Archive for July, 2013

journal.pone.0068282.g002 (1)

Citation: Yamashita T, Rhoads DD (2013) Species Delimitation and Morphological Divergence in the Scorpion Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821): Insights from Phylogeography.


Scorpion systematics and taxonomy have recently shown a need for revision, partially due to insights from molecular techniques. Scorpion taxonomy has been difficult with morphological characters as disagreement exists among researchers with character choice for adequate species delimitation in taxonomic studies. Within the family Buthidae, species identification and delimitation is particularly difficult due to the morphological similarity among species and extensive intraspecific morphological diversity. The genus Centruroides in the western hemisphere is a prime example of the difficulty in untangling the taxonomic complexity within buthid scorpions. In this paper, we present phylogeographic, Ecological Niche Modeling, and morphometric analyses to further understand how population diversification may have produced morphological diversity in Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821). We show that C. vittatus populations in the Big Bend and Trans-Pecos region of Texas, USA are phylogeographically distinct and may predate the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In addition, we suggest the extended isolation of Big Bend region populations may have created the C. vittatus variant once known as C. pantheriensis.

PLoS ONE 8(7): e68282. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068282