21 December, 2015

Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year


18 December, 2015

More comments on Pandinus and Pandinurus and a new species

Andrea Rossi has published another article on the scorpionid scorpions of West-, Central- and East-Africa in the genera Pandinus Thorell, 1876 and Pandinurus Fet, 1997. A new subgenus in Pandinurus and a new species is described from Somalia.

Pandipavesius Rossi, 2015 (new subgenus)

Pandinurus cianferonii Rossi 2015

The article provides updated identification keys for Pandinus and Pandinurus.

Abstract:
 New comments on the taxonomy of the genera Pandinus and Pandinurus are discussed. A new subgenus, Pandipavesius subgen. n., is proposed to accommodate three species of the genus Pandinurus from East Africa. A new species, Pandinurus (Pandinurus) cianferoni sp. n., is described from Somalia. An identification key for all subgenera and species of the genera Pandinus and Pandinurus is given.

Reference:
Rossi A. Ulteriori commenti sulla tassonomia dei generi Pandinus e Pandinurus, con la definizione di un nuovo sottogenere ed una nuova specie di Pandinurus dalla Somalia. Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(4):41-55.

Thanks to Dr. Rossi for sending me his article!

Family Scorpionidae



15 December, 2015

New data on Iurus dufoureius distribution in Greece


Sotiris Alexiou & Giannis Kofinas have recently published an article with new locations for Iurus dufoureius (Brullè, 1832) (Iuridae) in Peloponissos, Greece, expanding the known distribution of this large scorpion.

Abstract:
Iurus dufoureius is reported as new for Eparchia Mantinias and Eparchia Epidaurou Limiras. The habitus is imaged, habitats are discussed and an updated map of distribution is provided. A female specimen from Pigaza Cave raises questions about the taxonomic status of the scorpion populations of SE Peloponnisos and Kithira.

Reference:
Alexiou S, Kofinas G. Closing the gaps: New remote localities of Iurus dufoureius (Scorpiones: Iuridae) from Peloponissos, Greece. Parnassiana Archives. 2015;3:19-24. [Open Access]

Thanks to Diego Facheris for sending me this article!

Family Iuridae

Two new species of Cicileus from Hoggar Mountains, Algeria


Wilson Lourenco and Andrea Rossi have described two new species of Cicileus Vachon, 1948 (Buthidae) from Hoggar Mountains in Algeria.

Cicileus hoggarensis Lourenco & Rossi, 2015

Cicileus montanus Lourenco & Rossi, 2015

Abstract:
Following the recent results published on the genus Cicileus Vachon, 1948 (Scorpiones, Buthidae), an intensive research in the collections of the Museum in Paris led to the characterization of two more new species, Cicileus hoggarensis sp. n. and Cicileus montanus sp. n., collected in the Hoggar Mountains in the south of Algeria. At present, the number of species is raised to five. With the description of two more new species, the distribution pattern of the genus is confirmed as associated with the Saharian Massifs. Moreover, an altitudinal pattern of speciation seems to take place in the Hoggar Mountains.

Reference:
Lourenco WR, Rossi A. Two new species of Cicileus Vachon, 1948 from Hoggar Mountains in Algeria. Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(4):2-12.

Thanks to Dr. Rossi for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae

10 December, 2015

Two new Chaerilus species from Vietnam


Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers have recently published a new article with the description of two new species of Chaerilus Simon, 1877 (Chaerilidae) from Vietnam.

Chaerilus granulatus Kovarík, Lowe, Hoferek, Forman & Král, 2015

Chaerilus longimanus Kovarík, Lowe, Hoferek, Forman & Král, 2015

Abstract:
Chaerilus granulatus sp. n. and C. longimanus sp. n. from Vietnam are described and compared with other species of the genus. Both species are characterized by: median eyes present; movable finger of pedipalp with 7–9 rows of granules; total length of adults under 30 mm; male differing from female in having pedipalp chela much narrower and longer. The two new species are differentiated by: ventral sides of sternite VII are smooth in C. longimanus sp. n. and granulated in C. granulatus sp. n. Adults of both sexes of C. granulatus sp. n. and C. hofereki Kovařík et al., 2014 were raised from birth and their exuviae were retained and compared to the mature adults. Hemispermatophores of C. granulatus sp. n. and C. hofereki were extracted and illustrated. Karyotype of male holotype of C. granulatus sp. n. consists of high number of chromosomes (2n=96).

Reference:
Kovarik F, Lowe G, Hoferek D, Forman M, Kral J. Two New Chaerilus from Vietnam (Scorpiones, Chaerilidae), with Observations of Growth and Maturation of Chaerilus granulatus sp. n. and C. hofereki Kovařík et al., 2014. Euscorpius. 2015 (213):1-21. [Open Access]

Family Chaerilidae

09 December, 2015

Two new species of Pseudouroctonus from Arizona, USA


Richard Ayrey and Michael Soleglad have published an analysis of the genus Pseudouroctonus Stahnke, 1974 (Vaejovidae) and described two new species from southeastern USA.

Pseudouroctonus kremani Ayrey & Soleglad, 2015

Pseudouroctonus santarita Ayrey & Soleglad, 2015

Abstract:
Two new species of Pseudouroctonus are described from southeastern Arizona, USA, Pseudouroctonus santarita, sp. nov. from the Santa Rita Mountains and P. kremani, sp. nov. from the Santa Catalina Mountains. These new species are closely related to P. apacheanus (Gertsch et Soleglad, 1972). A combination of morphological differences in the hemispermatophore, the mating plug, and several morphometric-based characters are identified as diagnostic. New substructures are identified for the mating plug.

Reference:
Ayrey RF, Soleglad ME. New Analysis of the Genus Pseudouroctonus with the Description of Two New Species (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (211):1-53. [Open Access]

Family Vaejovidae

08 December, 2015

A revision of the genus Pandinus with a description of two new species from Ethiopia


In a recently published article, Andrea Rossi has made a prelimnary revision of the genus Pandinus Thorell, 1876 (Scorpionidae). These are the main conclusion of the article:

New species:

Pandinus bottegoi Rossi, 2015 (Ethiopia)

Pandinus riccardoi Rossi, 2015 (Ethiopia)

New combination:

Pandinops boschisi (Caporiacco, 1937) (Previously nomen dubium in the genus Pandinus)

New subspecies:

Pandinoriens Rossi, 2015 (including the following species in Pandinus: P. bottegoi, P. mazuchi, P. phillipsii, P. riccardoi, P. smithi & P. trailini).

The article is in Italian with an English abstract. An identifcation key for the new subgenus is provided.

Abstract:


Reference:
Rossi A. Una revisione preliminare del genere Pandinus Thorell, 1876 con la descrizione di un nuovo sottogenere e due nuove specie dall'Etiopia (Scorpiones, Scorpionisae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(3):37-52.

Thanks to Dr. Rossi for sending me his articles.

Family Buthidae

A new species in the enigmatic genus Chiromachetes from India


I'm a great fan of the scorpions in the family Hormuridae after having kept a colony of parthenogenetic Liocheles australasiae (Fabricius, 1775) for more than 15 years. It is therefore great to see new species described in this special family. Zeeshan Mirza and co-workers have recently described a new species in the enigmatic genus Chiromachetes Pocock, 1899 (Hormuridae) from Western Ghats in India.

Chiromachetes sahyadriensis Mirza, Sanap & Zambre, 2015

The article has an unpdated identification key for the genus.

Abstract:
A new species of hormurid scorpion is described from the Western Ghats of India. Chiromachetes sahyadriensis sp. nov. differs from other members of this genus in the following set of characters: medium sized scorpions, total length reaching 62.9 mm, carapace flat, three pairs of lateral eyes, manus length/width ratio in males 4.6–4.8 and 3.4 in females, tarsi of leg ventrally with three spinoid setae at the base of tarsi. Dentate margin of pedipalp manus finger with two rows of granules fused at base. Pectines 8–9 in males, 6–8 in females. Lamellar hook positioned distinctly in basal half of hemispermatophore in proximity to the lamellae.

Reference:
Mirza Z, Sanap R, Zambre A. A New Species of the Enigmatic Genus Chiromachetes Pocock, 1899 (Scorpiones: Hormuridae) from Western Ghats, India, with a Key to the Genus. Euscorpius. 2015 (212):1-10. [Open Access]

Family Hormuridae

07 December, 2015

A new Buthus species from Algeria


Salah Eddine Sadine and co-workers have recently described a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) from Algeria.

Buthus saharicus Saddine, Bissati & Lourenco, 2015

Abstract:
Since the early 2000s, the genus Buthus Leach, 1815 (family Buthidae) has been the subject of an important number of studies. These concerned particularly the species belonging to the ‘Buthus occitanus’ complex. A number of populations previously considered as subspecies or varieties of B. occitanus Leach were raised to the rank of species, but also many new species have been described. Most of the species considered in these studies come from North Africa, in particular from Morocco, Mauritania, Chad, Sudan and Egypt, but only two new species were recorded from Algeria. At present, one more new species of Buthus is described from the Algerian Saharan Desert, raising the number of confirmed Buthus in Algeria to five. Since most Buthus species from North Africa, and in particular those from Algeria, inhabit more mesic environments than the Saharan Central compartment, the new species appears as the first true deserticolous species found in this country.

Reference:
Sadine SE, Bissati S, Lourenco WR. The first true deserticolous species of Buthus Leach, 1815 from Algeria (Scorpiones: Buthidae); Ecological and biogeographic considerations. C R Biol. 2015 Nov 26. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Buthidae


04 December, 2015

Two new species of Pandinurus from the Horn of Africa


Andrea Rossi is working on Scorpionidae materials from Africa and has now published two new species in the subgenus Pandiborrellius Rossi, 2015 (Scorpionidae) from the Horn of Africa.

Pandinurus lanzai Rossi, 2015 (Somalia)

Pandinurus sabbadinii Rossi, 2015 (Eritrea)

The article has an identification key for the subgenus Pandiborrellius.

 Abstract:

Reference:
Rossi A. Due ulteriori nuove specie del sottogenere Pandiborellius Rossi, 2015 dal Corno d'Africa (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(2):2-36.

Thanks to Dr. Rossi for sending me his article!

Family Scorpionidae

03 December, 2015

Revision of the genus Gint in Somalia with two new species


Previously this year, Andrea Rossi published a revision of the little known genus Gint Kovarik, Lowe, Pliskova & Stahlavsky, 2013 (Buthidae) from Somalia. Two new species were described.

Gint marialuisae Rossi, 2015

Gint monicae Rossi, 2015

In addition, the only known specimen of Buthus insolitus Borelli, 1925 was re-examined and transferred to Gint as Gint insolitus (Borelli, 1925).

Abstract:
The genus Gint Kovarik, Lowe, Pliskova & Stahlavsky, 2013 in Somalia is revised. Two new speices, Gint marialuisae sp. n., and Gint monicae sp. .n., are described; the holotype, and the only known specimen, of Buthus insolitus Borelli, 1925 is re-examined and moved to the genus Gint. An identification key for the four present species in Somalia is given: Gint insolitus (Borelli, 1925) comb. n., Gint marialuisae sp. .n., Gint monicae sp. n. and Gint calviceps (Pocock, 1900).

Reference:
Rossi A. Revisione del genere Gint Kovarik, Lowe, Pliskova & Stahlavsky, 2013 in Somalia con la descrizione di due nuove specie (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(2):50-63.

Thanks to Dr. Rossi for sending me his article!

Family Buthidae

26 November, 2015

Indian Scorpions eGuide for IOS and Android


If you are interested in Indian scorpions, there is now available an Indian Scorpions eGuide for IOS and Android. The app presents details for 38 species of India's more than 120 species, and has many high quality pictures of the scorpions. The app costs $ 3.79.

I have not yet downloaded the app, but the author is Zeeshan Mirza, is a well known Indian scorpion zoologist, and I'm quite sure that the quality of this app is good and will be useful both for professionals and amateurs. Hopefully, the app will include more species in the future.

Indian Scorpions eGuide (IOS)

Indian Scorpions eGuide (Android)


25 November, 2015

A new species of Auyantepuia from French Guiana



Eric Ythier has recently described a new species in the genus Auyantepuia Gonzalez-Sponga, 1978 (Chactidae) from French Guiana.

Auyantepuia laurae Ythier, 2015

The genus Auyantepuia was synonymized with other genera by Soleglad & Fet, 2005. Lourenço & Qi (2007) chose not to accept this synonymization, and described the new species in Auyantepuia in 2007. The same has been done in the present paper.The taxonomy of The Scorpion Files follows Soleglad & Fet (2005), but it is impossible for me to know where to put the new species. To solve this, I have reinstated Auyantepuia in The Scorpion Files for species described after the synonymization until a new revision on the family Chactidae is published.

Abstract:
A new species of scorpion belonging to the genus Auyantepuia González-Sponga, 1978 (family Chactidae Pocock, 1893) is described on the basis of three specimens collected in a rainforest formation located in Saut Sabbat, South of Mana, French Guiana. This is the tenth species of the Guiano-Amazonian genus Auyantepuia, and the fifth reported from French Guiana.

Reference:
Ythier E. A new species of Auyantepuia González-Sponga, 1978 (Scorpiones, Chactidae) from French Guiana. ZooKeys. 2015;539:97-109. [Open Access]

Thanks to Eric Ythier for sending me his article!

Family Chactidae

24 November, 2015

Three new Uroplectes from tropical central Africa


The scorpion fauna of tropical, central Africa is poorly known and much of the knowledge we have is based on old materials collected before the use of UV-lights and other modern trapping methods. The scorpion diversity in this area is probably greater than previously known.

Lorenzo Prendini has now published an article based on new material of Uroplectes Peters, 1861 (Buthidae) from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Three new species are described.

Uroplectes katangensis Prendini, 2015 (Malawi)

Uroplectes malawicus Prendini, 2015 (Malawi)

Uroplectes zambezicus Prendini, 2015 (Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe)

In addition, the following taxa are synonymized (or previous synonymizations are confirmed):

Scorpiobuthus apatris Werner, 1939 = Uroplectes chubbi Hirst, 1911
Uroplectes jutrzenkai Penther, 1900 = Uroplectes vittatus (Thorell, 1876).
Uroplectes andreae Pocock, 1899 = Uroplectes occidentalis Simon, 1876 (new synonym)
Uroplectes chubbi briodi Schenkel, 1932 = Uroplectes vittatus (Thorell, 1876) (new synonym)

Abstract:
The scorpion fauna of tropical central Africa is poorly known and may be more diverse than generally recognized. The present contribution describes three morphologically similar, and probably monophyletic species of Uroplectes Peters, 1861, which have gone undetected, despite being distributed across a large area, extending from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Uroplectes malawicus, sp. nov., and Uroplectes zambezicus, sp. nov., occurring south of Lake Malawi and in the Zambezi River Valley, respectively, appear to be sister species. Uroplectes katangensis, sp. nov., is based on a single female from the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Based on their punctate metasomal segments, the new species appear to be most closely related to Uroplectes chubbi Hirst, 1911. The markedly concave, shagreened dorsomedian surfaces on metasomal segments I–IV resemble the stridulatory surfaces on the metasomal segments of most Parabuthus Pocock, 1890, and, together with the robust metasoma and worn tips of the aculeus observed in some specimens, suggest that these species may also be capable of stridulation. Based on examination of type material, the following synonyms were confirmed: Scorpiobuthus apatris Werner, 1939 = Uroplectes chubbi Hirst, 1911; Uroplectes jutrzenkai Penther, 1900 = Uroplectes vittatus (Thorell, 1876). The following new synonyms are presented: Uroplectes andreae Pocock, 1899 = Uroplectes occidentalis Simon, 1876, new synonym; Uroplectes chubbi briodi Schenkel, 1932 = Uroplectes vittatus (Thorell, 1876), new synonym. Lectotypes are designated for U. chubbi and U. jutrzenkai.

Reference:
Prendini L. Three new Uroplectes (Scorpiones, Buthidae) with punctate metasomal segments from tropical central Africa. American Museum Novitates. 2015 (3840):1-32. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

11 November, 2015

A new species of Centruroides from Mexico


Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently published a new species of Centruroides Marx, 1890 (Buthidae) from Western Mexico.

Centruroides huichol Teruel, Ponce-Saavedra & Quijano-Ravell, 2015

The article also presents a redescription of the medical important species Centruroides noxius Hoffmann, 1932.

Abstract:
In the present contribution, we redescribe the scorpion species Centruroides noxius Hoffmann, 1932, highly toxic and endemic to western Mexico (state of Nayarit). Its diagnosis is updated according to the modern standards for the genus, and enhanced with a photographic complement that depicts its main diagnostic characters. A new closely related species is also described from the same state, and some comments on the taxonomy and distribution of both taxa are given.

Reference:
Teruel R, Ponce-Saavedra J, Quijano-Ravell AF. Redescription of Centruroides noxius and description of a closely related new species from western Mexico (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad. 2015;In Press. [Open Access]

Thanks to Dr. Teruel for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae

22 October, 2015

Two new Euscorpius species from Turkey


Gioele Tropea and Ersen Yagmur have recently published a paper describing to new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) from Turkey.

Euscorpius eskisehirensis Tropea & Yagmur, 2015 (northwestern Turkey)

Euscorpius koci Tropea & Yagmur, 2015 (southern Turkey)

The total number of Euscorpius species in Turkey is now raised to 12.

Abstract:
Two new species of scorpion, Euscorpius eskisehirensis sp. n. from the province of Eskisehir, in northwestern Turkey, and E. koci sp. .n. from the province of Mersin, in southern Turkey, are described. The first is kindred with E. ciliciensis, but has a lower number of Trichobothria; the second is kindred with the subgenus Euscorpius sensu lato.

Reference:
Tropea G, Yagmur EA. Two new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 from Turkey (Scorpionidae: Euscorpiidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(4):13-32.

Thanks to both Gioele and Ersen for sending me their new article!

Family Euscorpiidae

16 October, 2015

Four new buthid species from Amazonian Peru



Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers have recently published an article describing four new species in two buthid genera from a single Amazonian location in Peru.

Ananteris ashaninka Kovarik, Teruel, Lowe & Friedrich, 2015

Tityus dillerorum Kovarik, Teruel, Lowe & Friedrich, 2015

Tityus panguana Kovarik, Teruel, Lowe & Friedrich, 2015

Tityus wachteli Kovarik, Teruel, Lowe & Friedrich, 2015

The article is illustrated with many color pictures.

Abstract:
We  describe  four  new  species  of  buthid  scorpions  from  a  single  Amazonian  locality  in  Peru, situated  at  the  pre- Andean piedmont: Ananteris ashaninka sp. n., Tityus dillerorum sp. n. (a member of the “melanostictus” species-group), Tityus panguana sp. n.(a member of the “bolivianus” species-group), and Tityus wachteli sp. n.(a member of  the “clathratus” species-group).  Additional  information  is  given  on  their  taxonomy,  distribution,  ecology,  and reproductive  biology,  fully  complemented  with  color  photos  of  live  and  preserved  specimens,  as  well  as  their habitat

Reference:
Kovarik F, Teruel R, Lowe G, Friedrich S. Four new scorpion species (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Amazonian Peru. Euscorpius. 2015 (210):1-40. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

07 October, 2015

First report of death due to Hemiscorpius acanthocercus envenomation in Iran


It has been well known for a long time that the non-buthid species Hemiscorpius lepturus Peters, 1861 (Hemiscorpiidae) is dangerous and have caused serious morbidity and even death. Now, Mehran Shahi and co-workers report of the death of a 15 year male after being stung by a Hemiscorpius acanthocercus Monod & Lourenço, 2005. This is the first documented case involving serious scorpionism in this species, even though it has been assumed that the species in this genus may all be dangerous.

What makes the Hemiscorpius sting so special is that there is no pain or special symptoms involved short after the sting. In the present case, the patient did not seek medical help until 12 days after the envenomation and then he had developed severe complications. Other studies also reports that deaths due to Hemiscorpius stings are connected with delayed medical care due to none or mild symptoms in the days following the sting.

Hemiscorpius occurs throughout Asia (Iran, Iraq, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates) and Africa (Eritrea, Somalia, and Egypt) and it is clear that genus may be a public health risk in some areas.

Abstract:
Scorpion stings are significant causes of death in the western and southern regions of Iran. To date, reports have indicated that the H. lepturus species is the main cause of mortality due to scorpion stings. One of the species that belongs to this genus is Hemiscorpius acanthocercus (H. acanthocercus). This scorpion's venom is cytotoxic, and it causes pathological changes in the blood and can cause severe damage to the kidneys. The pain of Hemiscorpius’ sting is mild and asymptomatic in the early hours. Delays in the treatment of these victims can cause hemolysis, hematuria, kidney failure, and even death. In this paper, we report the first known death due to an H. acanthocercus’ sting in Iran.

Reference:
Shahi M, Rafinejad J, Az-Khosravi L, Moosavy SH. First report of death due to Hemiscorpius acanthocercus envenomation in Iran: Case report. Electronic physician. 2015 Sep;7(5):1234-8. [Open Access]

Taxonomical formalities regarding Belisarius xambeui types

Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879 from Spain (Photo: Hans Henderickx).
Types are important in systematics/taxonomy. Types are one or more physical examples (or illustrations) of an organism, known to have been used when the species (or lower-ranked taxon) was formally described.

Tropea, Rossi & Lourenco have now published a research note reconsidering the original type material of Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879 (Troglotayosicidae).

Abstract:
In the present note we reconsider the original type material of Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879, mainly basing on unpublished historical notes by Simon. We recognize only one type specimen, which according to the ICZN, must be considered the holotype. Thus all other specimens regarded as a part of the typical series in previous papers, do not have typical status.

Reference:
Tropea G. Notes on the typical series of Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879 (Scorpiones: Troglotayosicidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(2):64-8.

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me this article!

Family Troglotayosicidae

01 October, 2015

Biogeography of the Malagasy genus Neogrosphus and a description of a new species

Only two species have been known in the endemic Malagasy genus Neogrosphus Lourenco, 1995 (Buthidae). Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have now discovered a third species.

Neogrosphus andrafiabe Lourenco, Wilme & Waeber, 2015

The article also sums up the biogeographical status of the genus and try to explain the genus' distribution in Madagascar.

Abstract:
The distributional patterns of Malagasy scorpions belonging to the endemic genus Neogrosphus Lourenco, 1995 are revised. Up to now only two species were known for this genus: Neogrosphus griveaudi (Vachon, 1969), restricted to the dry forests formations in the southern and western portions of Madagascar, and Neogrosphus blanci Lourenco, 1996 only known from the Massifs of the Central region. Diagnoses are proposed for the genus and known species and a new vicariant species is described from the Ankarana Massif. The actual range of distribution of the members of this genus is currently patchy and fragmented over a large area extending from subarid to subhumid bioclimates.Based on the eco-biogeographical analyses of the genus Neogrosphus, we formulate a global rule to explain species diversity and vicariance.

Reference:
Lourenco WR, Wilme L, Waeber PO. More about the geographical distribution of the Malagasy genus Neogrosphus Lourenco, 1995 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) and description of a vicariant new species. C R Biol. 2015 Sep 1. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Buthidae

The first phylogenetic analysis of the genus Brachistosternus based on molecular and morphological data has been published


Brachistosternus Pocock, 1893 (Bothriuridae) is a very abundant taxa in most arid to semi-arid habitats of southern and western South America. Andres Ojanguren-Affilastro and co-workers have recently published the first phylogenetic analysis of Brachistosternus based on molecular and morphological data.

See abstract and article for further details.

Abstract:
A phylogenetic analysis of the scorpion genus Brachistosternus Pocock, 1893 (Bothriuridae Simon, 1880) is presented, based on a dataset including 41 of the 43 described species and five outgroups, 116 morphological characters and more than 4150 base-pairs of DNA sequence from the nuclear 18S rDNA and 28S rDNA gene loci, and the mitochondrial 12S rDNA, 16S rDNA, and Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I gene loci. Analyses conducted using parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference were largely congruent with high support for most clades. The results confirmed the monophyly of Brachistosternus, the nominal subgenus, and subgenus Ministernus Francke, 1985, as in previous analyses based only on morphology, but differed in several other respects. Species from the plains of the Atacama Desert diverged basally whereas the high altitude Andean species radiated from a more derived ancestor, presumably as a consequence of Andean uplift and associated changes in climate. Species limits were assessed among species that contain intraspecific variation (e.g., different morphs), are difficult to separate morphologically, and/or exhibit widespread or disjunct distributions. The extent of convergence in morphological adaptation to life on sandy substrata (psammophily) and the complexity of the male genitalia, or hemispermatophores, was investigated. Psammophily evolved on at least four independent occasions. The lobe regions of the hemispermatophore increased in complexity on three independent occasions, and decreased in complexity on another three independent occasions.

Reference:
Ojanguren-Affilastro AA, Mattoni CI, Ochoa JA, Ramirez MJ, Ceccarelli FS, Prendini L. Phylogeny, species delimitation and convergence in the South American bothriurid scorpion genus Brachistosternus Pocock 1893: Integrating morphology, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2015 Aug 28;94(Pt A):159-70. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Victor Fet and Andres Ojanguren for both sending me this article!

Family Bothriuridae

30 September, 2015

A revision of the North American genus Konetontli


Edmundo González-Santillán and Lorenzo Prendini have recently published a systematic revision of the North American syntropine vaejovid scorpions with a Subaculear Tubercle, Konetontli González-Santillán & Prendini, 2013 (Vaejovidae). Four new species are described from Mexico.

Konetontli ignes González-Santillán & Prendini, 2015*

Konetontli ilitchi González-Santillán & Prendini, 2015*

Konetontli juxtlahuaca González-Santillán & Prendini, 2015*

Konetontli migrus González-Santillán & Prendini, 2015*

In addition, Konetontli zihuatanejensis (Baldazo-Monsivaiz, 2003) is removed from synonymy with Konetontli acapulco (Armas and Martin-Frias, 2001) and reinstated as a valid species.

An identification key for the genus is presented.

The article also discuss the presence of a subaculear tubercle in vaejovid scorpions.

Abstract:
The Mexican vaejovid scorpion genus Konentontli Gonzalez-Santillan and Prendini, 2013, was created to accommodate five species united, among other characters, by a subaculear tubercle on the telson. Species of Konetontli are among the smallest vaejovid scorpions. Their very small size, cryptic coloration, and apparently seasonal surface activity may explain their rarity in collections and it is likely that more undescribed species await discovery. In the present contribution, we describe four new species (Konetontli ignes, sp. nov.; Konetontli ilitchi, sp. nov.; Konetontli juxtlahuaca, sp. nov.; Konetontli migrus, sp. nov.) and revalidate Konetontli zihuatanejensis (Baldazo-Monsivaiz, 2003), comb. nov., previously synonymized with Konetontli acapulco (Armas and Martı´n-Frı´as, 2001), raising to 10 the number of species in the genus; redescribe previously described species, including the first description of the female of Konetontli nayarit (Armas and Martin-Frias, 2001); and present new records, comprehensive distribution maps, and a key to the identification of the species.

Reference:
González-Santillán E, Prendini L. Systematic Revision of the North American Syntropine Vaejovid Scorpions With a Subaculear Tubercle, Konetontli González-Santillán and Prendini, 2013. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 2015 (397):1-78. [Open Access]

Thanks to Edmundo González-Santillán for sending me his article!

25 September, 2015

Two new species of the enigmatic genus Gint from East Africa


Frantisek Kovarik and Tomas Mazuch have investigated new materials from East Africa and discovered two new species of Gint Kovarik, Lowe, Pliskova & Stahlavsky, 2013 (Buthidae).

Gint dabakalo Kovarik & Mazuch, 2015 (Somaliland)

Gint puntlandus Kovarik & Mazuch, 2015 (Somalia)

 The article provides an identification key for the genus.

Abstract:
We describe herein two new species, Gint dabakalo sp. n. from Somaliland and G. puntlandus sp. n. from Somalia (Puntland) (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Additional information is given on taxonomy and distribution of all four species of genus Gint Kovařík et al., 2013, fully complemented with color photos of live and preserved specimens, as well as their habitats. True male of G. calviceps is documented for first time, and validates original decisions to create separate genus Gint, and to transfer Buthacus calviceps Pocock, 1900, to that genus.

Reference:
Kovarik F, Mazuch T. Review of the Genus Gint Kovařík et al., 2013, with Description of Two New Species from Somaliland and Somalia (Puntland) (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (209):1-23. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

23 September, 2015

Two new buthids from Puerto Rico


Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently described two new species in the family Buthidae from the island of Vieques, Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico.

Microtityus vieques Teruel, Rivera & Santos, 2015

Tityus alejandroi  Teruel, Rivera & Santos, 2015

A checklist of scorpions confirmed to occur in Puerto Rico (including Mona and excluding the Virgin Islands) is presented in the article.

Abstract:
Two new scorpion species of the family Buthidae are described herein: Microtityus vieques sp. n. (a member of the subgenus Parvabsonus Armas, 1974) and Tityus alejandroi sp. n. (belonging to the “quisqueyanus” species-group). Both were collected from pitfall traps in the Puerto Rican satellite island of Vieques, in the Greater Antilles, and the former represents the first official record of the occurrence there of the gens Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966. As expected, the new species have their closest relatives in Puerto Rico. Fully illustrated descriptions and detailed comparisons are provided. Additionally, two other Puerto Rican species of Tityus currently not assigned to any group are herein formally transferred to the “quisqueyanus” species group: Tityus angelesae Santiago-Blay, 2009 and Tityus juliorum Santiago-Blay, 2009. After this contribution, the scorpion fauna of Puerto Rico is now composed of 19 species.

Reference:
Teruel R, Rivera MJ, Santos CJ. Two new scorpions from the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, Greater Antilles (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (208):1-15. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

16 September, 2015

Growth and maturation of a male Alloscorpiops wongpromi


Members of the Asian genus Alloscorpiops Vachon, 1980 (Euscorpiidae) are rare in collections and many species descriptions are based on one or a few specimens. Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers have now published a redescription of the male Alloscorpiops wongpromi Kovarik, Soleglad & Kosulic, 2013 based on a specimen raised in captivity.

The status of Alloscorpiops troglodytes Lourenço & Pham, 2015 is also discussed.

Abstract:
An adult male of Alloscorpiops wongpromi Kovařík et al., 2013  was raised from birth, and its five exuviae (instars 2  through  6)  were  compared  to  the  resulting  adult.  This  adult  was  contrasted  with  the  original  holotype  male  specimen,  which  was  determined  to  be  only  a  subadult  after  the  fifth  ecdysis.  The  hemispermatophore  of  A.  wongpromi is illustrated and described here for the first time. In addition to morphological analysis we also describe  the  karyotype  of  Alloscorpiops  wongpromi (2n=95).  Based  on  comparative  analysis  of  pectinal  tooth  counts,  it  is  determined that the holotype of  A. troglodytes Lourenço & Pham (2015)  represents a juvenile.

Reference:
Kovarik F, Soleglad ME, Lowe G, Pliskova J, Stahlavsky F. Observations on Growth and Maturation of a Male Alloscorpiops wongpromi (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (206):1-19. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

11 September, 2015

New data on Mesobuthus gibbosus distribution in the Balkan


Wiśniewski and Olech have recently published a paper with new distributional data for Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brulle, 1832) (Buthidae) in Montenegro. This is probably the northernmost record for this species in Europe.

Abstract:
A new locality close to northwestern boundary of the geographic range is reported for Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brullé, 1832), from Montenegro, Crmnica Region, near Virpazar (42º13' N 19º06' E)

Reference:
Wiśniewski O, Olech B. A New Locality of Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brullé, 1832) from Montenegro (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2015(205):1-5. [Open Access]

A new Euscorpius from Bulgaria and Greece


Europe has almost been "flooded" by new scorpions species in the last decade. Especially in the genus Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae), new and better taxonomical methods have revealed a host of new, previously hidden species. This time, Tropea and co-workers have described a new species from Bulgaria (southwest) and Greece  (northeast, near southwestern Bulgarian border).

Euscorpius popovi Tropea, Fet, Parmakelis, Kotsakiozi & Stathi, 2015

The identification of the new species is based on both morphological and and molecular evidence.

Abstract:
A  new  scorpion  species, Euscorpius popovi sp. nov, is described from southwestern Bulgaria and northeastern Greece based on morphologica land molecular evidence analyses. 

Reference:
Tropea G, Fet V, Parmakelis A, Kotsakiozi P, Stathi I. A New Species of Euscorpius from Bulgaria and Greece (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2015(207):1-15. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

10 September, 2015

Telson gland observed in the genus Superstitionia


Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently observed a telson gland in the genus Superstitionia Stahnke, 1940 (Superstitioniidae) for the first time. The gland is only found in males. The gland is presumed to have an exocrine function.

Abstract:
In this note, we record for the first time the occurrence of a telson gland in the monotypic genus Superstitionia Stahnke 1940 (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae). The putative gland is marked by an elongated patch of wrinkled cuticle restricted to the dorso-apical surface of the telson vesicle of adult males, and is absent from females and immatures. Similar presumed glandular structures have been observed in a number of other scorpions, including many South American Bothriuridae, and the recently defined vaejovid genera Chihuahuanus González-Santillán et Prendini, 2013 and Maaykuyak González Santillán et Prendini, 2013.

Reference:
Teruel R, Lowe G, Fet V, Daniel KA. Occurrence of a telson gland in the genus Superstitionia Stahnke, 1940 (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae). Euscorpius. 2015(2014):1-5. [Open Access]

Thanks to Dr. Rolando Teruel for sending me this article!

08 September, 2015

Spider catching an Euscorpius in its web in Italy


Even though scorpions are fierce predators, they also have their own enemies. According to Gary Polis' "The Biology of Scorpions" around 150 taxa have been listed as predators on scorpions. Most of them were vertebrates, but also invertebrates have scorpions on the menu (including scorpions eating scorpions). In a recent research note, Zamani and Rossi reported of a case of intraguild predation where the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorium (C. L. Koch, 1841) caught a male Euscorpius concinnus (C. L. Koch, 1837). The note also discuss other examples of spider predation on scorpions.

Abstract:
We report a case of intraguild predation by the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Theridiidae) on the scorpion Euscorpius concinnus (Euscorpiidae) from Tuscany, Italy. The most interesting aspect is the impressive difference in size between the predator and the prey.

Reference:
Zamani A, Rossi A. Intraguild predation of Euscorpius concinnus (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) by Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(3):10-3.

Thanks to Alireza Zamani for sending me this article!

28 August, 2015

Two new fossil species from Cretaceous Burmese amber


Wilson Lourenco has recently described a couple new fossil species of Betaburmesebuthus Lourenco, 2015 (Arachaeobuthidae) from Cretaceous Burmese amber.

Betaburmesebuthus muelleri Lourenco, 2015

Betaburmesebuthus bidentatus Lourenco, 2015

Abstract:
The study of three new scorpion specimens from Cretacous amber of Myanmar (Burma) leads to the description of two new species in the genus Betaburmesebuthus Lourenco, 2015 bringing further support for the validity of this genus. To date, five species have been described in the subfamily Palaeoburmesebuthinae Lourenco, 2015: two in the genus Palaeoburmesebuthus Lourenco, 2002 and three in the genus Betaburmesebuthus.This further study attests to a considerable diversity in the Burmese amber -producing forests.

Reference:
Lourenco WR. New contribution to the knowledge of Cretaceous Burmese amber scorpions: descrptions of two new species of Betaburmesebuthus Lourenco, 2015 (Scorpiones: Archaeobuthidae: Palaeoburmesebuthinae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(3):27-36.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

26 August, 2015

A new Euscorpius species from Turkey


Ersen Yagmur and Gioele Tropea have recently described a new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) from southwestern Turkey.

Euscorpius arikani Yagmur & Tropea, 2015

The paper has an identification key for the Euscorpius species in the former "Euscorpius mingrelicus species complex" in Georgia and Turkey.

Abstract:
A new scorpion species, Euscorpius arikani sp. n., is described based on specimens collected from Antalya Province, in southwestern Turkey. It is characterized by the trichobothrial series Pe-em = 3, small size, and light to medium brown-reddish colour.

Reference:
Yagmur EA, Tropea G. A new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876, from southwestern Turkey (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(3):14-26.

Thanks to Ersen Yagmur for sending me this article!

Family Euscorpiidae

21 August, 2015

A new species of Vachonus from India


Wilson Lourenco has discovered a new species of Vachonus Tikader & Bastawade, 1983 (Buthidae) from India.

Vachonus inexpectatus Lourenco, 2015

Abstract:
Comments are proposed on the enigmatic genus Vachonus Tikader et Bastawade, 1983. Some new characters bring further evidence to support the validity of this genus. One new species is described on the basis of two adult female specimens collected in the State of Gujarat, E of Ghandinagar, in India.

Reference:
Lourenco WR. New considerations on the enigmatic genus Vachonus Tikader et Bastawade, 1983, with the description of a new species from India (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(3):2-9.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae

A new species of Buthoscorpio from India


Aswathi, Sureshan and Lourenco has recently published the discovery of a new species of Buthoscorpio Werner, 1936 (Buthidae). This is a rare genus and the new species is the fifth in the genus (three in India and one in Sri Lanka).

Buthoscorpio chinnarensis Awathi, Sureshan & Lourenco, 2015

Abstract:
A new scorpion species of the genus Buthoscorpio Werner, 1936 is described from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Idukki District, Kerala, India. The new species, Buthoscorpio chinnarensis can be distingued from the other congeners by having (1) carapace with scattered granulation on lateral portions; (2) median eyes situated anteriorly in the ratio 1:2; (3) prominent tubercles present at the basal portion of the pedipalp femur; (4) marginal lamellae of pectines composed of three pieces and middle lamellae comprises seven pieces of sclerites; (5) dorsal carinae present on metasomal segments III–V; (6) subaculear tubercle absent on telson; (7) Pectinal teeth count 14/16 (female paratypes with 17/17 and 16/17 respectively); (8) Metasomal segments I–IV wider than long, segment V longer than wide; (9) arrangement of lateral eyes. After the description of this new species, the total number of known species in the genus is raised to five; four in India and one in Sri Lanka.

Reference:
Aswathi K, Sureshan PM, Lourenco WR. A new scorpion of the genus Buthoscorpio Werner, 1936 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Kerala, India. Taprobanica. 2015;7(4):213-8. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae

19 August, 2015

New fossil scorpion from Mexican amber

Francisco Riquelme and co-workers have recently described a new fossil scorpion from amber found in the Chipas Highlands in southern Mexico.

Tityus apozonelli Riquelme, Villegas & González, 2015 (Buthidae)

Please note that the species is extinct, even though it is placed in an extant genus.

Abstract:
A new species of scorpion is described based on a rare entire adult male preserved in a cloudy amber from Miocene rocks in the Chiapas Highlands, south of Mexico. The amberbearing beds in Chiapas constitute a Conservation Lagerstätte with outstanding organic preservation inside plant resin. The new species is diagnosed as having putative characters that largely correspond with the genus Tityus Koch, 1836 (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Accordingly, it is now referred to as Tityus apozonalli sp. nov. Its previously unclear phylogenetic relationship among fossil taxa of the family Buthidae from both Dominican and Mexican amber is also examined herein. Preliminarily results indicate a basal condition of T. apozonalli regarding to Tityus geratus Santiago-Blay and Poinar, 1988, Tityus (Brazilotityus) hartkorni Lourenço, 2009, and Tityus azari Lourenço, 2013 from Dominican amber, as was Tityus (Brazilotityus) knodeli Lourenço, 2014 from Mexican amber. Its close relationships with extant Neotropic Tityus-like subclades such as ‘Tityus clathratus’ and the subgenus Tityus (Archaeotityus) are also discussed. This new taxon adds to the knowledge of New World scorpions from the Miocene that are rarely found trapped in amber.

Reference:
Riquelme F, Villegas-Guzman G, Gonzalez-Santillan E, Cordova-Tabares V, Francke OF, Piedra-Jimenez D, et al. New Fossil Scorpion from the Chiapas Amber Lagerstatte. PLoS One. 2015;10(8):e0133396. [Open Access]

Thanks to Oscar Francke for sending me this article!

14 August, 2015

A new species of Uroplectes from South Africa


Lorenzo Prendini has recently described a new species of Uroplectes Peters, 1861 (Buthidae) from the Karoo Biome in the Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces of South Africa.

Uroplectes ansiedippenaarae Prendini, 2015

The new species is one of the smallest species in Africa with adult size between 16 and 20 mm.

Abstract:
The scorpion fauna of southern Africa is very diverse, especially in the arid western half of the subcontinent. New species continue to be discovered as the region is surveyed with ultraviolet light detection methods. The present contribution describes Uroplectes ansiedippenaarae sp. n., which is endemic to the Succulent Karoo Biome in the Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. The new species appears to be most closely related to U. variegatus (C.L. Koch, 1844), which is endemic to the Fynbos Biome in the Western Cape Province. Uroplectes ansiedippenaarae sp. n. is the smallest species of Uroplectes Peters, 1861, and among the smallest scorpion species in southern Africa, with adults ranging from 16–20 mm in total length. The addition of this new species raises the number of Uroplectes species and subspecies in South Africa to 19, and the number of endemics to 10.

Reference:
Prendini L. A remarkably small species of Uroplectes Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Buthidae), endemic to the Succulent Karoo of South Africa. African Invertebrates. 2015;56(2):499-513. [Open Access]

Thanks to Rolando Teruel for informing me about this article!

Family Buthidae

05 August, 2015

A new species of Compsobuthus from Armenia


Wilson Lourenco and Elise Ann-Leguin have recently discovered a new species of Compsobuthus Vachon, 1949 from Armenia.

Compsobuthus armenicus Lourenco & Leguin, 2015

Abstract:
Two buthid species previously recorded from Armenia are confirmed: Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807) and Mesobuthus eupeus (C. L. Koch, 1839). Hottentotta saulcyi (Simon, 1880), is recorded for the first time for this country. A new species of Compsobuthus Vachon, 1949 is described on the basis of two adult females and three juveniles. From the absence of outer denticles on the movable finger of the pedipalps, the new species is placed in the acutecarinatus group. The new species of Compsobuthus represents the first record of this genus for Armenia.

Reference:
Lourenco WR, Leguin E-A. A new species of Compsobuthus Vachon, 1949 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Armenia. Zoology in the Middle East. 2015:1-5. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae

30 July, 2015

An updated checklist of the scorpion fauna of Ecuador and a review on their medical importance


Gabriel Brito and Adolfo Borges have recently published an interesting article on the scorpion fauna of Ecuador. Ecuador is a hotspot for scorpion biodiversity and the authors present an updated checklist of the scorpion fauna of this country. Details of distribution and habitat are also presented.

The article also discuss the medical importance of the scorpion fauna of Ecuador.

Abstract:
Ecuador harbors one of the most diverse Neotropical scorpion faunas, hereby updated to 47 species contained within eight genera and five families, which inhabits the “Costa” (n = 17), “Sierra” (n = 34), “Oriente” (n = 16) and “Insular” (n = 2) biogeographical regions, corresponding to the western coastal, Andean, Amazonian, and the Galápagos archipelago regions, respectively. The genus Tityus Koch, in the family Buthidae, responsible for severe/fatal accidents elsewhere in northern South America and the Amazonia, is represented in Ecuador by 16 species, including T. asthenes, which has caused fatalities in Colombia and Panama, and now in the Ecuadorian provinces of Morona Santiago and Sucumbíos. Underestimation of the medical significance of scorpion envenoming in Ecuador arises from the fact that Centruroides margaritatus (Gervais) (family Buthidae) and Teuthraustes atramentarius Simon (family Chactidae), whose venoms show low toxicity towards vertebrates, frequently envenom humans in the highly populated Guayas and Pichincha provinces. This work also updates the local scorpion faunal endemicity (74.5 %) and its geographical distribution, and reviews available medical/biochemical information on each species in the light of the increasing problem of scorpionism in the country. A proposal is hereby put forward to classify the Ecuadorian scorpions based on their potential medical importance.

Reference:
Brito G, Borges A. A checklist of the scorpions of Ecuador (Arachnida: Scorpiones), with notes on the distribution and medical significance of some species. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2015;21:23. [Open Access]

Thanks to Dr. Borges for sending me this article!

28 July, 2015

A new species of Hottentotta from India


Wilson Lourenco has recently published a paper on the buthid genus Hottentotta Birula, 1908, describing a new species from southern India.

Hottentotta reddyi Lourenco, 2015

The taxonomic position of Hottentotta and its relation to Mesobuthus Vachon, 1950 is discussed.

Abstract:
A new species of scorpion, Hottentotta reddyi sp. n. (Buthidae), is described. The type materials was collected Thorn Scrub vegetation formation, NW of Salem, in the state of Tamil Nadu, in the south of India. This new species may be the first official precise record of a Hottentotta species for this region of India. Some comments are also added about the characters used in the diagnosis of the genus Hottentotta, and their possible need for the definition of subgenera or, at least, groups of species.

Reference:
Lourenco WR. New considerations on the genus Hottentotta Birula, 1908 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) with the description of one new species from the south of India. Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(2):37-49.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Buthidae

23 July, 2015

A new species of Grosphus from Madagascar


Wilson Lourenco and Lucienne Wilme have investigated scorpion materials collected in the Makay Mountain range in Madagascar. One new species of Grosphus Simon, 1880 (Buthidae) has been described.

Grosphus makay Lourenco & Wilme, 2015

The taxonomic history of Grosphus limbatus (Pocock, 1889) is also discussed.

Abstract:
New considerations regarding Grosphus limbatus (Pocock, 1889), described from an undefined locality in Madagascar, are proposed. One new species, Grosphus makay sp. n., closely allied to G. limbatus, is described from the Makay sandstone mountain range, Atsimo-Andrefana Region (ex Province of Toliara) in south-western Madagascar. The description of the new species brings further evidence of the existence of micro-endemic and vicariant populations within the Malagasy scorpion fauna.

Reference:
Lourenco WR, Wilme L. Scorpions collected in the Makay mountain range, Madagascar (Scorpiones: Hormuridae, Buthidae) and with description of a new species. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (26):55-61. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Buthidae

22 July, 2015

Two new buthids from Chad


Wilson Lourenco has recently published two new buthids (Buthidae) from Chad.

Butheoloides vanderberghi Lourenco, 2015

Buthus labuschagnei Lourenco, 2015

Abstract:
Two new species belonging to the genera Butheoloides Hirst, 1925 (subgenus Butheoloides Hirst, 1925) and Buthus
Leach, 1815 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) are described from the Zakouma National Park, located in south-eastern Chad. The local
biotope found in the park corresponds to a more mesic environment than those found in the nearby regions, composed of dry
savannahs and the Sahel. The description of the new Butheoloides species brings further evidence to the peri-Saharan pattern of distribution presented by this genus, while the new species of Buthus is probably associated with the ‘Buthus occitanus’ from French occidental Africa (AOF), as previously reported by Vachon from this large region. This is the second record of a Buthus species from Chad.

Reference:
Lourenco WR. Deux nouvelles espèces de scorpions de la famille des Buthidae C. L. Koch, 1837 collectées dans le Parc National de Zakouma au Tchad. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (26):19-24. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Buthidae

21 July, 2015

A Revision of the Anatolian-Caucasian “Euscorpius mingrelicus Complex” and three new species


Gioele Tropea, Ersen Yagmur and Victor Fet have recently published a revision of the Anatolian-Caucasian “Euscorpius mingrelicus Complex”, which has not been subjected to modern invesigations. As with many of the other "old" Euscorpius species, E. mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874) (Euscorpiidae) also turns out to hide several species.

These are the main conclusions of this study:

The following subspecies (to E. mingrelicus) have been given species status:

Euscorpius ciliciensis Birula, 1898 (Turkey: Konya and Mersin Provinces (eastern part of the Central Taurus Mts.))

Euscorpius phrygius Bonacina, 1980 (Turkey (northwest: Ankara, Bolu, Düzce, Karabük, and Sakarya Provinces))

Euscorpius uludagensis Lacroix, 1995 (Turkey (northwest: Bursa Province))

Euscorpius mingrelicus is now restricted to Georgia (west), Russia (southwest; Krasnodar Province near its border with northwestern Georgia) and Turkey (north).

Two subspecies are synonymized (see abstract below).

The article has habitat descriptions and pictures, and an identification key for the taxa described in the article.

Interestingly, E. ciliciensis was collected up to 2700 m, which is a record altitude for the genus.

Abstract:
The taxonomic status of the Anatolian-Caucasian subspecies of Euscorpius mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874) is reconsidered. We restrict E. mingrelicus s.str. to Georgia and Turkey, and elevate to species status three of its subspecies: E. phrygius Bonacina, 1980, stat. n., E. uludagensis Lacroix, 1995, stat. n., and E. ciliciensis Birula, 1898, stat. n. We synonymize E. mingrelicus legrandi Lacroix, 1995 with E. phrygius stat. n., and E. m. ollivieri Lacroix, 1995, with E. mingrelicus.

Reference:
Tropea G, Yagmur EA, Fet V. A Revision of the Anatolian-Caucasian “Euscorpius mingrelicus Complex” (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (203):1-32. [Open Access]

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me the article!

Family Euscorpiidae

20 July, 2015

A new species of Centruroides from Mexico


Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently published a new species of Centruroides Marx, 1890 (Buthidae) from southeastern Mexico.

Centruroides poncei Teruel, Kovarik, Baldazo-Monsivais & Hoferek, 2015

The article also present data on habitat and life history for the new species.

Abstract:
The present paper deals with two species of Centruroides Marx, 1890 of the "nigrovariatus" group. One of them is described as new from two nearby localities of southwestern Oaxaca and southeastern Guerrero (in the Costa Chica region of the Pacific Coastal Plain), while the second represents a new record for Centruroides rodolfoi Santibáñez-López & Contreras Félix, 2013. After this addition, the genus is represented in the country by 41 species, eight of them belonging to the "nigrovariatus" group.

Reference:
Teruel R, Kovarik F, Baldazo Monsivaiz JG, Hoferek D. A new species of Centruroides of the "nigrovariatus" group (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from southern Mexico. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2015 (26):3-14. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Dr. Rolando Teruel for sending me this article!

Family Buthidae

26 June, 2015

A new family, genus and species of scorpion from Myanmar amber


Andrea Rossi has recently investigated a new scorpion found in amber (burmite) from Myanmar. A new fossil family, genus and species are described.

Sucinlourencous adrianae Rossi, 2015 (Sucinlourencoidae)

Abstract:
A remarkable new family, genus and species of scorpion are described from the cretaceous burmese amber (burmite) from Myanmar. The new family Sucinlourencoidae fam. n. shows particular features that are unique among the extinct burmese families and the existing families of scorpions.

Reference:
Rossi A. A new family, genus and species of scorpion from the burmite of Myanmar (Scorpiones: Sucinlourencoidae). Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2915;1(1):3-21.

Thanks to Dr. Rossi for sending me his paper!

24 June, 2015

The history of three important Tityus species in Brazil


Professor Wilson Lourenco has recently published an interesting article where he present the history of three important Brazilian Tityus species (Buthidae): Tityus bahiensis (Perty, 1833), Tityus serrulatus Lutz & Mello, 1922 and Tityus costatus (Karsch, 1879).

Abstract:
In the present study, comments are proposed on historical aspects of the most conspicuous scorpion species of the genus Tityus found in Brazil. Both Tityus bahiensis (Perty) and Tityus serrulatus Lutz & Mello are better known for their infamous reputation of noxious species. However, the original discovery and description of both species are associated with interesting historical episodes. A short comment is also provided on Tityus costatus (Karsch), the species possibly involved in the first record of a scorpion incident in Brazil.

Reference:
Lourenco WR. What do we know about some of the most conspicuous scorpion species of the genus Tityus? A historical approach. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2015;21:20. [Open Access]

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his article!

12 June, 2015

Medical important scorpions in Western Brazilian Amazon


It is well known that scorpions are a major public health problem in many regions of Brazil, but inside Brazil this problem have partly been neglected. But with with an increasing number of sting registrations every year in the country and 78,091 cases reported in 2013, it is important with quality research identifying dangerous species and risk factors.

Amanda M. Queiroz and co-workers have now published a case-controlled study analysis the severity of scorpion stings in Western Brazilian Amazon. Dangerous species are Tityus obscurus (Gervais, 1843), T. metuendus Pocock, 1897 and T. silvestris Pocock, 1897 (family Buthidae). Six deaths were registered and the main conclusion of the study is that scorpion stings showed a extensive distribution in the Western Brazilian Amazon and represent a potential occupational health problem for rural populations in this region.

Abstract:


Reference:
Queiroz AM, Sampaio VS, Mendonca I, Fe NF, Sachett J, Ferreira LC, et al. Severity of Scorpion Stings in the Western Brazilian Amazon: A Case-Control Study. PLoS One. 2015;10(6):e0128819. [Open Access]

11 June, 2015

Scorpions of the Galapagos Islands


The Galapagos Islands are famous for their animals and their impact on our knowledge on animal evolution. But there are also scorpions present on most of the islands in the Galapagos archipelago. Baert & Mahnert have recently published a paper on the scorpion (and other non-spider) fauna of the islands.

Two species are present: Centruroides exsul (Meise, 1934) (Buthidae) and Hadruroides galapagoensis Maury 1975 (Carabotonidae).

Abstract:
The geographic and ecological distribution of the arachnid species belonging to the Amblypygi (Charinus insularis Banks, 1902), the Opiliones (Galanomma microphthalma Juberthie, 1970), the Schizomida (Schizomus portoricensis (Chamberlin, 1922)), the Scorpiones (Centruroides exsul (Meise, 1934) and Hadruroides galapagoensis Maury, 1975), the Solifugae (Neocleobis solitarius (Banks, 1902)) and 25 species of Pseudoscorpiones from the Galàpagos are described. Only the schizomid Schizomus portoricensis and the pseudoscorpions Paratemnoides nidificator (Balzan, 1888), Lechytia chthoniiformis (Balzan, 1887), Aphelolpium cayanum Muchmore, 1979, and Aphelolpium longidigitatum (Ellingsen, 1910) occur also on the American mainland. The pseudoscorpion Withius piger (Simon,1878) is a cosmopolite species.

Reference:
Baert L, Mahnert V. The distribution of the non‐araneae and non‐acari arachnids of Galápagos. Belgian Journal of Entomology. 2015;28:1-76. [Open Access]

Thanks to Rolando Teruel for sending me this article!

10 June, 2015

New species in the enigmatic genus Palaeocheloctonus from northern Madagascar


As many of you already know, Madagascar is a hotspot for scorpion diversity and endemism. Wilson Lourenco and Lucienne Wilme have now described a new species in the enigmatic genus Palaeocheloctonus Lourenco, 1996 (Hormuridae) in northern Madagascar, far from the locations known for the other species in the genus.

Palaeocheloctonus septentrionalis Lourenço & Wilme, 2015

The new species is an indication for a micro-endemic and vicariant population within Madagascar. 

Abstract:
A new scorpion species, Palaeocheloctonus septentrionalis sp.n., is described from the North of Madagascar. The new species clearly suggests a new case of micro-endemic and vicariant population within the island. The number of Palaeocheloctonus species in Madagascar is now increased to two and the known geographical distribution of the genus is extended within that great island, but remains strongly disrupted.

Reference:
Lourenco WR, Wilme L. Micro-endemic populations of Palaeocheloctonus Lourenço, 1996 (Scorpiones: Hormuridae) in Madagascar: A new case of vicariance among Malagasy scorpions. Arthropoda Selecta. 2015;24(2):189-95. [Open Access]

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me this paper!

Family Hormuridae