A new Vaejovis C.L. Koch, 1836, the second known vorhiesi group species from the Santa Catalina Mountains of Arizona (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae)

on December 29, 2013 in Online Arachnid Publications, Recent News, Scorpions in North America


ZooKeys-270-021-g005ZooKeys-270-021-g001 (1) ZooKeys-270-021-g002Abstract

A new species of the vorhiesi group of Vaejovis C.L. Koch, 1836, Vaejovis brysoni sp. n., is described from the Santa Catalina Mountains in southern Arizona. Vaejovis deboerae Ayrey also inhabits this mountain range, making this the first documented case of two vorhiesi group species distributed on the same mountain. When compared to all other vorhiesi group species, Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. is distinct based on several combinations of morphological characters and morphometric ratios.


For over 50 years, only four species of montane scorpions in the specious genus Vaejoviswere known from the topographically complex states of Arizona, New Mexico and Sonora. That number has more than doubled over the past six years, with a total of 13 species now known (see Graham et al. 2012), all belonging to the Vaejovis vorhiesi group (Soleglad and Fet 2008). All 13 species have allopatric distributions in Arizona (Sissom et al. 2012), and no records of co-occurrence have been documented. Interestingly, however, several species are distributed across overlapping ecological communities. For example, Vaejovis jonesi Stahnke (1940) inhabits rocky juniper woodlands on the Colorado Plateau, and Vaejovis lapidicola Stahnke (1940) is distributed across pine-oak woodlands along the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. These ecological communities overlap across the rim of the Mogollon Plateau, yet to date Vaejovisjonesi and Vaejovis lapidicola have not been found syntopically. Vaejovis deboerae Ayrey (2009)was recently described from the high pine-oak forests of the Santa Catalina Mountains in southern Arizona. The type series was collected at an elevation of 2142 m. Other records suggest that Vaejovis deboerae may range as high as 2800 m and as low as 1520 m (Sissom et al. 2012). This vertical distribution encompasses a gradient of ecological communities, ranging from cold pine forest on the high peaks of the Santa Catalina to drier juniper desert scrub in the lower canyons. Recent collecting in the Santa Catalina along the transition zone between desert grassland and pine-oak forest revealed a distinct second species of Vaejovis vorhiesi group scorpion. Here we describe this new species, which represents the first record of two vorhiesigroup species inhabiting the same mountain range.

URL:  http://www.pensoft.net/journals/zookeys/article/4500/a-new-vaejovis-cl-koch-1836-the-second-known-vorhiesi-group-species-from-the-santa-catalina-mountains-of-arizona-scorpio



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