29 May, 2008

New Rhopalurus species from Colombia

A new species in the genus Rhopalurus has been described from northeastern Colombia:

Rhopalurus caribensis Teruel & Roncallo, 2008

The new species is closely related to Rhopalurus laticauda, and has probably been confused with this species in the past. The paper also discuss the taxonomy and distribution of Rhopalurus laticauda.


Teruel R, Roncallo CA. Rare or poorly known scorpions from Colombia. III. On the taxonomy and distribution of Rhopalurus laticauda Thorell, 1876 (Scorpiones: Buthidae), with the description of a new species of the genus. Euscorpius. 2008(68):1-12. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

16 May, 2008

A new troglobitic genus and species described from Australia

Erich Volschenk and Lorenzo Prendini has described an interesting new troglobitic genus and species from Ledge Cave, Barrow Island, off the north-western coast of Western Australia:

Aops Volschenk & Prendini, 2008 (Urodacidae)*
Aops oncodactylus Volschenk & Prendini, 2008 (Urodacidae)*

*The family Urodacidae was abolished by Soleglad, Fet & Kovarik in 2005 and the subfamily Urodacinae was transfered to Scorpionidae. Volschenk & Prendini have not accepted this deccision (more information about this), and retained the family Urodacidae (and placed the new genus and species in this family because of its close relationship to Urodacus). The taxonomy of The Scorpion Files follows Soleglad & Fet (2005), and I have here listed Aops in Scorpionidae. This is formally not correct, but is the best choice in the current situation until a new revision on higher scorpion systematics is published.

The paper also has a very interesting review of scorpion troglobites and discuss the different forms of troglobitic lifestyle and troglomorphisms (troglomorphic adaptions) in scorpions.

Here is the abstract from the paper:

We describe a new genus and species of troglomorphic scorpion from Ledge Cave, Barrow Island, off the north-western coast of Western Australia. This troglobite scorpion was initially difficult to place within the superfamily Scorpionoidea Latreille on account of its unusual morphology. Based on cladistic analysis, we demonstrate that this scorpion is phylogenetically most closely related to the endemic Australian genus Urodacus Peters (Urodacidae Pocock). The new taxon, named Aops oncodactylus, gen. et sp. nov., is the first troglobitic urodacid and the first troglobitic scorpion recorded from continental Australia. In light of this discovery, we re-assess the known diversity of troglobitic scorpions and the troglomorphic adaptations (troglomorphies) of cavernicolous scorpions. A distinction is recognised between the exclusive occurrence in cavernicolous habitats and the presence of troglomorphies, which are exhibited by some endogean (humicolous) scorpions. The definition of troglobitic scorpions is limited to species that are both restricted to cavernicolous habitats and exhibit pronounced troglomorphies. Only 20 scorpion species meet both criteria and are considered unequivocally troglobitic according to this definition.

Volschenk ES, Prendini L. Aops oncodactylus, gen. et sp. nov, the frist troglobitic urodacid (Urodacidae: Scorpiones), with a re-assessment of cavernicolus, troglobitic and troglomorphic scorpions. Invertebrate Systematics. 2008;22:235. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Scorpionidae