24 June, 2010

Scorpions of Iran - Part VI - with a new Hottentotta

Part VI of a major review of the scorpions of Iran has been published in issue 99 of the journal Euscorpius.

The paper list 10 species (five new records) in three families from the Lorestan Province and their distribution. A new species in the genus Hottentotta is described:

Hottentotta lorestanus Navidpour, Nayebzadeh, Soleglad, Fet, Kovarik & Kayedi, 2010 (Buthidae)

An identification key for the species in the province is given. Good color photos are presented for the Hottentotta species and also some habitat pictures.

Ten species of scorpions belonging to three families are reported from the Lorestan Province of Iran. Of these, five species are recorded from the province for the first time: Hottentotta zagrosensis Kovařík, 1997; Mesobuthus eupeus phillipsii (Pocock, 1889); Orthochirus iranus Kovařík, 2004; Razianus zarudnyi (Birula, 1903) ; and Scorpio maurus townsendi (Pocock, 1900). One new species is described, Hottentotta lorestanus sp. n.; it can be easily distinguished from the other four species of the genus known from Iran by its coloration; it is the only Iranian species which has the entire pedipalps yellow and the metasomal segments I to IV greenish gray. Also presented is a key to all species of scorpions found in the province.

Navidpour S, Nayebzadeh HH, Soleglad ME, Fet V, Kovarik F, Kayedi MH. Scorpions of Iran (Arachnida, Scorpiones). Part VI. Lorestan Province. Euscorpius. 2010(99):1-23. [Fulltext freely available]

Family Buthidae
Family Scorpionidae
Family Hemiscorpiidae

23 June, 2010

A sting accident caused by Rhopalurus agamemmon

Reuber Albuquerque Brandao and Renata Dias Francoso have published a paper describing a sting accident involving Rhopalurus agamemmon (Koch, 1839) (Buthidae).

The paper is in Portuguese, but with an English abstract.

Accidents caused by scorpions are a serious public health problem in Brazil. Rhopalurus agamemnon is a large scorpion found in the Cerrado (savanna) biome, and it is very abundant in many localities in central Brazil. The species inhabits open savanna environments, and is common inside termite mounds. However, it disappears from places where the native vegetation has been removed. The accidents reported present moderate symptoms of envenoming, but are based on questionable identifications. Here, we present a report on an accident that was certainly caused by Rhopalurus agamemnon. We conclude that the few reports available do not make it possible to evaluate the severity of such accidents and the possible risk to public health from this scorpion.

Brandao RA, Francoso RD. Acidente por Rhopalurus agamemnon (Koch, 1839) (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2010 Jun;43(3):342-4. [Free fulltext - The paper is at the end of the page under the Case Report section]

Family Buthidae

15 June, 2010

A new Buthoscorpio from India

A new species in the rare and little known genus Buthoscorpio Werner, 1936 has been described from India by Javed et al.:

Buthoscorpio rayalensis Javed, Rao, Mirza, Sanap & Tampal, 2010 (Buthidae)

In the same paper, the author discuss the status of B. jinnahii Amir, Kamaluddin & Jabbar, 2005 and B. rahmatii Amir, Kamaluddin & Jabbar, 2005 (they were originally described in the non-valid genus Stenochirus by the authors). A study of the descriptions of these two species shows that they can not belong to the genus Buthoscorpio. The two taxa are now Buthidae incertae sedis and are not included in the total number species of Buthidae in The Scorpion Files.

A new species of scorpion, Buthoscorpio rayalensis sp. nov., is described from Andhra Pradesh, India. The new species of scorpion can be differentiated from its congeners in having the following set of morphological characters: anterior edge of carapace exhibiting very broad subtle indentation with a conspicuous epistome present medially, median eyes situated anteriorly in the ratio 1:3.1, interocular area smooth, patella anteriorly smooth and rounded, mesosomal tergites smooth, pectines 17–17, and arrangement of lateral eyes. Stenochirus jinnahii Amir, Kama-luddin et Jabbar, 2005 and S. rahmatii Amir, Kamaluddin et Jabbar, 2005 are considered Buthidae incertae sedis as their generic allocation has been erroneous.

Maqsood Javed SM, Thulsi Rao K, Mirza ZA, Sanap RV, Tampal F. A new species of scorpion of the genus Buthoscorpio Werner, 1936 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Andhra Pradesh, India. Euscorpius. 2010(98):1-11. [free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

14 June, 2010

Locomotion and orientation in Mesobuthus gibbosus

Dimitris Kaltsas and Moysis Mylonas have recently published an interesting study of the locomotory activity and orientation of the European buthid Mesobuthus gibbosus (Buthidae).

This study explores the locomotory activity of Mesobuthus gibbosus on Koufonisi Island (central Aegean). We measured orientation of movement, shelter selection and abiotic factors that influence locomotive activity throughout the circadian and lunar cycles. Our results show M. gibbosus is a highly active and negatively phototactic species with sexually dimorphic patterns of movements that are related to maternal protective behaviour. Male scorpions disperse more widely, apparently as a function of mate search, and exhibit much more opportunistic locomotive behaviour. The locomotory activity of the population was influenced by moon phase (negative phototropic) and air temperature, did not differ intersexually, and was directed towards a dry stone-wall where shelter was readily available.

Kaltsas D, Mylonas M. Locomotory activity and orientation of Mesobuthus gibbosus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in central Aegean archipelago. Journal of Natural History. 2010;44(23):1445-59. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Thanks to Dr. Dimitris Kaltsas for sending me this paper!

Family Buthidae

10 June, 2010

A new Pseudouroplectes from Madagascar

The rare, soil-dwelling Pseudouroplectes (Buthidae) are endemic to Madagascar. Wilson Lourenco and Eric Ythier have now discovered a new species that is described in a recent paper:

Pseudouroplectes lalyae Lourenco & Ythier, 2010

A new species of the endemic Malagasy genus Pseudouroplectes Lourenço, 1995 (family Buthidae) is described from spiny forests of the southwestern portion of the island. The holotype was obtained in the forests of Ifaty, north of Toliara. With the description of this species, the distributional pattern of this genus is confined to dry forest formations in the south and southwest. A key is proposed to the known species.

Lourenco WR, Ythier E. Another new species of Pseudouroplectes Lourenco, 1995 from Madagascar (Scorpiones, Buthidae). ZooKeys. 2010;48:1-9. [Free fulltext]

Thanks to Eric Ythier for sending me this paper!

Family Buthidae

08 June, 2010

A new Bothriurus species from Argentina

Ojanguren-Affilastro & Garcia-Mauro have described a new species in Bothriurus (Bothriuridae) from the Somuncura Plateau in Argentina:

Bothriurus nendai Ojanguren-Affilastro & Garcia-Mauro, 2010

Bothriurus nendai n. sp. is described. This species is endemic to the upper level of the Somuncura plateau, a Patagonian island placed in the Monte Phytogeographic province. This is the third known endemic scorpion from this area. Bothriurus nendai n. sp. is closely related to the patagonicus group; however, several morphological characters separate B. nendai from the species of this group. New data on the scorpion species of the plateau are also provided.

Ojanguren Affilastro AA, Garcia-Mauro I. A new Bothriurus (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae) from the Somuncura Plateau, with additions to the knowledge to the endemic scorpion fauna of the area. Zootaxa. 2010(2488):52-64. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Bothriuridae

07 June, 2010

A new species of Vaejovis

Carlos Santibanez-Lopez & David Sissom have described a new species of Vaejovis (Vaejovidae) from Mexico:

Vaejovis oaxaca Santibanez-Lopez & Sissom, 2010

Species of the Vaejovis eusthenura group were transferred to the new genus Hoffmannius by Soleglad & Fet, 2008, but Santibanez-Lopez & Sissom have chosen to retain the previous state of Vaejovis. I therefore list this species in Vaejovis, but according to the taxonomy of Soleglad & Fet, 2008 it should be listed as Hoffmannius. I must add that I do not know who is right when it comes to the complex taxonomy of Vaejovidae and for the time being we have to live with different systems in scorpion classification and taxonomy. Hopefully, this will be resolved in the future.

Vaejovis oaxaca, a new species of the Vaejovis eusthenura group is described from the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It is found in lowlands ranging from the Mitla area in central Oaxaca southeast into the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the eastern edge of Chiapas.

Santibanez-Lopez C, Sissom D. A new species of the Vaejovis eustenura group in Oaxaca, Mexico (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Zootaxa. 2010 (2493):49-58. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Thanks to Carlos Santibáñez López for sending me this paper!

Family Vaejovidae

Taxonomic news from the genus Centruroides

Rolando Teruel and Frantisek Kovarik have looked into the enigmatic species Centruroides subgranosus (kraepelin, 1898). After investigating the types, they conclude that C. subgranosus is a junior synonym of Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821).

The taxonomical status of Centruroides suffus Pocock, 1902 is also discussed and it is concluded that this taxa should still have a species status.

The true identity of Centruroides subgranosus (Kraepelin, 1898) is established based on the examination of the type series. A lectotype and paralectotype are designated. A taxonomic discussion on C. vittatus (Say, 1821) and C. suffusus Pocock, 1902 is provided.

Teruel R, Kovarik F. The true identity of the enigmatic scorpion Centruroides subgranosus (Kraepelin, 1898), with some taxonomic comments on Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821) and Centruroides suffusus Pocock, 1902 (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2010(97):1-9. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

04 June, 2010

Leiurus abdullahbayrami discovered in Syria

Recently, several new species have been split from Leiurus quinquestriatus (Ehrenberg, 1828). One of these was Leiurus abdullahbayrami Yagmur, Koc & Kunt, 2009, which was described from southeastern Turkey. Khalil & Yagmur now report that Leiurus abdullahbayrami Yagmur, Koc & Kunt, 2009 is also present in Syria.

This study reports second Leiurus species recorded first time for the Syrian scorpion fauna. The scorpion Leiurus abdullahbayrami Yağmur, Koç & Kunt, 2009, was recorded from Al-Hasakah Province and Homs Province. Morphology, ecological conditions and geographical distribution of the species are discussed.

Khalil N, Yagmur EA. Leiurus abdullahbayrami (Scorpiones: Buthidae), a new species for the scorpion fauna of Syria. Serket. 2010;12(1):1-6.

Thanks to Ersen Yagmur for sending me his recent papers!

Family Buthidae

03 June, 2010

Buthus news from Jordan and Israel

Wilson Lourenco, Ersen Yagmur and Bernard Duhem have described a new Buthus species (Buthidae) from Jordan:

Buthus amri Lourenco, Yagmur & Duhem, 2010

In the same paper, Buthus israelis (Shulov & Amitai, 1959) is raised to species status (previous subspecies status as Buthus occitanus israelis (Shulov & Amitai, 1959)).

Since the revision of the genus Buthus Leach about a decade ago, several new species have been recorded from North Africa. Only one new species, however, has been described from the Middle East. Another new species, collected in Jordan, is described here. It was collected in the region of Aqaba, in the Wadi Rum Desert. It is associated with Buthus occitanus mardochei var. israelis Shulov & Amitai, 1959, which is raised here to species level based on morphological and geographic grounds. The new species, Buthus amri, is distinguished by its smaller overall size, a smaller number of pectinal teeth, only 9-10 rows of granules on the chela fingers, and a very strong setation on pedipalps, metasomal segments and telson.

Lourenco WR, Yagmur EA, Duhem B. A new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 from Jordan. Zoology in the Middle East. 2010;49:95-9.

Family Buthidae