21 November, 2013

A new species of Androctonus from northwestern Egypt

The new species of Androctonus from Egypt was collected in two cotal areas of northwestern Egypt.
Rolando Teruel, Frantisek Kovarik and Carlos Turiel have described a new species of Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Buthidae) from northwestern Egypt.

Androctonus tenuissimus Teruel, Kovarik & Turiel, 2013

The paper doesn't say anything about the venom potential of the new species, but it is probably in the same range as its close relative A. bicolor Ehrenberg, 1828. The new species should be treated as a potential dangerous scorpion until further research is done.

Androctonus  tenuissimus  sp.  n.  from  two  coastal  localities  placed  in  northwestern  Egypt  is  herein  described,  an addition that represents the fifth species of this genus confirmed to occur in this  North African country. It is most  closely related only to Androctonus bicolor Ehrenberg, 1828, which is widely distributed across northeast Africa and  the Middle East and also occurs in Egypt. Both are the only species in the genus whose adults of both se xes show  the  following  combination  of  three  diagnostic  characters:  coloration  uniformly  blackish,  pedipalp  chelae  con spicuously narrower than patella in adults, and pedipalp fingers with basal lobe/notch combination entirely absent.  However, these two taxa can readily be distinguished by very marked differences in appendage attenuation, body  sculpture and counts of principal rows of denticles on pedipalp fingers, among other characters.

Teruel R, Kovarik F, Turiel C. A new species of Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 from northwestern Egypt (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2013 (177):1-11. [Free full text]

Family Buthidae

20 November, 2013

A new species of Buthacus from Algeria

Buthacus armasi is a new species described by professor Wilson Lourenco from Algeria.
A new species of Buthacus Birula, 1908 (Buthidae) from Tassili n'Ajjer, Algeria has recently been described by professor Wilson Lourenco.

Buthacus armasi Lourenco, 2013

Three Buthacus species were previously recorded from the mountains of Tassili n’ Ajjer in the South of Algeria by Vachon: Buthacus foleyi Vachon, 1948, B. arenicola (Simon, 1885) and B. leptochelys (Ehrenberg, 1829). This last one is now confirmed as a new species. The description is based on one adult male and two female specimens recently collected in Tassili n’Ajjer, and on one of the specimens previously cited from this region by Vachon as B. leptochelys. The new species is presumably endemic to Tassili n’Ajjer.

Lourenco WR. The Buthacus Birula, 1908 populations from Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria (Scorpiones, Buthidae) and description of a new species. Entomologische Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum Hamburg. 2013;16(190):89-99.

Thanks to professor Wilson Lourenco for sending me his article!

Family Buthidae

A new Ananteris species from Guyana

A species of Ananteris has been discovered by professor Wilson Lourenco in Guyana.
Professor Wilson Lourenco has recently published a new species of Ananteris Thorell, 1891 (Buthidae) from the Guayana region of Guyana.

Ananteris michaelae Lourenco, 2013

A new species of the genus Ananteris Thorell, 1891 has been discovered in Guyana. Ananteris michaelae sp. n. is described from a single male collected in the region South of Mount Roraima, NE of the town of Normandia, located in the border between the state of Roraima in Brazil and Guyana. This is the first species of the genus described from Guyana and the second record of an Ananteris species from this country. This new description brings the total number of Ananteris species described or recorded from the Guayana region to nine.

Lourenco WR. The genus Ananteris Thorell, 1891 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) in the Guayana region and a description of a new species from Guyana. Entomologische Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum Hamburg. 2013;16(190):101-9.

Thanks to professor Lourenco for sending me his paper!

Family Buthidae

18 November, 2013

Defensive behavior in scorpions

Arie van der Meijden and co-workers have been provoking different types of scorpions to see how their defense behavior varies in the recently published study.

Arie va der Meijden and co-workers have recently published a study on scorpion defensive behavior related to morphology, performance and evolution.

Morphology can be adaptive through its effect on performance of an organism. The effect of performance may, however, be modulated by behavior; an organism may choose a behavioral option that does not fully utilize its maximum performance. Behavior may therefore be decoupled from morphology and performance. To gain insight into the relationships between these levels of organization, we combined morphological data on defensive structures with measures of defensive performance, and their utilization in defensive behavior. Scorpion species show significant variation in the morphology and performance of their main defensive structures; their chelae (pincers) and the metasoma (‘‘tail’’) carrying the stinger. Our data show that size-corrected pinch force varies to almost two orders of magnitude among species, and is correlated with chela morphology. Chela and metasoma morphology are also correlated to the LD50 of the venom, corroborating the anecdotal rule that dangerously venomous scorpions can be recognized by their chelae and metasoma. Analyses of phylogenetic independent contrasts show that correlations between several aspects of chela and metasoma morphology, performance and behavior are present. These correlations suggest co-evolution of behavior with morphology and performance. Path analysis found a performance variable (pinch force) to partially mediate the relationship between morphology (chela aspect ratio) and behavior (defensive stinger usage). We also found a correlation between two aspects of morphology: pincer finger length correlates with the relative ‘‘thickness’’ (aspect ratio) of the metasoma. This suggests scorpions show a trade-off between their two main weapon complexes: the metasoma carrying the stinger, and the pedipalps carrying the chelae.

van der Meijden A, Lobo Coelho P, Sousa P, Herrel A. Choose your weapon: defensive behavior is associated with morphology and performance in scorpions. PLoS One. 2013;8(11):e78955. [Free full text]

15 November, 2013

A new species of Odontobuthus from Eastern Iran

Thorough analysis confirm the presence of a new species of Odontobuthus i eastern Iran.
Omid Mirshamsi and co-workers have surveyed the scorpion fauna of eastern Iran, which has not been thoroughly sampled previously. This study resulted in the discovery of a new species of Odontobuthus Vachon, 1950 (Buthidae).

Odontobuthus tirgari Mirshamsi, Azghadi, Navidpour, Aliabadian & Kovarik, 2013

The paper has an identification key for the genus.

A new species of scorpions in the genus Odontobuthus (Scorpiones, Buthidae) is described from Khorasan Province, Iran. Currently, Odontobuthus includes two species in Iran, Odontobuthus doriae Thorell, 1876, which is restricted to high elevations of the central Iranian Plateau and Odontobuthus bidentatus Lourenço & Pezier, 2002 from the Zagros Mountains. The results of morphological comparisons, univariate and multivariate statistical analyses and phylogenetic analysis of COI sequence data clearly confirm a deep split between populations from the eastern Iranian Plateau and O. bidentatus Lourenço & Pezier, 2002 and O. doriae Thorell, 1876. Therefore, according to comparative morphological and molecular analyses, a new species, Odontobuthus tigari sp. nov. (♀♂) was described from eastern Iran. This addition represents the third species of this genus from Iran.

Mirshamsi O, Azghadi S, Navidpour S, Aliabadian M, Kovařík F. Odontobuthus tirgari sp. Nov. (scorpiones, buthidae) from the eastern region of the iranian plateau. Zootaxa. 2013;3731(1):153-70. [Subscription required for full text]

Family Buthidae

14 November, 2013

A new species of Vaejovis from Arizona, USA

Richard Ayrey has discovered a new Vaejovis species in Arizona, USA.

Richard Ayrey has recently published a new species of Vaejovis C. L. Koch, 1836 (Vaejovidae) from the Mogollon Rim of northern Arizona.

Vaejovis trinityae Ayrey, 2013

Interestingly, this is the first species if the "vorhiesi" group (15 species) that do not have a lithophilic life style (preferring a sloping or vertical rock habitat). The new species is found on the trunk of dead and live pine trees.

A  new scorpion species,  Vaejovis trinityae    sp. nov.  is described. This small brown  species is  found along the  Mogollon  Rim  above  Strawberry,  Arizona.  This  is  the  first  description  of  a  new  species  of  the  “vorhiesi”  group  scorpions  whose  DNA  phylogenetic  analysis  was  published  (Bryson  et  al.,  2013);  based  on  DNA  data,  the  new  species is most related to  V. lapidicola Stahnke  and  V. crumpi  Ayrey et Soleglad. It represents one of the “twentyseven geographically cohesive lineages inferred from the mtDNA tree”. A unique characteristic of this species is  that it exhibits arboreal behavior, being frequently found on Ponderosa pine trees.

Ayrey RF. A new species of Vaejovis from the Mogollon Rim of northern Arizona (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) Euscorpius. 2013 (176):1-13. [Free full text]

Family Vaejovidae

11 November, 2013

Yet another Euscorpius from Turkey

Another previously "hidden" species of Euscorpius, this time from south western Turkey.
Ersen Yagmur, Gioele Tropea and Faith Yesilyurt have recently discovered yet another species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) from south western Turkey.

Euscorpius lycius Yagmur, Tropea & Yesilyurt, 2013

There is now five Euscorpius species in Turkey, but I'm quite sure that we will see some more species when someone start looking into the "Euscorpius mingrelicus species complex".

A new scorpion species, Euscorpius lycius sp. n., is described based on specimens collected from Muğla and Antalya Provinces, in southwestern Turkey. It is characterized by a standard trichobothrial pattern (Pv= 8/9, et= 6, em=4, eb= 4), small size and light brown/reddish coloration. With the description of Euscorpius lycius sp. n., the number of valid species of the genus Euscorpius in Turkey increases to 5.

Yagmur EA, Tropea G, Yesilyurt F. A new species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae) from south western Turkey. ZooKeys. 2013;348:29-45. [Free full text]

Thanks to Ersen and Gioele for almost simultaneously sending me their paper :)

Family Euscorpiidae

08 November, 2013

A new species of the small, Asian genus Thaicharmus

A new species of Thaicharmus Kovarik, 1995 is described from Goa State in India by Frantisek Kovarik.

Frantisek Kovarik has recently published a review of the small, Asian genus Thaicharmus Kovarik, 1995 (Buthidae) and described a new species from India.

Thaicharmus indicus Kovarik, 2013

The article has an identification key for the three species in the genus.

Thaicharmus indicus sp. n. from India (Goa State) is described and compared with  T. mahunkai Kovařík, 1995 from  Thailand  and  T.  lowei  Kovařík,  Soleglad  et  Fet,  2007  from  India.  The  genus  Thaicharmus  Kovařík,  1995  is  discussed and a key is provided. Photos of male T. mahunkai are published for the first time.

Kovarik F. A Review of Thaicharmus Kovařík, 1995, with Description of Thaicharmus indicus sp. n. from India (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2013 (175):1-9. [Free full text]

Family Buthidae

A new species of Butheoloides from Cameroon

A new species of the little known genus Butheoloides Hirst, 1925 is described from Cameroon in a forthcoming issue of the journal Comptes Rendus Biologies.
Wilson Lourenco is presenting a new species of Butheoloides Hirst, 1925 (Buthidae) from Cameroon  in a forthcoming issue of Comptes Rendus Biologie.

Butheoloides savanicola Lourenco, 2013

The special distributional pattern of the genus in North Africa is also discussed.

A new species belonging to the genus Butheoloides Hirst, 1925 (subgenus Butheoloides Hirst, 1925) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) is described from northern Cameroon, a region of transition between savannahs and the Sahel. With the description of Butheoloides (Butheoloides) savanicola sp. n., the peri-Saharan pattern of distribution presented by the species of this genus is confirmed.

Lourenço WR. The remarkable peri-Saharan distribution of the genus Butheoloides Hirst (Scorpiones, Buthidae), with the description of a new species from Cameroon. Comptes Rendus - Biologies. 2013;In Press.[Subscritpion required for full text]

Family Buthidae

07 November, 2013

A popular science review of the genus Androctonus

All you need to know about the genus Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 in the latest issue of Arachne.
Carlos Turiel has recently published a very thorough and informative review of the genus Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Buthidae) in the latest issue of the journal Arachne.The article is written in a popular science style, but is based on scientific facts and is therefor a very important reading for those of us who want to read all about Androctonus in one place.

The article covers taxonomy, identification, species description and distribution and is well illustrated with good color pictures, many illustrating difficult morphological characters important in identifying some of the species. An identification key is also provided.

The article is in German. My limited knowledge of German makes it possible for me to read this great article, but I must admit I would love an English version in the future as I'm quite sure that there is a large crowd of English speaking scorpion enthusiasts out there who very much would like to read this article.

Turiel C. Die Gattung Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828. Arachne. 2013;18(5):4-23.

Thanks to Carlos for sending me his article!

06 November, 2013

Two new species of Centruroides from Mexico

Christmas News: Rudolph the red-nose reindeer has gotten his own scorpion species in a new article describing two new species of Centruroides from Mexico.

Carlos Santibanez-Lopez and Gerardo Contreras-Felix have recently published a paper describing two new species of Centruroides Marz, 1890 (Buthidae) from Oaxaca, Mexico.

Centruroides franckei Santibanez-Lopez & Contreras-Felix, 2013

Centruroides rodolfoi Santibanez-Lopez & Contreras-Felix, 2013

Fun fact: The species name rodolfoi is dedicated to Santa Claus faithful reindeer Rudolph (you know, the one with the red nose). Rudolph is Rodolfo in Spanish. Christmas is early this year! :)

Centruroides franckei, n. sp. and Centruroides rodolfoi, n. sp. are described from Oaxaca, Mexico. These species belong to the “striped” group within the genus. Thirteen species of the genus are reported for the state, six of them belonging to the “striped” group (infamatus-nigrovariatus subgroup). Both new species are compared to their most morphological similar species. A map with the six “striped” (infamatus-nigrovariatus subgroup) species in the state is also provided.

Santibanez-Lopez CE, Contreras-Felix GA. Two new species of Centruroides Marx 1890 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Oaxaca, Mexico. Zootaxa. 2013;3734(2):130-40. [Subscription required for full text]

Thanks to Oscar Francke for sending me this paper!

Family Buthidae

05 November, 2013

A review of the genus Hottentotta

My favorite Hottentotta, Hottentotta flavidulus Teruel & Rein, 2010. Originally described from Afghanistan, but now also reported from Pakistan. Photo: Rolando Teruel (C).
I'm still working myself through Kovarik & Ojanguren Affilastro's new book Illustrated Catalog of Scorpions, Part II. Bothriuridae; Chaerilidae; Buthidae I., genera Compsobuthus, Hottentotta, Isometrus, Lychas and Sassanidotus and here is the third taxonomical update from the book.

Taxonomical changes in Hottentotta Birula, 1908 (Buthidae):

 New species:

Hottentotta mazuchi Kovarik, 2013 (Kenya)

Hottentotta trailini Kovarik, 2013 (Ethiopia)

Hottentotta ugandaensis Kovarik, 2013 (Uganda)

New status:

Hottentotta fuscitruncus (Caporiacco, 1936) - Restored from synonymy with H. trilineatus (Peters, 1861)

Hottentotta minusalta Vachon, 1959 - Elevated from subspecies status: H. alticola minusalta Vachon, 1959


Hottentotta mateui Lourenco, Duhem & Cloudsley-Thompson, 2012 is synonymized with H. minax (L. Koch, 1875)

Kovarik F. Family Buthidae. In: Kovarik F, Ojanguren Affilastro AA, editors. Illustrated catalogue of scorpions Part II Bothriuridae: Buthidae I, genera Compsobuthus, Hottentotta, Isometrus, Lychas and Sassanidotus. Prague: Clarion Productions; 2013. p. 145-212.

Family Buthidae

01 November, 2013

A new Euscorpius from Western Balkans

The new species, Euscorpius feti, is named after leading Euscorpius expert professor Victor Fet.

Gioele Tropea is continuing his studies on the populations of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae) in Europe. Today's news is a new species of Euscorpius from Western Balkan (Western Bosnia & Herzegovina, southern Croatia, northwestern Montenegro).

Euscorpius feti Tropea, 2013

A new scorpion species, Euscorpius feti sp. n., is described from the western Balkans based on morphological evidence. It is characterized by long-limbed overall appearance, medium-large size, light brown to reddish color, and a high trichobothrial count (Pv = 11–12, et = 8, em = 4 and eb = 4).

Tropea G. A New Species of Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 from the Western Balkans (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2013 (174):1-10. [Free full text]

Thanks to Gioele Tropea for sending me his article!

Family Euscorpiidae