24 December, 2009

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year from The Scorpion Files

Dear All!

A big thanks to all of you that have contributed to The Scorpion Files in 2009!

I wish you a Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

Best wishes

Jan Ove Rein
Editor of The Scorpion Files

23 December, 2009

New fossil scorpion from Ukrainian amber

It is rare to find scorpions in amber, but some specimens are known from Baltic amber. Lourenco & Weitschat have now described a new fossil species in the genus Palaeoananteris (Buthidae) from Ukraine:

Palaeoananteris ukrainensis Lourenco & Weitschat, 2009

A new species of fossil scorpion, Palaeoananteris ukrainensis sp. n. is described based on a specimen found in Ukrainian amber. The new species is the third described for the genus Palaeoananteris and thus belongs to the same lineage as the majority of other scorpions known from Baltic amber, which is clearly associated with the extant scorpion fauna of tropical regions in America and Africa. This new find attests, however, to a considerable degree of diversity in the Baltic and Ukrainian amber-producing forests. This is the first fossil scorpion found in Ukrainian amber.

Lourenco WR, Weitschat W. A new species of Palaeoananteris Lourenco & Weitschat, 2001, fossil scorpion from Ukrainian amber (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Boletin Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa. 2009(45):231-5.

A new Hadruroides from Peru

Ochoa & Chaparro described a new species of Hadruroides (Caraboctonidae) in 2008 (but I didn't learn about this paper until now):

Hadruroidews bustamantei Ochoa & Chaparro, 2008

Hadruroides bustamantei, a new caraboctonid species from inter Andean valleys of central Peru (2600—3289 m) is described. This species is most related to H. mauryi Francke & Soleglad, with which was confused. The new species differs from H. mauryi, by length/width ratio of the male chela and the pigmentation pattern of the tergites, legs and metasomal segments. With

Ochoa JA, Chaparro JC. A new scorpion species of the genus Hadruroides (Scorpiones: Caraboctoninae) from inter Andean valleys of Peru. Rev Peru Biol. 2008;15(1):5-10. [Free fultext]

Thanks to Gerard Dupre for always helping me to keep The Scorpion Files updated!!

Family Caraboctonidae

18 December, 2009

A new Vaejovis from Mexico

Zarate-Galvez & Francke have described a new species of Vaejovis (Vaejovidae) from Mexico:

Vaejovis ocotensis Zarate-Galvez & Francke, 2009

Vaejovis ocotensis sp. n. is described from “El Ocote Biosphere Reserve”, Chiapas, México. This is the third species of this genus reported for Chiapas, and the first belonging to the nitidulus group.

Zarate-Galvez K, Francke OF. A new Vaejovis (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) from Chipas, Mexico. Zootaxa. 2009(2313):61-8. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Vaejovidae

16 December, 2009

A new species of Diplocentrus from Mexico

Francke & Quijano-Ravell have described a new species of Diplocentrus (Scorpionidae) from Mexico:

Diplocentrus poncei Francke & Quijano-Ravell, 2009

The species is described in the family Diplocentridae, which some authors have included in Scorpionidae.

Diplocentrus poncei, sp. nov. from the state of Michoacán, Mexico is described. This is the first species in the genus and family with increasing neobothriotaxy on the patella and chela of the pedipalps. Diplocentrus magnus has been found to have increasing neobothriotaxy on the patella but not on the chela of the pedipalps.

Francke OF, Quijano-Ravell AF. Una especie nueva Diplocentrus (Scorpiones: Diplocentridae) del estado de Michoacan, Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad. 2009;80:647-58. [Free fulltext, but current issue not published online yet]

Family Scorpionidae

A new Centruroides from Mexico

Javier Ponce-Saavedra & Oscar Francke have recently described a new species of Centruroides from Mexico:

Centruroides hirsutipalpus Ponce-Saavedra & Francke, 2009 (Buthidae)

The new speices is considered to be medical important!

Centruroides hirsutipalpus sp. nov. from the region of Minatitlán, Colima, Mexico is described. The new species is compared with C. elegans Thorell and C. tecomanus Hoffmann, which are morphologically and geographically closely related. Comparisons with other species of “striped” Centruroides from central and western Mexico are included. This medically important species had not been collected previously.

Saavedra JP, Francke OF. Descripcion de una nueva de alacran con importancia medica del genero Centruroides (Scorpiones: Buthidae) del estado de Colima, Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad. 2009;80:647-58. [Free fulltext, but current issue not published online yet]

Family Buthidae

15 December, 2009

Several African Scorpio subspecies given species status

Scorpio maurus Linnaeus, 1758 (Scorpionidae) has for a long time been considered a very widespread and highly polymorphic species with 19 subspecies. Wilson Lourenco has now studied the African subspecies and raised several subspecies to species rank. One new species is also described from Cameroon:

S. birulai Fet, 1997 New status
S. fuliginosus (Pallary, 1928) New status
S. hesperus Birula, 1910* New status
S. mogadorensis Birula, 1910 New status
S. occidentalis Werner, 1936 New status
S. punicus Fet, 2000 New status
S. savanicola Lourenço, 2009 New species
S. weidholzi Werner, 1929 New status

Previous status for the taxa can be found in the Scorpion Files Scorpionidae updates.

For almost a century, Scorpio maurus L., 1758 (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae) has been considered to be no more than a widespread and presumably highly polymorphic species. Past classifications by Birula and Vachon have restricted the status of different populations to subspecific level. In the present paper, and in the light of new evidence, several African populations are now raised to the rank of species. One of these, Scorpio occidentalis Werner, 1936, is redescribed and a neotype proposed to stabilise the taxonomy of the group. A new species is also described from the savannah areas of Cameroon. This is the second to be recorded from regions outside the Sahara desert zone.

Lourenco WR. Reanalysis of the genus Scorpio Linnaeus 1758 in sub-Saharan Africa and description of one new species from Cameroon (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). Entomol Mitt Zool Mus Hamburg. 2009;15(181):99-113.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me the paper!

Family Scorpionidae

14 December, 2009

A new Heteroscorpion from Madagascar

Lourenco and Goodman have recently described a new species in the genus Heteroscorpion (Hemiscorpiidae*) from Madagascar:

Heteroscorpion kaii Lourenco & Goodman, 2009

* There is still a disagreement among researchers on the higher taxonomy of scorpions, and the authors of this paper have chosen to use the family Heteroscorpionidae, that by other authors have been included in Hemiscorpiidae.

The endemic Malagasy genus Heteroscorpion Birula 1903 of the family Heteroscorpionidae was monotypic for a century with H. opisthacanthoides (Kraepelin, 1896) as the type species. Extensive field surveys conducted over the last 15 years in the different bioclimatic regions of Madagascar have resulted in the collection of numerous specimens belonging to the genus Heteroscorpion. These collections led to the description of four new species (see details in Lourenço & Goodman, 2006). In this paper, an additional new species to science is named from the extreme southeastern portion of the island and is presumed to be a local endemic. The number of species in the genus Heteroscorpion is now six, and its distribution covers numerous zones of the island, including humid and dry forests. Aspects of the biotope of the area from where the new species was collected is also discussed

Lourenco WR, Goodman SM. Description of a new speices of Heteroscorpion Birula, 1903 (Scorpiones, Heteroscorpionidae) from "Grande Avasoa" in extreme southern Madagascar. Entomol Mitt Zool Mus Hamburg. 2009;15(181):115-25.

Family Hemiscorpiidae

10 December, 2009

A new Compsobuthus from Oman

Graeme Lowe has recently described a new lithophilic (rock dwelling) species in the genus Compsobuthus from Oman.

Compsobuthus nematodactylus Lowe, 2009 (Buthidae)

A new species of Compsobuthus is described from the Al Hajar mountains of northern Oman. It is distinguished by a strongly dorsoventrally compressed body, reduced carination on the carapace and tergites, extreme elongation of legs and pedipalps, lack of external accessory denticles on the pedipalp fingers, chelal trichobothrium est placed closer to dt than db, heavy setation on the ventral metasoma, and 28–34 pectine teeth. It is an ultralithophilic scorpion, highly adapted to life in narrow rock fissures.

Lowe G. A new lithophilic Compsobuthus Vachon, 1949 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from northern Oman. Euscorpius. 2009(90):1-13. [free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

08 December, 2009

New Vaejovis species from Mexico

A new Vaejovis species has been described from Mexico:

Vaejovis trespicos Zarate-Galvez & Francke, 2009 (Vaejovidae)

Vaejovis trespicos sp. n., belonging to the Vaejovis mexicanus group, is described from the highlands of Cerro Tres Picos, municipio Villa Corzo, Chiapas, México. It is the second species of this genus known from Chiapas.

Zarate-Galvez K, Francke OF. Nueva especie de Vaejovis (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) de Chiapas, Mexico. Revista Iberica de Arachnologia. 2009;17:21-8.

Thanks to Oscar Francke for sending me the paper!

Family Vaejovidae

07 December, 2009

Redescription of Plesiochactas mitchelli

Little is known about the rare, Central American genus Plesiochactas (Euscorpiidae). Only two species have been described from a handful specimens. Kaleb Zarate-Galvez and Oscar Francke have now redescribed P. mitchelli from an adult female found in Mexico (close to the border of Guatemala where the only other known specimen was collected).

Plesiochactas mitchelli Soleglad 1976 was originally described from a juvenile female collected in ‘‘Guatemala’’ before 1902. The species is redescribed on the basis of an adult female from a specific locality in the state of Chiapas; it is the first record of this species from Mexico.

Zarate-Galvez K, Francke OF. Redescription of Plesiochactas mitchelli (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae): a rare scorpion from Central America. Journal of Arachnology. 2009;37(3):338-45. [Subscription required for fulltext, but free fulltext after 12 months]

Family Euscorpiidae

A new species of Urophonius from Argentina

Andreas Alejandro Ojanguren-Affilastro and German Cheli have published a study with data on the genus Urophonius (Bothriuridae) from Patagonia, Argentina. A new species is described:

Urophonius martinezi Ojanguren-Affilastro & Cheli, 2009

Distribution and seasonal surface activity of the genus Urophonius are also disscussed. Interestingly, most species of the genus Urophonius seem to have tehir surface acitvity period in the winter.

New data on the distribution and systematics of Patagonian species of the scorpion genus Urophonius Pocock 1893 are provided. A species of this genus from Penı´nsula Valde´s in central eastern Argentinean Patagonia, Urophonius martinezi new species, is described. The surface activity period of most of the species of the genus is reviewed and clearly established. A distribution map as well as a key for the Patagonian species of the genus are provided.

Ojanguren-Affilastro AA, Cheli G. New data on the genus Urophonius in Patagonia with a description of a new species of the exochus group (Scorpiones: Bothriuridae). Journal of Arachnology. 2009;37(3):346-56. [Subscription required for fulltext, but free fulltext after 12 months]

Family Bothriuridae

04 December, 2009

A sting in the balls

Androctonus crassicauda is one of the most medical important scorpions in the Middle East and have caused deaths in several countries, including Iran. Getting stung by this species is not recommended.

Because of this I got a bad feeling when a paper with the following title popped up in my screen: "Scrotum injury by scorpion sting"!

It is Dehghani & Khamechian at the School of Medicine in Kashan, Iran that report about a 38 year old man that got stung in his scrotum (balls) by a A. crassicauda hiding in his trousers when he took them on. This could be the start of a real horror story, but surprisingly the symptoms were quite mild (for A. crassicauda) and the patient did not get any nasty effects from the sting after being treated.

Most scorpion stings are associated with hands and legs, but some unusual sting sites have also been reported previously (e.g. two cases of penis stings by Tityus). Checking your clothes in the morning when you are in a scorpion area should be quite obvious after reading this!

The paper also present a short review on scorpionism in Iran.

Androctonus crassicauda is the second most frequent causes of scorpion sting in south-west Iran. Its venom can cause sever pain, autonomic, central nervous system (CNS), muscle function disturbances, and death. Appropriate medical and nursing cares can lead to complete recovery with no sequel .The majority of scorpion stings are oligosymptomatic, occurring mainly on the hands and feet (about 90%). Here one rare case of a scorpion sting on the scrotum is reported from Kashan, central Iran.

Dehghani R, Khamehchian T. Scrotum Injury by Scorpion Sting. Iran J Arthropod-Borne Dis. 2008;2(1):49-52. [Free fulltext]

03 December, 2009

A new species of Androctonus from Morocco

Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have recently identified a new species in the genus Androctonus (Buthidae) from Morocco:

Androctonus maroccanus Lourenco, Ythier & Leguin, 2009

The new species is related to Androctonus gonneti Vachon, 1948.

A new species of scorpion belonging to the genus Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 (family Buthidae C. L. Koch, 1837), is described on the basis of one male and one female specimens collected at Sidi Smaïl in the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. With the description of Androctonus maroccanus sp. n., the total number of Androctonus species known to Morocco is raised to seven.

Lourenco WR, Ythier E, Leguin E-A. A new species of Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 from Morocco (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2009(89):1-8. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

02 December, 2009

Three new species of Scorpiops from Pakistan

Frantisek Kovarik & Zubair Ahmed have recently described three new species in the genus Scorpiops (Euscorpiidae) from Pakistan:

Scorpiops pakistanus Kovarik & Ahmed, 2009
Scorpiops pseudomontanus Kovarik & Ahmed, 2009
Scorpiops zubairahmedi Kovarik, 2009

The paper also has a short discussion on the taxonomical decisions made in the genus Scorpiops in the last decade. The authors concludes that some of the synonymizations and new species creations done may not be justified, but more research into species-level characters is necessary before any conclusions can be made. The paper present an identification key, but in this key species with unclear status appear only as "Scorpiops hardwickii complex" (see paper for a list of taxa).

Three new species of the genus Scorpiops with 17 external trichobothria on the patella and total length of 50–72 mm are described from northern Pakistan and compared with other species of the genus. A key to the species of the genus is provided. In S. pakistanus sp. n. ventral trichobothria on the patella number 9–10, chela manus is wide and short, and pectinal teeth number 6–8. In S. pseudomontanus sp. n. ventral trichobothria on the patella number 14–18, chela manus is narrow and long, and pectinal teeth number 6–9. In S. zubairahmedi sp. n. ventral trichobothria on the patella number 7, chela manus is very narrow and long, and pectinal teeth number 6.

Kovarik F, Ahmed Z. Three new species of Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae: Scorpiopinae) from Pakistan. Euscorpius. 2009(88):1-11. [Free fulltext]

Family Euscorpiidae