30 September, 2015

A revision of the North American genus Konetontli

Edmundo González-Santillán and Lorenzo Prendini have recently published a systematic revision of the North American syntropine vaejovid scorpions with a Subaculear Tubercle, Konetontli González-Santillán & Prendini, 2013 (Vaejovidae). Four new species are described from Mexico.

Konetontli ignes González-Santillán & Prendini, 2015*

Konetontli ilitchi González-Santillán & Prendini, 2015*

Konetontli juxtlahuaca González-Santillán & Prendini, 2015*

Konetontli migrus González-Santillán & Prendini, 2015*

In addition, Konetontli zihuatanejensis (Baldazo-Monsivaiz, 2003) is removed from synonymy with Konetontli acapulco (Armas and Martin-Frias, 2001) and reinstated as a valid species.

An identification key for the genus is presented.

The article also discuss the presence of a subaculear tubercle in vaejovid scorpions.

The Mexican vaejovid scorpion genus Konentontli Gonzalez-Santillan and Prendini, 2013, was created to accommodate five species united, among other characters, by a subaculear tubercle on the telson. Species of Konetontli are among the smallest vaejovid scorpions. Their very small size, cryptic coloration, and apparently seasonal surface activity may explain their rarity in collections and it is likely that more undescribed species await discovery. In the present contribution, we describe four new species (Konetontli ignes, sp. nov.; Konetontli ilitchi, sp. nov.; Konetontli juxtlahuaca, sp. nov.; Konetontli migrus, sp. nov.) and revalidate Konetontli zihuatanejensis (Baldazo-Monsivaiz, 2003), comb. nov., previously synonymized with Konetontli acapulco (Armas and Martı´n-Frı´as, 2001), raising to 10 the number of species in the genus; redescribe previously described species, including the first description of the female of Konetontli nayarit (Armas and Martin-Frias, 2001); and present new records, comprehensive distribution maps, and a key to the identification of the species.

González-Santillán E, Prendini L. Systematic Revision of the North American Syntropine Vaejovid Scorpions With a Subaculear Tubercle, Konetontli González-Santillán and Prendini, 2013. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 2015 (397):1-78. [Open Access]

Thanks to Edmundo González-Santillán for sending me his article!

25 September, 2015

Two new species of the enigmatic genus Gint from East Africa

Frantisek Kovarik and Tomas Mazuch have investigated new materials from East Africa and discovered two new species of Gint Kovarik, Lowe, Pliskova & Stahlavsky, 2013 (Buthidae).

Gint dabakalo Kovarik & Mazuch, 2015 (Somaliland)

Gint puntlandus Kovarik & Mazuch, 2015 (Somalia)

 The article provides an identification key for the genus.

We describe herein two new species, Gint dabakalo sp. n. from Somaliland and G. puntlandus sp. n. from Somalia (Puntland) (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Additional information is given on taxonomy and distribution of all four species of genus Gint Kovařík et al., 2013, fully complemented with color photos of live and preserved specimens, as well as their habitats. True male of G. calviceps is documented for first time, and validates original decisions to create separate genus Gint, and to transfer Buthacus calviceps Pocock, 1900, to that genus.

Kovarik F, Mazuch T. Review of the Genus Gint Kovařík et al., 2013, with Description of Two New Species from Somaliland and Somalia (Puntland) (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (209):1-23. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

23 September, 2015

Two new buthids from Puerto Rico

Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently described two new species in the family Buthidae from the island of Vieques, Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico.

Microtityus vieques Teruel, Rivera & Santos, 2015

Tityus alejandroi  Teruel, Rivera & Santos, 2015

A checklist of scorpions confirmed to occur in Puerto Rico (including Mona and excluding the Virgin Islands) is presented in the article.

Two new scorpion species of the family Buthidae are described herein: Microtityus vieques sp. n. (a member of the subgenus Parvabsonus Armas, 1974) and Tityus alejandroi sp. n. (belonging to the “quisqueyanus” species-group). Both were collected from pitfall traps in the Puerto Rican satellite island of Vieques, in the Greater Antilles, and the former represents the first official record of the occurrence there of the gens Microtityus Kjellesvig-Waering, 1966. As expected, the new species have their closest relatives in Puerto Rico. Fully illustrated descriptions and detailed comparisons are provided. Additionally, two other Puerto Rican species of Tityus currently not assigned to any group are herein formally transferred to the “quisqueyanus” species group: Tityus angelesae Santiago-Blay, 2009 and Tityus juliorum Santiago-Blay, 2009. After this contribution, the scorpion fauna of Puerto Rico is now composed of 19 species.

Teruel R, Rivera MJ, Santos CJ. Two new scorpions from the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, Greater Antilles (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (208):1-15. [Open Access]

Family Buthidae

16 September, 2015

Growth and maturation of a male Alloscorpiops wongpromi

Members of the Asian genus Alloscorpiops Vachon, 1980 (Euscorpiidae) are rare in collections and many species descriptions are based on one or a few specimens. Frantisek Kovarik and co-workers have now published a redescription of the male Alloscorpiops wongpromi Kovarik, Soleglad & Kosulic, 2013 based on a specimen raised in captivity.

The status of Alloscorpiops troglodytes Lourenço & Pham, 2015 is also discussed.

An adult male of Alloscorpiops wongpromi Kovařík et al., 2013  was raised from birth, and its five exuviae (instars 2  through  6)  were  compared  to  the  resulting  adult.  This  adult  was  contrasted  with  the  original  holotype  male  specimen,  which  was  determined  to  be  only  a  subadult  after  the  fifth  ecdysis.  The  hemispermatophore  of  A.  wongpromi is illustrated and described here for the first time. In addition to morphological analysis we also describe  the  karyotype  of  Alloscorpiops  wongpromi (2n=95).  Based  on  comparative  analysis  of  pectinal  tooth  counts,  it  is  determined that the holotype of  A. troglodytes Lourenço & Pham (2015)  represents a juvenile.

Kovarik F, Soleglad ME, Lowe G, Pliskova J, Stahlavsky F. Observations on Growth and Maturation of a Male Alloscorpiops wongpromi (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2015 (206):1-19. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

11 September, 2015

New data on Mesobuthus gibbosus distribution in the Balkan

Wiśniewski and Olech have recently published a paper with new distributional data for Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brulle, 1832) (Buthidae) in Montenegro. This is probably the northernmost record for this species in Europe.

A new locality close to northwestern boundary of the geographic range is reported for Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brullé, 1832), from Montenegro, Crmnica Region, near Virpazar (42º13' N 19º06' E)

Wiśniewski O, Olech B. A New Locality of Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brullé, 1832) from Montenegro (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius. 2015(205):1-5. [Open Access]

A new Euscorpius from Bulgaria and Greece

Europe has almost been "flooded" by new scorpions species in the last decade. Especially in the genus Euscorpius Thorell, 1876 (Euscorpiidae), new and better taxonomical methods have revealed a host of new, previously hidden species. This time, Tropea and co-workers have described a new species from Bulgaria (southwest) and Greece  (northeast, near southwestern Bulgarian border).

Euscorpius popovi Tropea, Fet, Parmakelis, Kotsakiozi & Stathi, 2015

The identification of the new species is based on both morphological and and molecular evidence.

A  new  scorpion  species, Euscorpius popovi sp. nov, is described from southwestern Bulgaria and northeastern Greece based on morphologica land molecular evidence analyses. 

Tropea G, Fet V, Parmakelis A, Kotsakiozi P, Stathi I. A New Species of Euscorpius from Bulgaria and Greece (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius. 2015(207):1-15. [Open Access]

Family Euscorpiidae

10 September, 2015

Telson gland observed in the genus Superstitionia

Rolando Teruel and co-workers have recently observed a telson gland in the genus Superstitionia Stahnke, 1940 (Superstitioniidae) for the first time. The gland is only found in males. The gland is presumed to have an exocrine function.

In this note, we record for the first time the occurrence of a telson gland in the monotypic genus Superstitionia Stahnke 1940 (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae). The putative gland is marked by an elongated patch of wrinkled cuticle restricted to the dorso-apical surface of the telson vesicle of adult males, and is absent from females and immatures. Similar presumed glandular structures have been observed in a number of other scorpions, including many South American Bothriuridae, and the recently defined vaejovid genera Chihuahuanus González-Santillán et Prendini, 2013 and Maaykuyak González Santillán et Prendini, 2013.

Teruel R, Lowe G, Fet V, Daniel KA. Occurrence of a telson gland in the genus Superstitionia Stahnke, 1940 (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae). Euscorpius. 2015(2014):1-5. [Open Access]

Thanks to Dr. Rolando Teruel for sending me this article!

08 September, 2015

Spider catching an Euscorpius in its web in Italy

Even though scorpions are fierce predators, they also have their own enemies. According to Gary Polis' "The Biology of Scorpions" around 150 taxa have been listed as predators on scorpions. Most of them were vertebrates, but also invertebrates have scorpions on the menu (including scorpions eating scorpions). In a recent research note, Zamani and Rossi reported of a case of intraguild predation where the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorium (C. L. Koch, 1841) caught a male Euscorpius concinnus (C. L. Koch, 1837). The note also discuss other examples of spider predation on scorpions.

We report a case of intraguild predation by the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Theridiidae) on the scorpion Euscorpius concinnus (Euscorpiidae) from Tuscany, Italy. The most interesting aspect is the impressive difference in size between the predator and the prey.

Zamani A, Rossi A. Intraguild predation of Euscorpius concinnus (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) by Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Arachnida - Rivista Aracnologica Italiana. 2015;1(3):10-3.

Thanks to Alireza Zamani for sending me this article!