12 September, 2022

A phylogenetic study of the family Iuridae reveals three new genera


The family Iuridae are mainly found in Turkey and Greece and contains some of the largest scorpions in Europe. There have been some studies of this family in the recent years, but in a recent article Aristeidis Parmakelis and co-workers have conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the family and based on this suggested several taxonomic decisisons.

The subfamily Calchinae Birula, 1917 is raised from synonymy with Iurinae Thorell, 1876.

The three new genera are described (listed with the taxa assiciated with them):

Anatoliurus Parmakelis, Dimitriadou, Gkigkiza, Karampatsou, Stathi, Fet, Yağmur & Kovařík, 2022.

A. kraepelini (von Ubisch, 1922 (Turkey: Antalya, Isparta, Konya, Karaman, Mersin, and Muğla Provinces; Greece: Megisti (Kastelorizo) Island.

A. kumlutasi (Yagmur, Soleglad, Fet & Kovarik 2015) (Turkey: Hıdırellez Cave in Antalya).

Letoiurus Parmakelis, Dimitriadou, Gkigkiza, Karampatsou, Stathi, Fet, Yağmur & Kovařík, 2022.

L. rhodiensis (Soleglad, Fet, Kovarik & Yagmur, 2012) (Greece: Rhodes Island; Turkey: Muğla Province.

Metaiurus Parmakelis, Dimitriadou, Gkigkiza, Karampatsou, Stathi, Fet, Yağmur & Kovařík, 2022.

M. kadleci (Kovarik, Fet, Soleglad & Yagmur, 2010) (Turkey: Antalya and Mersin Provinces).

M. stathiae (Soleglad, Fet, Kovarik & Yagmur, 2012) (Greece: Karpathos Island). 

Iuridae is a family of scorpions that exhibits a highly complex biogeographic and taxonomic history. Iuridae taxa are mainly found in Turkey and Greece, whereas a single species is found in northern Iraq. Several taxonomic revisions have been conducted on this family that initially comprised two genera. The latest taxonomic review, based on morphological and anatomical features, raised the number of Iuridae genera to four, and the number of species to 14.

Sequence data from three molecular markers (COX1, 16S rDNA, ITS1) originating from numerous Iuridae taxa were analyzed within a phylogenetic framework. Divergence time-estimate analyses, species delimitation approaches and estimation of ancestral areas were implemented in order to: (1) reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of the Iuridae taxa, (2) evaluate the morphological classifications, and (3) obtain insights into the biogeographic history of the family in the East Mediterranean.

The multi-locus phylogeny clearly confirms an ancient division into two clades, Calchinae and Iurinae. Ancient patterns of isolation and dispersal are revealed. Both subfamilies are largely confined to the Anatolian peninsula and its few coastal islands; only the most derived genus Iurus has dispersed westward to Crete and Peloponnese. Based on our findings, three new genera of Iurinae (Metaiurus, Anatoliurus, and Letoiurus) are established. The genus Neocalchas emerges as one of the most ancient scorpion clades, with divergence time about 27 mya.

Parmakelis A, Dimitriadou D, Gkigkiza E, Karampatsou L, Stathi I, Fet V, et al.  The evolutionary history of the relict scorpion family Iuridae of the eastern Mediterranean. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2022:107622. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for sending me this article!

Family Iuridae

No comments: