Archive for February, 2018


Morphologically conserved taxa such as scorpions represent a challenge to delimit. We recently discovered populations of scorpions in the genus Kovarikia Soleglad, Fet & Graham, 2014 on two isolated mountain ranges in southern California. We generated genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data and used Bayes factors species delimitation to compare alternative species delimitation scenarios which variously placed scorpions from the two localities with geographically adjacent species or into separate lineages. We also estimated a time-calibrated phylogeny of Kovarikia and examined and compared the morphology of preserved specimens from across its distribution. Genetic results strongly support the distinction of two new lineages, which we describe and name here. Morphology among the species of Kovarikia was relatively conserved, despite deep genetic divergences, consistent with recent studies of stenotopic scorpions with limited vagility. Phylogeographic structure discovered in several previously described species also suggests additional cryptic species are probably present in the genus.

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Systematic revision of the giant vinegaroons of the Mastigoproctus giganteus complex (Thelyphonida, Thelyphonidae) of North America. (Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 418)



The North American vinegaroon, Mastigoproctus giganteus (Lucas, 1835), is demonstrated to comprise a complex of range-restricted species rather than a single widespread polymorphic species. Seven species are recognized based on morphological characters of the adult males, including the arrangement of spines on the prodorsal margin of the pedipalp trochanter, the position of the epistoma on the carapace, the presence of a stridulatory organ on opposing surfaces of the chelicerae and the pedipalp coxa, the presence of a patch of setae on sternite V, and the shape and macrosculpture of the retrolateral surface of the pedipalp femur. The two currently recognized subspecies are elevated to species: Mastigoproctus mexicanus (Butler, 1872), stat. nov., and Mastigoproctus scabrosus (Pocock, 1902), stat. nov. Mastigoproctus floridanus (Lönnberg, 1897) is revalidated from synonymy with M. giganteus. Redescriptions of M. giganteus and the other three species, based on both sexes, are provided, and three new species described: Mastigoproctus cinteotl, sp. nov., from Tamaulipas, Mexico; Mastigoproctus tohono, sp. nov., from Arizona and Sonora, Mexico; Mastigoproctus vandevenderi, sp. nov., from Sonora, Mexico. The present contribution raises the diversity of the Order Thelyphonida Latreille, 1804, in North America from one species to seven. Three species occur in the United States (one each in Arizona, Texas, and Florida), six species occur in Mexico, and two species occur in both countries.
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