29 April, 2009

A new Isometrus from China

Lourenco & Zhu recently described a new Isometrus species from China:

Isometrus tibetanus Lourenco & Zhu, 2008 (Buthidae)

A new species, Isometrus (Reddyanus) tibetanus sp. nov. from Tibet, China is described. For comparative purposes, Isometrus (Reddyanus) assamensis Oates, 1888, originally described from India, and also distributed in Nepal, is redescribed based on the original type materials (holotypes) and a series of specimens deposited in the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

Lourenco WR, Zhu M-S. A new species of the genus Isometrus Ehrenberg 1828 from China (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica. 2008;33 (2):264-71.

Thanks to Gérard Dupre for informing me about the new species!

Family Buthidae

27 April, 2009

Scorpion findings in Norway

Scorpions are found in countries outside their natural distribution all the time. In 2008, a live scorpion was found in a house in Stavanger, Norway and it was sent to me. With the help of Rolando Teruel, the scorpion was identified to Vaejovis mexicanus (Vaejovidae).

Rolando and myself have now put together a research note about this special finding and a few other known scorpion findings in Norway.

In the present note we record the unusual finding of a live adult female Vaejovis mexicanus C. L. Koch, 1836 in southwestern Norway. Also, other exotic scorpion findings for this Scandinavian country are briefly summarized.

Teruel R, Rein JO. On the findings of Vaejovis mexicanus C. L. Koch, 1836 and other scorpions in Norway (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae, Euscorpiidae, Hemiscorpiidae). Scorpion Files - Occational Papers. 2009; (2):1-3. [Free fulltext]

Family Vaejovidae

15 April, 2009

Revised diagnosis and redescription of Apistobuthus susanae

Apistobuthus is a remarkable genus in the family Buthidae because of the members incredible "winged" tail (the seccond tail segment is laterally flattened and disc-shaped). This characteristic is unique among scorpions.

For many years, only one species was known (A. pterygocercus Finnegan, 1932 from central and southern regions of the Arabian Peninsula). In 1998, another species was described (A. susanae Lourenco, 1998) from the Khoozestan Province in Iran.

A. susanae has only been known from one specimen, but Navidpour & Lowe (2009) have now published a redescription of the species based on several new specimens. New characteristics separating A. susanae from A. pterygocercus are also presented. Info on habitat is also presented.

The scorpion Apistobuthus susanae Lourenc¸o 1998 is redescribed based on new specimens collected from Khoozestan Province, Iran. It is distinct from A. pterygocercus Finnegan 1932 found in the dunes of Rub’ al-Khali. The two species cannot be separated by previously used diagnostic characters. Instead, A. susanae is differentiated from A. pterygocercus by new characters, including more robust legs and pedipalps, shorter pectines, stronger carination, and complete fusion of central lateral and posterior median carinae of the carapace.

Interestingly, Apistobuthus is the only new scorpion genus ever described by a woman (Dr. Susan Finnegan in 1932). A. susanae is named after her.

Navidpour S, Lowe G. Revised diagnosis and redescription of Apistobuthus susanae (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Jornal of Arachnology. 2009;37(1):49-59. [Subscription required for fulltext, but free fulltext after 12 months]

Family Buthidae

14 April, 2009

Two new Chaerilus species from Laos and Vietnam

Lourenco & Zhu have described two new species in the genus Chaerilus (Chaerilidae) after investigating a large series of specimens from the collections of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris collected by Professor Constantine Dawydoff in the period between 1929 and 1939:

Chaerilus laoticus Lourenco & Zhu, 2008 (collected in Laos)
Chaerilus vietnamicus Lourenco & Zhu, 2008 (collected in Vietnam)

In addition, Chaerilus petrzelkai Kovarik, 2000 from Vietnam is redescribed in the paper.

Lourenco WR, Zhu M-S. Description of two new species of the genus Chaerilus Simon, 1877 (Scorpiones, Chaerilidae) from Laos and Vietnam. Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica. 2008;33(3):462-74.

Family Chaerilidae