28 September, 2011

Anascorp® is approved in the treatment of Centruroides envenomations in the USA

Quite a lot of peoples in Southwestern USA are stung by Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, 1928 each year, and some (especially children) develop more serious, systemic symptoms. FDA has now approved the use of the anti-venom Anascorp®, which has shown to help children recover from life-threatening reactions due to Centruroides stings.

This news has been reported in several online sources, but I cite JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) here because I was asked to provide a picture to accompany their news report :)) (JAMA is one of the "big-five" scientific journals in medicine).

Kuehn BM. Treatment for scorpion stings. JAMA. 2011;306(12):1315. [Free fulltext?]

26 September, 2011

A new species of Chaerilus from Vietnam

Wilson Lourenco has recently published a new species of Chaerilus Simon, 1877 (Chaerilidae) from Vietnam.

Chaerilus phami Lourenco, 2011

The scorpion fauna of the Island of Con Son (Poulo Condore), Vietnam is briefly discussed and a new species, Chaerilus phami sp. n. is described. The new species is morphologically distinct from all the other species of Chaerilus described from the mainland in Vietnam.

Lourenço WR. Scorpions from the Island of Côn Son (Poulo Condore), Vietnam and description of a new species of Chaerilus Simon, 1877 (Scorpiones, Chaerilidae). Comptes Rendus - Biologies. 2011;334:773-6. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Chaerilidae

21 September, 2011

Hemiscorpius lepturus sting - a case report

Almost all dangerous scorpions (and all species in the family Buthidae) have neurotoxic venom. Hemiscorpius lepturus Peters, 1861 (Hemiscorpiidae) from Iran and Iraq has a venom composition differing significantly from the species of medical importance in Buthidae (by having a cytotoxic venom). And this species is at least as dangerous as the most potent species in Buthidae, causing renal failure, severe pulmonary hemorrhage and other dangerous conditions in many patients.

Eshan Valavi and co-workers have now published a case report of a Hemiscorpius lepturus sting from Iran describing both symptoms and why the venom causes these potential life threatening symptoms.

Hemiscorpius lepturus is a lethal scorpion with potentially cytotoxic venom. Various degrees of local and systemic toxicity have been observed after its envenomation ranging from local erythema to disseminated intravascular coagulation, renal failure and severe pulmonary hemorrhage. In this case report, we report on a seven-year-old patient who developed the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) after being stung by the scorpion H. lepturus. This condition is characterized by microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, increased serum levels of lactate dehydrogenase and uremia. We evaluated the causes of HUS and found that the levels of C3, C4, CH50 and H factors were normal, but the activity of Von Willebrand factor cleaving protease was decreased (less than 5% of the normal activity). The patient improved after administering therapy with plasma exchange.

Valavi E, Ansari MJ, Hoseini S. ADAMTS-13 deficiency following Hemiscorpius lepturus scorpion sting. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2011 Jul-Aug;22(4):792-5. [free fulltext]

19 September, 2011

Tityus smithii restored and a revision of Tityus from the Lesser Antilles

Rolando Teruel has made a revision of the Tityus described from the Lesser Antilles. Tityus smithii Pocock, 1893 is restored to species status and redescribed. Tityus pictus Pocock, 1893 is redescribed.

In the present paper, the taxonomic status of Tityus pictus Pocock, 1893 and all of its junior synonyms is revised. Tityus smithii Pocock, 1893 is restored as a valid species, and the subspecies Tityus smithii microdon Pocock, 1893 (currently T. pictus microdon) is regarded as its junior synonym. Both T. pictus and T. smithii are redescribed, supplementary information on their morphological variability are given, and their geographical distribution is up- dated, including a new locality record for the latter. Also, the taxonomic position and relationships of all Lesser Antillean species of the genus are clarified: it is demonstrated that T. exstinctus Lourenço, 1995 and Tityus insignis Pocock, 1889 are actually more closely related to T. pictus and T. smithii, and they all form a morphologically compact group of species which shows no clear affinities to any other species-group but “crassimanus” and “quisqueyanus”.

Teruel R. Redescription of Tityus pictus Pocock, 1893 and Tityus smithii Pocock, 1893, with notes of the Tityus species from Lesser Antilles (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2011(125):1-26. [Free fultext].

Family Buthidae

15 September, 2011

New Buthus species from Ethiopia

Frantisek Kovarik has described a new species of Buthus Leach, 1815 (Buthidae) from Ethiopia.

Buthus awashensis Kovarik, 2011

Buthus awashensis sp. n. from the Awash region of Ethiopia, is described and compared with B. berberensis Pocock, 1900 from Somaliland. The new species is characterized chiefly by the total length of 50–65 mm. B. berberensis reaches only 45–55 mm and differs in coloration, with adults having the chela of pedipalp and chelicerae entirely yellow without dark reticulations, and by mophometric characters, mainly the shape of the chela of pedipalp. Pectinal marginal tips extend the to proximal end of the fourth sternite in males of B. awashensis sp. n. and to proximal end of the fifth sternite in males of B. berberensis. Included are color photos of both sexes of dead and alive B. awashensis sp. n. and B. berberensis and of their localities.

Kovarik F. Buthus awashensis sp. n. from Ethiopia (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2011(128):1-6. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

14 September, 2011

New Centruroides from Lesser Antilles and a redescription of Centruroides granosus

de Armas, Teruel & Kovarik have published a paper where they present a redescription of Centruroides granosus (Thorell, 1876) (Buthidae) from Panama.

In the same paper the identity of Centrurus granosus simplex Thorell, 1876 from the Lesser Antilles is discussed. The authors propose a species status for Centruroides simplex (Thorell, 1876). C. simplex is proposed as a senior synonym of Centruroides hasethi arubensis Stahnke & Calos, 1977 and Centruroides testaceus arubensis Sissom, 1991.

Centruroides granosus (Thorell, 1876) is redescribed based on several specimens of both sexes from Panama. We demonstrate that the original description of this species was based on an immature (subadult) male, which is herein designated as the lectotype. We conclude that Centrurus granosus simplex Thorell, 1876 is a senior synonym of Centruroides testaceus arubensis (Bakker, 1963), and elevate it to species level: Centruroides simplex (Thorell, 1876), comb. nov.

de Armas LF, Teruel R, Kovarik F. Redescription of Centruroides granosus (Thorell, 1876) and identity of Centrurus granosus simplex Thorell, 1876 (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2011(127):1-11. [Free fultext]

Family Buthidae

07 September, 2011

Redescription of the adult male Diplocentrus maya

Ronny Trujillo and Luis de Armas have published a redescription of the adult male Diplocentrus maya Francke, 1977 (Scorpionidae*) from Guatemala. The paper also has a identification key for the species of Diplocentrus in Guatemala.

The male of Diplocentrus maya Francke 1977 is described, and new data are given on this taxon. A dichotomic key is provided for identification of the three Guatemalan species of the genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861.

Trujillo RE, de Armas LF. Descripcion del macho adulto de Diplocentrus maya Francke, 1977 (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae: Diplocentrinae). Boletin de la SEA. 2011(48):139-42.

Thanks to Ronny Trujillo for sending me this paper!

*Some authors have not accepted the inclusion of Diplocentrinae in Scorpionidae and have retained the family status for this taxa (Diplocentridae).

Family Scorpionidae

05 September, 2011

The status of Mesobuthus eupeus in Iran and species status for one of its subspecies

Omid Mirshamsi and co-workers have studied the different subspecies and populations of the widespread and polymorphic species Mesobuthus eupeus (C. L. Koch, 1939) in Iran. The studies revealed two distinct groups, resulting in an elevation to species status for Mesobuthus eupeus phillipsi (Pocock, 1889).

Mesobuthus phillipsi (Pocock, 1889) (Buthidae)

In the present study a number of scorpions from Iran classified under the name of Mesobuthus eupeus (C.L. Koch, 1839) were considered. Currently, M. eupeus includes at least 14 described subspecies with no concrete taxonomic position. Here, this species is redescribed based on new specimens collected from Iran. In addition, multivariate statistical analyses were performed to investigate the degree of intraspecific morphological divergence of M. eupeus based on six Iranian subspecies. The results of morphological comparisons and univariate and multivariate statistical analyses confirm the high phenotypic variability within this species. The data presented here revealed two distinct groups: I. M. e. phillipsi and, II. Including five subspecies namely, M. e. eupeus, M. e. philippovitschi, M. e. thersites M. e. afghanus and M. e. kirmanensis. The results of this study clearly confirm the hypothesis that M. eupeus is a polytypic species complex and possibly includes more than one valid species. Therefore, according to comparative morphological analysis, M. e. phillipsi was raised to the species level.

Mirshamsi O, Sari A, Elahi E, Hosseinie S. Mesobuthus eupeus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Iran: A polytypic species complex. Zootaxa. 2011(2929):1-21. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Buthidae

02 September, 2011

Tityus ythieri lives and more on its biology

Tityus ythieri Lourenco, 2007 (Buthidae) was synonymized with T. magnimanus Pocock, 1897 in 2009 by Kovarik et al. Eric Ythier has revoked the decision by Kovarik et al. based on the fact that they didn't use the real T. ytheri in their study. See paper for more details.

In the current paper, Ythier also presents new data on the biology and reproduction of Tityus ythieri. This species only occurs in Ecuador.

Biological notes on the life cycle of Tityus ythieri Lourenço, 2007 were provided with the description of the species. Additional biological data on the postembryonic development of T. ythieri are described in the present paper.

Ythier E. Additional biological data on Tityus ythieri Lourenço, 2007. Le bulletin d’Arthropoda. 2011(44):3-7.

Thanks to Eric for sending me this paper!

Family Buthidae