27 June, 2022

An updated checklist of scorpions of China with several taxonomic comments


Victoria Tang just published an updated checklist of scorpions of China. China has a large diversity when it comes to scorpions and the present article lists 52 species belonging to 13 genera and six families. 

Tang's article also discuss many taxonomic issues with several of the taxa reported from China. No taxonomical decisions are made, but the author recommend further investigations into many of the uncertainties. I refer to the abstract and the article for details on these.

Updated July 2022: My comment above that no taxonomical decisions were made in this article is not correct. The author made several taxonomic acts that can be seen in the abstract below. Thanks to Danniella Sherwood for commenting on this!

An updated checklist of scorpions of China (52 species belonging to 13 genera and six families) is provided, with Chinese name equivalents and an illustrated map of all localities. Colored photos of the Chinese population of Mesobuthus thersites (C. L. Koch, 1839) and one Olivierus sp. in vivo habitus are provided for the first time. The recent taxonomic changes are summarized. The monotypic genus Tibetiomachus (Hormuridae) with its single species T. himalayensis is considered a nomen dubium. The validity of the previously synonymized Scorpiops atomatus Qi et al., 2005 and S. validus (Di et al., 2010) (Scorpiopidae) is questioned, although they are not formally restored from synonymy. Olivierus hainanensis (Birula, 1904) (Buthidae) is possibly a junior synonym of O. martensii (Karsch, 1879); a reanalysis of the syntypes is warranted. The name “Scorpiops jingshanensis Li, 2016” is a nomen nudum. Additional comments are made upon two unavailable names that appear in an unpublished MS thesis (Zhang, 2009; in Chinese): “Mesobuthus beijiangensis” and “M. nanjiangensis”. A revision is needed of several species with weakly supported diagnostic characters, such as Olivierus bolensis (Sun et al., 2010) and Scorpiops puerensis (Di et al., 2010). The applicability of the diagnostic characters proposed for Olivierus bolensis (Sun et al., 2010) and O. longichelus (Sun & Zhu, 2010) is found to be unstable, based on the examination of some new specimens from Xinjiang. Their relationship with another two recently described species (O. mikhailovi Fet et al., 2021 and O. tarabaevi Fet et al., 2021), as well as the misidentified “Mesobuthus caucasicus intermedius” in China, remains unclear until a molecular study is accomplished.

Tang V. Scorpions of China: an updated checklist with comments on some taxonomic issues (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Euscorpius. 2022(355):1-17. [Open Access]

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