorpionidae. This, and other decisions about the higher systmatics of scorpions by Fet & Soleglad have been critized by some researchers, while others supported their deccisions. The scorpion Files' family structure have mainly been following Fet & Soleglad, 2005.

In the last years, several publications have provided support for the family status of Diplocentridae. Based on these and the advice from scorpion taxonomists that regularly comments and advices me on The Scorpion Files, I have decided to implement Diplocentridae as a family in The Scorpion Files. Hopefully, future studies will clarify the status of other scorpion familes and their relations and that a consensus can be achived for higher scorpion taxonomy.

Selected References:

Santibanez-Lopez C, Gonzalez-Santillan E, Monod L, Sharma PP. Phylogenomics facilitates stable scorpion systematics: Reassessing the relationships of Vaejovidae and a new high-level classification of Scorpiones (Arachnida). Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2019;135:22-30.

Santibanez Lopez CE, Kriebel R, Sharma PP. Eadem figura manet: Measuring morphological convergence in diplocentrid scorpions (Arachnida : Scorpiones : Diplocentridae) under a multilocus phydlogenetic framework. Invertebrate Systematics. 2017;31:233-48.

Sharma PP, Fernández R, Esposito LA, González-Santillán E, Monod L. Phylogenomic resolution of scorpions reveals multilevel discordance with morphological phylogenetic signal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 2015;282(1804):1-10.

Fet V, Soleglad ME. Contributions to scorpion systematics. I. On recent changes in high-level taxonomy. Euscorpius. 2005(31):1-13.

Thanks a lot to all of you that support the Scorpion Files with articles, comments and advices! The project is not possible without you.

Family Diplocentridae

06 August, 2019

A new species of Vaejovis from Arizona, USA

Richard Ayrey & Brandon Myers recently described a new species of Vaejovis C.L. Koch, 1836 (Vaejovidae) from the Galiuro Mountains, southern Arizona, USA.

Vaejovis stetsoni Ayrey & Myers, 2019

A new scorpion species, Vaejovis stetsoni sp. n. is described from Galiuro Mountains, Graham County, Arizona. This is the smallest species of the “vorhiesi” group discovered so far, most similar to V. brysoni Ayrey & Webber. The pedipalp fixed finger has five ID denticles and the movable finger has six, like in most other southern Arizona Vaejovis. The most unique characteristics of this species are its small size (18.35 mm) and a large subaculear tubercle.

Ayrey RF, Myers B. A new “vorhiesi” group species of Vaejovis from the Galiuro Mountains, southern Arizona (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Euscorpius. 2019(284):1-14. [Open Access]

Family Vaejovidae

05 August, 2019

A new species of Heterometrus from Sri Lanka

Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers have recently published a new article describing a new species of Hetereometrus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Scorpionidae) from Sri Lanka.

Heterometrus yaleensis Kovarik, Ranawana, Jayarathne, Hoferek & Stahlavsky, 2019

Heterometrus yaleensis sp. n. from Sri Lanka, Southern Province, Yale National Park is described and compared with other species of the genus. The presence of a unique dorsointernal carina on the pedipalp chela distinguishes H. yaleensis sp. n. from all other Heterometrus species. Additional information is provided on the taxonomy and distribution of the genus Heterometrus in Sri Lanka, fully complemented with color photos of specimens of both sexes of the new species, as well as of their habitat. In addition to external morphology and hemispermatophore, we also describe the karyotype of H. yaleensis sp. n. (2n=99).

Kovarik F, Ranawana KB, Jayarathne VAS, Hoferek D, Stahlavsky F. Scorpions of Sri Lanka (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part III. Heterometrus yaleensis sp. n. (Scorpionidae). Euscorpius. 2019(283):1-13. [Open Access]

Family Scorpionidae