29 January, 2021

The Scorpion files will host an online archive for the journal Arachnides


Many of you will know about the journal Arachnides that has published scientific and scholarly articles about scorpions and other arachnids for many years. Issue 100 was published recently and in connection with this anniversary I can announce that in agreement with journal editor Gerard Dupre, The scorpion Files will host a full text archives for the journal. 

Arachnides Full Text Archive

Unfortunately, older issues are not available electronically and the archive starts with issue 54 (2008).

The anniversary issue includes a checklist of scorpions’ taxa 1758-2020 written by Gerard Dupre. I expect that this list may deviate for a few taxa from The scorpion Files for different reasons. As correctly mentioned by Gerard, some taxa are not acknowledged by the entire community of authors and Gerard and I may treat these differently. Both of us are also dependent on getting information about new taxonomical papers, especially those published in minor and less known journals. We have tried to help each other keeping updated for many years, but we may miss things. I will of course go through Gerard's checklist and compare it to The Scorpion Files in the time to come.

Finally, I would like to thank Nicolas Machiavel for regularly sending me lists of errors in The scorpion Files! His efforts have greatly improved the species lists.

22 January, 2021

A new genus and species from Pakistan


Graeme Lowe and Frantisek Kovarik have recently described a new genus with one species from northern Pakistan. 

Fetilinia Lowe & Kovarik, 2021

Fetilinia dentator Lowe & Kovarik, 2021

We describe from northern Pakistan a new buthid genus Fetilinia gen. n., monotypic with type species F. dentator sp. n., belonging to the Palaearctic ‘Buthus’ group. It bears some similarities to Kraepelinia Vachon, 1974, in having enlarged metasomal dentition, and to Orthochirus Karsch, 1891, and related genera in having a trapezoidal carapace and small abbreviated pedipalps.

Lowe G, Kovarik F. Fetilinia dentator gen. et sp. n. from Pakistan (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2021(328):1-10. [Open Access]

 Family Buthidae

14 January, 2021

Sexual dimorphism in scorpions of the genus Odontobuthus


Differences in morphology, physiology and behavior is quite common in humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. Scorpions are no exception and females having larger body size than males being one of the most common differences.

 Barahoei Navidpour and co-workers published last Fall a study on the sexual dimorphism in the scorpions of the genus Odontobuthus Vachon, 1950 (Buthidae). The article presents the observed differences, but also discuss possible evolutionary routes for the observed differences.

The Sexual dimorphism (SD) in body size is very common among the scorpions. In this study, the SD was investigated in two aspects of size and shape in the genus Odontobuthus Vachon, 1950 as a small genus of the family Buthidae. This genus has six fossorial species of which four are distributed in Iran. For this purpose, 43 morphometric variables, consisting of 38 metric measurements and five meristic characters were digitized in the six species, O. bidentatus, O. doriae, O. tavighiae, O. tirgari, O. sp.1 and O. sp.2. The results show that Sexual Size Dimorphism (SSD) were significant in three species: O. doriae, O. tavighiae and O. sp.2. While O. sp.1 represented a SD for more aspects of shape, O. bidentatus did not show a significant SD for all studied traits. The amount of SD in size and shape were not the same in different species. The results showed that males have larger metasoma than females even when they are pulled to the same size. Having larger metasoma may correspond to a more efficient performance during mating, predation or combat with other males, so it should be under a high sexual selection. Type II ANOVA showed a significant interaction between species and sex for shape, but not for size. It suggests that the evolution of SD for size has been in parallel for all studied species, while it has been in different directions for shape. Among meristic variables, only the number of pectin denticles were sexually dimorphic, with males having more denticles than females in all studied species.

Barahoei H, Navidpour S, Aliabadian M, Siahsarvie R, Mirshamsi O. Sexual dimorphism in the scorpions of the genus Odontobuthus Vachon, 1950 (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics. 2020;16(1):21-35. [Open Access]

Thanks to Carlos Turiel for informing me about this article.

Family Buthidae

Description of the males of three species of Auyantepuia from French Guiana


Eric Ythier and Johan Chevalier published late this Fall an article describing the males of Auyantepuia aluku Ythier, 2018, A. kelleri (Lourenço, 1997) and A. laurae Ythier, 2015 from French Guiana. The article has also information about the geographic distribution of the genus and an identification key for the species from French Guiana.

The males of Auyantepuia aluku Ythier, 2018, A. kelleri (Lourenço, 1997) and A. laurae Ythier, 2015, are described for the first time. Males and females are illustrated for the three species, an identification key to the  Auyantepuia species reported from French Guiana is proposed and a geographical distribution map is presented. Emended diagnoses for the genus Auyantepuia and for the three species studied in this paper are also provided.

Ythier E, Chevalier J. Description of the males of Auyantepuia aluku Ythier, 2018, A. kelleri (Lourenço, 1997) and A. laurae Ythier, 2015, from French Guiana (Scorpiones, Chactidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France. 2020;125(3):257-68. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Eric for sending me his article!

Family Chactidae

A new species of Tityus from Panama and Costa Rica


Roberto Miranda and co-workers have recently published a new species of Tityus C. L. Koch, 1836 (Buthidae) from Panama and Costa Rica.

Tityus jaimei Miranda, Bermudez, Florez D & de Armas, 2020

The Central American population of scorpions previously misidentified Tityus pachyurus Pococok, 1897 is described as a new species, which is endemic for most parts of Panama and Limon Province in Costa Rica. As recorded by several authors, those two species are responsible for most of the serious cases of scorpion stinging in Colombia and Panama.

Miranda RJ, Bermudez S, Florez D E, de Armas LF. A new species of Tityus from Panama and Costa Rica previously identified as Tityus pachyurus Pocock, 1897 (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2020(37):197-204. [No full text is available]

Thanks to Michiel Cozijn for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae 

11 January, 2021

A new species in the enigmatic genus Troglotayosicus from Ecuador


The species in the enigmatic genus Troglotayosicus Lourenco, 1981 (Troglotayosicidae) are are either cavernicolous (cave dwelling species) or living in areas just outside caves (endogean), but they all have troglomorphies like loss or reduction of eyes, depigmentation or appendage attenuation. Alberto Sánchez-Vialas and co-workers have recently described a new species in this interesting genus.

Troglotayosicus muranunkae Sanchez-Vialas, Blasco-Arostegui,Garcia-Gila & Lourenco, 2020

A new epigean species belonging to the genus Troglotayosicus Lourenço, 1981 is described from southern Ecuador based on morphological traits. This enigmatic group of scorpions was known from a single locality in Ecuador and four localities in Colombia. Troglotayosicus muranunkae sp. n. is morphologically similar to the hypogean (troglobite species) T. vachoni Lourenço, 1981, but it differs from it by the trichobothrial pattern, shape of the carapace, and tegument sculpture. The new species was found actively wandering on the surface at night, which provides relevant ecological information and expands the distribution range of the genus 130 km southwards.

Sánchez-Vialas A, Blasco-Aróstegui J, García-Gila J, Lourenco WR. A new species of Troglotayosicus Lourenço, 1981 (Scorpiones: Troglotayosicidae) from southern Ecuador. Arachnology. 2020;18(6):612-8. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Troglotayosicidae

08 January, 2021

Two new species in the "winter" genus Urophonius from Patagonia, Argentina


Some scorpions in the genus Urophonius Pocock, 1893 (Bothriuridae) are special in that they are one of few scorpions having a winter activity period during real winter conditions. Andres A. Ojanguren-Affilastro and co-workers have recently published the first phylogenetic analysis of this genus. Two new species are described from Patagonia, Argentina.

Urophonius araucano Ojanguren-Affilastro, 2020

Urophonius pehuenche Ojanguren-Affilastro & Pizarro-Araya, 2020

The article also describes and discuss the unusual winter activity observed in some species of Urophonius. A few species actually seem to be active only in the winter! By the way, Urophonius granulatus (Pocock 1898) has the record of being the southernmost scorpion of the world.

The first phylogenetic analysis of genus Urophonius is performed based on morphological characters. Three monophyletic species groups are recovered. Species of the granulatus species group and Urophonius mondacai have summer or spring activity patterns. The exochus and brachycentrus species groups form a monophyletic group with a winter activity pattern, which is so far unique in scorpions from temperate and cold areas. Additionally, two new Patagonian species of Urophonius are described, one from Argentina and one from Chile. Finally, we discuss the southernmost distributions of scorpions in continental Patagonia. We suggest that the southern limit of the group could be related not only with a decrease in temperature, but also with an increase of precipitation.

Ojanguren Affilastro AA, Ramirez MJ, Pizarro-Araya J. Phylogenetic analysis of the winter and southernmost scorpion genus Urophonius Pocock, 1893 (Bothriuridae), with the description of two new Patagonian species. Zoologischer Anzeiger. 2020;289:50-66. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Andres for sending me their article!

Family Bothriuridae

More data on the Hottentotta distribution in Iran


Iran is the hotspot for the genus Hottentotta Birula, 1908 (Buthidae) in the world with at least nine registered species. Abolfazl Akbari and co-workers recently published an article with additional distributional data for the genus in Iran.

New distribution records are given herein for six Hottentotta species in Iran. They belong to Hottentotta jayakari (Pocock, 1895) (Hormozgan province), H. juliae Kovařík, Yağmur & Fet, 2019 (Fars province), H. navidpouri Kovařík, Yağmur & Moradi, 2018 (Bushehr, Fars, Hormozgan, Khuzestan provinces), H. saulcyi (Simon, 1880) (Ilam, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Lorestan provinces), H. schach (Birula, 1905) (Fars, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad provinces) and H. zagrosensis Kovařík, 1997 (Khuzestan province). Among these records, Bushehr, Fars and Khuzestan records are the first for H. navidpouri. Prepared maps show new and old distributional localities that belong to all known species of Hottentotta in Iran.

Akbari A, Yagmur EA, Moradi M, Jafari N. Contributions to the scorpion fauna of Iran. Part I. Records of Genus Hottentotta Birula, 1908 (Arachnida: Scorpiones: Buthidae). Serket. 2020;17(3):284-305. [Open Access]

Thanks to Ersen for sending me their article!

Family Buthidae

New localities for Aegaeobuthus cyprius in Cyprus


Cyprus has two endemic species (in addition to Euscorpius italicus (Herbst, 1800) which probably is introduced):  A. cyprius (Gantenbein & Kropf, 2000) and Buthus kunti Yagmur, Koc & Lourenço, 2011 (both Buthidae). Ersen Yagmur and co-workers have recently published an article with new localities for Aegaeobuthus cyprius on Cyprus.

I can add some personal data to this post. It seems that Aegaeobuthus cyprius regularly are in contact with humans on the island (entering houses, gardens, in swimming pools etc.). I have collected between 40-50 cases between 2013 and today. These data was supposed to be published together with a researchers that was interested, but unfortunately I never heard from him again after sending the data. Hopefully, these are not published without my knowledge. Regardless, I have a lot of data if anyone is interested in writing a paper :)

In this work, new locality records for the species Aegaeobuthus cyprius (Gantenbein & Kropf, 2000) are given in Cyprus.

Yagmur EA, Hadjiconstantis M, Gücel S. New localities for Aegaeobuthus cyprius (Gantenbein & Kropf, 2000) in Cyprus (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Serket. 2020;17(3):183-7. [Open Access]

 Thanks to Ersen for sending me their article!

Genetic diversity among different species of the genus Leiurus in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East


 Abdulaziz Alqahtani and Ahmed Badry published this Fall an article on the genetic diversity among different species of the genus Leiurus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Buthidae) in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. They conclude that there is a clear genetic splitting between Leirus from Egypt and those from Arabia and Turkey. In addition, the results support the taxonomic status of Arabian Leiurus species.

The molecular phylogenetic relationship among two species of genus Leiurus, from Saudi Arabia with additional comparative sequence data available from Egypt, Oman and Turkey is presented. The molecular phylogeny was performed using maximum parsimony, neighbor joining and bayesian inference. Our results indicate a clear deep splitting between the Western clade, which represented by L. quinuestriatus sequences from Egypt and those from the Eastern clade which encompassing different Leiurus species from Saudi Arabia, Oman and Turkey was shown. Also, the phylogenetic relationship represents additional support for the taxonomic status of Arabian Leiurus species.

Alqahtani AR, Badry A. Genetic diversity among different species of the genus Leiurus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2020;27(12):3348-53.[Open Access]

Thanks to Dr. Badry for sending me their article!

Family Buthidae

06 January, 2021

A new species of Leiurus from Mali


Wilson Lourenco has recently described a new species of Leiurus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Buthidae) from Mali.

Leiurus saharicus Lourenco, 2020

A further species belonging to the genus Leiurus Ehrenberg, 1828 is described based on one male collected in the region between Taoudenni and Trhaza; in the north deserts area of Mali. Although close to L. hoggarensis, several characteristics attest however that this population is clearly distinct from the one found in the Hoggar region of Algeria. The type locality of the new species corresponds to an almost abiotic environment of the erg type, whereas the population from from the Hoggar inhabits a more mesic habitat. An almost absent reaction to UV-light was observed in the new species, which represent a peculiar feature for a buthid species.

Lourenco WR. A remarkable new species of Leiurus Ehrenberg, 1828 from the north deserts of Mali (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2020(37):147-52. [No full text available]

Thanks to Eric Ythier for sending me this article!

 Family Buthidae

03 January, 2021

A new species of Euscorpius from the Lesvos Island, Greece

During a fantastic holiday in 2004 on the beatiful island Lesvos (Greece), I collected a few Euscorpius on three different locations. They were later sent to professor Victor Fet to be a part on his study of the genus Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) in Europe. Now, 16 years later, Gioele Tropea and co-worker's new article finally confirms what we suspected back then, that these belonged to a new species. 

Euscorpius lesbiacus Tropea, Fet, Parmakelis, Kotsakiozi, Stathi & Zafeiriou, 2020

Here are some pictures from my Lesvos trip that show the habitats of the new species:

My daughter Ingvild and our family friend Vebjørn pointing out a stone hiding several Euscorpius specimens.

A new scorpion species is described from Lesvos Island (Greece), Euscorpius lesbicus sp. n., based on morphological and molecular evidence. Identity and level of divergence of this taxon is confirmed by a phylogeny based on multiple DNA markers. Morphologically, the new species in mainly characterized by a trichobothrial numbers Pv = 7 and Pe-et = 6, and pectinal tooth numbers (Dp) usually 8 to 9 in males  and 7 in females.

Tropea G, Fet V, Parmakelis A, Kotsakiozi P, Stathi I, Zafeiriou S. Euscorpius lesbiacus sp. n., a new species of scorpion from Lesvos Island, Greece (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2020(37):185-95. [No full text available]

Thanks to professor Victor Fet and Gioele Tropea for both sending me their article!

Family Euscorpiidae



A new species of Scorpiops from Western Ghats, India


India is a large country with a large scorpion diversity. There have been a quite a few studies of the scorpion fauna in the past of this country, but now a new generation of scorpion taxonomists are emerging armed with modern taxonomical and phylogenetical methods and we can expect many interesting findings in the years to come.

Shauri Sulakhe and several co-workers published an article in December describing a new species of Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Scorpiopidae) from Western Ghats in India.

Scorpiops telbaila Sulakhe, Deshpande, Dandekar, Ketkar, Padhye & Bastawade, 2020

The article also has an identification key to the Scorpiops species from northern Western Ghats and northern Maharashtra, India. 

A new cryptic species of Scorpiops (Scorpiopidae) is described from northern Western Ghats of India with integrated taxonomic approach. Scorpiops telbaila sp. n. is closely related to S. tenuicauda and differs from all species of Scorpiops in morphological features and raw genetic divergence of 5.4-14.1 %.

Sulakhe S, Deshpande S, Dandekar N, Ketkar M, Padhye A, Bastawade D. A new cryptic species of Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Scorpiopidae) from the northern Western Ghats, India. Euscorpius. 2020(327):1-18. [Open Access]

Family Scorpiopidae

02 January, 2021

A new species of Liocheles from Sumatra, Indonesia


Eric Ythier and Thomas Richard have recently published a new species of Liocheles Sundevall, 1833 (Hormuridae) from Sumatra, Indonesia. The new species was found 200 meters inside cave and seems to be a cave dwelling species, but doesn's possess any troglobitic characteristics. 

Liocheles oranghutan Ythier & Richard, 2020

A new scorpion species belonging to the genus Liocheles Sundevall, 1833 (Scorpiones: Hormuridae Laurie 1896) is described on the basis of one adult male collected in a cave near Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia. The specimens was collected approximately 200 m from the cave entrance, in complete darkness. This new scorpion represents the fifth known species of the genus Liocheles and the third reported from Sumatra.

Ythier E, Richard T. Description of a new species of cave-dwelling species of Liocheles Sundevall, 1833 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Sumatra. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2020(37):159-64. [No full text available]

Thanks to Eric for sending me their article!

Family Hormuridae

A review of Iberian scorpions with six new Buthus species from southern Spain


Happy New Year!

Rolando Teruel and Carlos Turiel have recently publish the first part of their 10 year long study of the Buthus Leach, 1815 populations in Europa (Buthidae). In the current article they describe six new species from southern Spain and they confirm the validity of the four species previously described from the Iberian Peninsula. The distribution of the 10 species are given, with some significant reducations in the distribution of some of the "old" species.

Buthus alacanti Teruel & Turiel, 2020

Buthus baeticus Teruel & Turiel, 2020

Buthus delafuentei Teruel & Turiel, 2020

Buthus garcialorcai Teruel & Turiel, 2020

Buthus manchego Teruel & Turiel, 2020

Buthus serrano Teruel & Turiel, 2020

I paid attention to one statement in this article that I think is important to remember for us amaetur taxonomists. Some of the Iberian Buthus species cannot be identified with certainty without having adult specimens of both male and females. For example, the females of the non-related species B. elongatus and B. montanus are almost impossible to separate from each other, while the males are very different. Having a location will of course help us on the way to an identification ,but if you lack this, an identification of a single individual will be very difficult.

The authors will soon publish part two of their study adding more species from western Europe and present an identification key and a picture atlas that will help in identifying all the new species.

The genus Buthus Leach, 1815 is taxonomically revised for the Iberian Peninsula. We examined 291 specimens from 48 localities, including topotypes of the four currently recognised species: Buthus elongatus Rossi, 2012, Buthus ibericus Lourenco & Vachon, 2004, Buthus montanus Lourenco & Vachon, 2004 and Buthus occitanus (Amoreux, 1789). In this first contribution, all of them are confirmed as valid and redescribed in detail and their geographic distribution is clarified. Also, Buthus europaeus tridentatus Franganillo, 1918 is confirmed as a junior synonym of Buthus occitanus and neotypes are designated for both taxa to stabilise the nomeclature. Finally, six new species are described from southern Spain. The Western European diversity of Buthus reaches now 10 species, all of them being endemics and mostly having a limited geographic range.

Teruel R, Turiel C. The genus Buthus Leach 1815 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in the Iberian Peninsula. Part 1: Four redescriptions and six new species. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2020(37):3-60. [No full text available]

Thanks to Rolando for sending me this interesting article!

Family Buthidae