Morphological analysis of montane scorpions of the genus Vaejovis (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) in Arizona with revised diagnoses and description of a new species

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

Abstract

Several scorpions of the genus Vaejovis in Arizona are restricted in range to mountain-top forests. These scorpions, informally referred to as the “vorhiesi complex” are very similar morphologically, but their geographic distribution has attracted the attention of several researchers, resulting in the description of a few new species in recent years. However, these species were described from small sample sizes and were diagnosed with questionable characters that were not sufficiently analyzed. This study evaluates the morphology of scorpions of the “vorhiesi complex” from seven regions in Arizona to verify the validity of the species and their accompanying diagnoses. Morphological characters examined include morphometrics, hemispermatophores, size and shape of subaculear tubercles of the telson vesicle, pectinal tooth counts, pedipalp chela denticle counts, metasomal setal counts, development of metasomal carinae, and tarsal spinule counts. New diagnoses are given for previously described species (V. vorhiesi Stahnke 1940V. lapidicola Stahnke 1940V. paysonensis Soleglad 1973V. cashi Graham 2007 and V. deboerae Ayrey 2009), which are considered valid, based on the morphological evidence gathered. A new species ofVaejovisV. electrum, is described from the Pinaleño Mountains in Arizona.

URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1636/Ha11-07.1

Comments are closed.