31 May, 2010

A new Odontobuthus from Oman

Graeme Lowe has recently published a description of a new species in the genus Odontobuthus (Buthidae) from Oman. The paper also has an identification key for the genus. The species is distributed in Oman and United Arab Emirates.

The Asian buthid genus Odontobuthus is newly recorded from the Arabian Peninsula where is represented by O. brevidigitus sp. nov. from the Batínah coast and foothills of the Al Hajar mountains of northern Oman. The new species is characterized by short pedipalp fingers, long pectines with narrow basal middle lamella, 2–3 enlarged denticles on ventrosubmedian carinae of metasoma II–III, stout metasoma IV with 10 anterior transverse granules, 3 lateral anal lobes, and enlarged dentition on the ventral anal arch. A model is proposed for the speciation of Odontobuthus by westward dispersal of an ancestral population on the Indus floodplain, followed by vicariant tectonic events in the Miocene and Pliocene that led to divergence of four species in temporal sequence: O. odonturus, O. doriae, O. bidentatus and O. brevidigitus sp. nov.

Lowe G. A new species of Odontobuthus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from northern Oman. Euscorpius. 2010(96):1-22. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

28 May, 2010

Scorpions of Bahia State, Brazil

Tiago Porto and co-workers have written a review on the scorpion fauna in the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil.

We report herein an updated and commented list of scorpions occurring in state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil. Data comprising a period of 100 years (1908-2008) were obtained from seven major Brazilian collections. Twenty eight species were identified and grouped in seven genera (Bothriurus Peters, 1861, Ananteris Thorell, 1891, Isometrus Ehrenberg, 1828, Physoctonus Mello-Leitão, 1934, Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876, Tityus C.L.Koch, 1836 and Troglorhopalurus Lourenço, Baptista and Giupponi, 2004) and two families (Bothriuridae Simon, 1880 and Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837). This new list increases in 50 % the known scorpiofauna of Bahia, which now represents approximately 22 % of the Brazilian species, recorded in all biomes and phytophysiognomies from the coastal zone to high altitude areas (3-1,268 m). Seven species are endemic to Bahia and three of them could be included in the Brazilian National Red List, which would promote action plans towards their conservation.

Porto TJ, Brazil TK, Lira-da-Silva M. Scorpions, state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil. Check List. 2010;6(2):292-7. [Free fulltext]

Thanks to Tiago Porto for sending me this paper!

25 May, 2010

Scorpions of Europe review

I may come as a surprise to many that the number of European species may be as high as 35. Victor Fet has published a review summing up the current status of European scorpions.

This brief review summarizes the studies in systematics and zoogeography of European scorpions. The current “splitting” trend in scorpion taxonomy is only a reasonable response to the former “lumping.” Our better understanding of scorpion systematics became possible due to the availability of new morphological characters and molecular techniques, as well as of new material. Many taxa and local faunas are still under revision. The total number of native scorpion species in Europe could easily be over 35 (Buthidae, 8; Euscorpiidae, 22-24; Chactidae, 1; Iuridae, 3) belonging to four families and six genera. The northern limit of natural (non-anthropochoric) scorpion distribution in Europe is in Saratov Province, Russia, at 50°40’54”N, for Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae).

Fet V. Scorpions of Europe. Acta Zool Bulg. 2010;62(1):3-12.

Thanks to professor Fet for sending me this paper!

19 May, 2010

A new Euscorpiops from China

Zhi-Young Di and co-workers have recently published yet another new species from China:

Euscorpiops puerensis Di, Wu, Cao, Xiao & Li, 2010 (Euscorpiidae)

The paper also lists all reported Euscorpiops from China and their distribution. An identification key for the genus' species in China is also presented.

A catalogue of Chinese species of the genus Euscorpiops Vachon, 1980 is provided. There are 10 species in total, none of them was recorded from China in “Catalog of the Scorpions of the World” (Fet et al., 2000). A new species, E. puerensis sp. nov. from southern Yunnan is described and illustrated. E. puerensis sp. nov. is characterized by having 18 external trichobothria (5 eb, 2 esb, 2 em, 4 est, 5 et), and 10 or 11 ventral trichobothria in the pedipalp patella; chela with a length/width ratio average of 2.7 on males and females; pedipalp chela fingers on adult females and males scalloped; pectinal teeth count 7–8; pectinal fulcra present.

Di Z-Y, Wu Y-L, Cao Z-J, Xiao H, Li W-X. A catalogue of the genus Euscorpiops Vachon, 1980 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae, Scorpiopinae) from China, with description of a new species. Zootaxa. 2010(2477):49-61. [Free fultext]

Thanks to Zhi-Young Di for sending me the paper!

Family Euscorpiidae