31 March, 2013

A new Alloscorpiops from Thailand

Frantisek Kovarik has recently described a new species of Alloscorpiops Vachon, 1980 (Euscorpiidae) from Thailand.

Alloscorpiops citadelle Kovarik, 2013

This paper was published just after Wilson Lourenco's recent description of a new species of Alloscorpiops from Laos, and the two authors probably didn't know about the other's new species.

Alloscorpiops citadelle sp. n. from Thailand is described and compared with A. anthracinus (Simon, 1887). A. citadelle sp. n. is characterized mainly by a higher number of trichobothria on the patella, which has 29–34 external (23–24 in A. anthracinus) and 19–21 ventral (15–19 in A. anthracinus) trichobothria.

Kovarik F. Alloscorpiops citadelle sp. n. from Thailand (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae: Scorpiopinae). Euscorpius. 2013 (158):1-9. [Free full text]

Family Euscorpiidae

A new Alloscorpiops from Laos

Wilson Lourenco has recently described a new subgenus and species of Alloscorpiops Vachon, 1980 (Euscorpiidae) from Laos.

Laosscorpiops Lourenco, 2013 (new subgenus).
Alloscorpiops calmonti Lourenco, 2013 (new species belonging to the new subgenus).

Please note that this paper was published before Frantisek Kovariks recent paper on Alloscorpiops published a few days ago, and the authors probably didn't know about the other's new species.

Alloscorpiops (Laoscorpiops) calmonti subgen. n., sp. n., belonging to the family Euscorpiidae Laurie, is described on the basis of single female specimen collected in the Pathoumphone District of southern Laos. This new scorpion taxon may represent yet another endemic element for the fauna of Laos. The new subgenus is characterized by a previously unknown and possible unique trichobothrial pattern.

Lourenco WR. A new subgenus and species of Alloscorpiops Vachon, 1980 from Laos (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae, Scorpiopinae); implications for the taxonomy of the group. Comptes Rendus - Biologies. 2013;336:51-5. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Euscorpiidae

29 March, 2013

A new Euscorpius from Turkey

As previously stated in this blog, the populations of the genus Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) in Balkans and Tyrkey may still hide new species. And now Yagmur & Tropea have described a new species of Euscorpius from Bursa Province, in Marmara Region of Turkey.

Euscorpius rahsenae Yagmur & Tropea, 2013

A new species of the genus Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 is described based on specimens collected from Bursa Province, in Marmara Region of Turkey. It is characterized by a mesotrichous trichobothrial pattern (Pv= 8, et= 6, em=4, eb= 4), medium size and light coloration. Euscorpius (Euscorpius) rahsenae sp. n. is the second species of the subgenus Euscorpius recognized in Turkey.

Yagmur EA, Tropea G. A new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae) from Marmara Region of Turkey. ZooKeys. 2013 (281):91-105. [Free full text]

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me his paper!

Family Euscorpiidae

19 March, 2013

Fungal infection after a scorpion sting

Morteza Pouahmad and co-workers have recently published a case report presenting a patient that got a serious fungal infection (mucormycosis) after a scorpion sting. This is not a common complication from scorpion stings, but something we should be aware of.

Mucor is a fungus, which give rise to opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. We described a 55-year-old immunocompetent woman with cutaneous mucormycosis after scorpion sting. Mucormycosis may happen in patients with intact immunity and is not allocated only to patients with immune deficiency.

Pourahmad M, Sepidkar A, Farokhnia MH, Tadayon SM, Salehi H, Zabetian H. Mucormycosis after scorpion sting: case report. Mycoses. 2013 Mar 18 (Early view). [Subscription required for full text]

05 March, 2013

First report of the medical important species Hottentotta tamulus in Sri Lanka

There have been few modern surveys of the scorpion fauna of Sri Lanka. A few deaths and serious morbidity have been reported from the northern part of the island. Kithsiri Ranawana and co-workers report of the first findings of the medical species Hottentotta tamulus (Fabricius, 1798) (Buthidae) from northern Sri Lanka. The medical importance of scorpions in Sri Lanka is also discussed.

A scorpion species proved to be lethal to humans was recently recorded from Jaffna Peninsula (9°40'0''N 80°0'0''E, mean annual temperature 26.2°C), in the northern dry zone of Sri Lanka. This species is morphologically different from all other known scorpions in Sri Lanka. The species was identified as Hottentotta tamulus (Scorpiones: Buthidae), which is commonly found in Maharashtra, India, the closest mainland to Sri Lanka. Small children and housewives were most of the victims. Soon after sting, the patient develops intense pain at the site of sting followed by numbed sensation. Dominant clinical effects include excessive sweating, agitation and palpitation. Blood pressure of the victim goes up, and if not promptly treated leads to acute heart failure. There is a high risk of spreading of this species to the rest of the country due to transport of goods and sand from the area.

Ranawana KB, Dinamithra NP, Sivansuthan S, Nagasena II, Kovarik F, Kularatne SAM. First Report on Hottentotta tamulus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Sri Lanka, and its Medical Importance. Euscorpius. 2013 (155):1-8.

04 March, 2013

Hemolymph vascular system in scorpions as a character in taxonomy and phylogeny

The morphological characters thus far employed in analyses of scorpion phylogeny have been based almost entirely on external structures, but it has been known for many years that internal anatomy also may have an potential importance in phylogeny.

Klussmann-Fricke, Prendini and Wirkner have recently published a paper on the evolutionary morphology of the hemolymph vascular system in scorpions and its potential use in systematic studies of scorpions.

Phylogenetically informative characters from the internal anatomy of scorpions were first reported more than 150 years ago, but the subject received little attention after the mid-1920s. Recent investigations, using traditional dissection, illustration and histological sectioning, microscopy, and innovative new methods for investigating complex soft tissue anatomy identified a new wealth of variation. Additionally, these investigations confirmed the phylogenetic significance of previously identified structures. Building on earlier work we present a more detailed description of the hemolymph vascular system (HVS) in scorpions, based on comparison of the vascular structures of the heart and the branching pattern of the prosomal arteries among 45 exemplar species representing most of the major scorpion lineages. Using corrosion-casting, MicroCT in combination with computer-aided 3D-reconstruction, and scanning electron microscopy, we conceptualize a series of phylogenetically informative characters for the anterior aorta system and characters of the heart and associated structures (e.g. arrangement of the ostia) of scorpions. Furthermore, we optimize the possible evolution of these new characters on a previous hypothesis of scorpion phylogeny, and discuss alternative character state transformations, their evolutionary consequences, and possible underlying evolutionary mechanisms acting on the HVS.

Klußmann-Fricke BJ, Prendini L, Wirkner CS. Evolutionary morphology of the hemolymph vascular system in scorpions: A character analysis. Arthropod Structure & Development. 2012;41(6):545-60. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Roland Stockmann for informing me about this paper!