The Mexican vaejovid scorpion genus Konentontli González-Santillán 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 Martín-Frías, 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 Martín-Frías, 2001); and present new records, comprehensive distribution maps, and a key to the identification of the species.


Edmundo González-Santillán

City University of New York; Scorpion Systematics Research Group, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History; Laboratorio Nacional de Genómica para la Biodiversidad, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico; Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Biología Comparada, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, Mexico City

Lorenzo Prendini

Scorpion Systematics Research Group, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History




A new species of Vaejovis is described from the Mexican state of Aguascalientes. It is assigned to the “mexicanus” group and compared with similar species from Jalisco, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosí. A map with their known distributions is provided.








Phylogeographical studies in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts often find genetic discontinuities that pre-date the Pleistocene. A recent synthesis of phylogeographical data, called the Mojave Assembly Model, provides a hypothesis for the historical assembly of these desert biotas but does not adequately capture the complexity of pre-Pleistocene vicariance events. We tested this model and assessed pre-Pleistocene divergences by exploring the phylogeography of theAphonopelma mojave group, which is composed of turret-building tarantula species from the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.


Mojave and Sonoran deserts, south-western USA.


We augmented the sampling from a previous study by sequencing mitochondrial DNA (COI) from new material of the A. mojave group. We used phylogenetic and network analyses to identify clades and a molecular clock and lineages-through-time plots (LTT plots) to explore the timing and tempo of diversification. We tested for demographic expansion using neutrality tests and mismatch distributions. Species distribution models (SDMs) were constructed to compare current suitable habitat to that at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).


Phylogenetic, network and molecular-clock analyses identified six major clades that probably diverged during the late Miocene. The rate of diversification appears to have slowed during the Pliocene. Most clades exhibit signals of recent demographic expansion. SDMs predicted that suitable habitat shifted south and to lower elevations during the LGM.

Main conclusions

Phylogeographical analyses suggest that the A. mojave group experienced a burst of diversification in the late Miocene, followed by population expansions during the Pleistocene. Six major clades with origins in the late Miocene cannot be adequately explained by the Mojave Assembly Model. We propose the novel hypothesis that Miocene extensional tectonics caused populations to diverge in allopatry by producing low-elevation habitat barriers. Geological models, such as kinematic reconstructions, provide an ideal but underutilized framework for testing biogeographical hypotheses in these deserts and the wider Basin and Range Province.

Online URL Source http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/jbi.12494/




A new scorpion species, Vaejovis troupi sp. n., is described and placed in the “vorhiesi” group of the genus Vaejovis. Based on a recent molecular analysis of Bryson et al. (2013), this species is shown to be related to V. vorhiesi and V. grahami. Two of three diagnostic characters found in this new species are the presence of six inner denticles (ID) on the pedipalpal fixed and movable fingers, and a unique arrangement of trichobothria on the external surface of the pedipalp patella. This species was found in an isolated montane habitat in the Whetstone Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona.

URL http://www.science.marshall.edu/fet/euscorpius/p2015_194.pdf



The scorpion genus Alacran Francke, 1982, endemic to eastern Mexico, was created to accommodate Alacran tartarusFrancke, 1982. This remarkable troglobiotic species is adapted for life in some of the world’s deepest caves, 720–916 m below the surface in the Sistema Huautla of the state of Oaxaca (the deepest records at which a scorpion has been found). A second species, Alacran chamuco Francke, 2009, was later described from Te Cimutaá, also in Oaxaca. In the present contribution, we describe a third species, Alacran triquimera, sp. nov., recently discovered in a cave system in the state of Puebla, and test the monophyly and internal relationships of Alacran, based on a cladistic analysis of 10 terminal taxa (including seven species representing all four genera of Typhlochactidae) and 151 informative morphological characters, building on a previously published matrix. The single most parsimonious tree obtained, supports the monophyly of Alacran and the following relationships among its component species: (A. chamuco (A. tartarus + A. triquimera, sp. nov.)). The phylogenetic relationships among the three species of Alacran are consistent with the biogeographical history of the caves they inhabit. Based on the geological history of the Sierra Madre del Sur and the likely similar speleogenesis of the Tres Quimeras, Sistema Huautla and Te Cimutaá caves, we propose a vicariance hypothesis to account for the disjunct distribution of the three species of Alacran, whereby an initially more widespread, panmictic ancestral population speciated into three geographically isolated taxa following fragmentation of the southern Sierra Madre del Sur.

Source from the Scorpion Files and CSIRO Publishing.  See URL at http://www.publish.csiro.au/?paper=IS14035

The scorpion genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861, endemic to North and Central America, is the most diverse in family Diplocentridae
Karsch, 1880. There is considerable morphological variation among the species of Diplocentrus. It is necessary to test the monophyly and
phylogenetic position of Diplocentrus in order to revise its diagnosis and taxonomic limits. The present contribution provides a phylogenetic
analysis of 29 species of Diplocentrus, five exemplar species representing the three putatively most closely related diplocentrid genera,
and an exemplar of a more distantly related diplocentrid genus. The analysis was based on 95 morphological characters and 4202 aligned
nucleotides from DNA sequences of five markers in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Separate and simultaneous parsimony analyses
of the morphological and DNA sequence data were conducted with equal weighting and six implied weighting regimes. The nuclear
and mitochondrial DNA datasets were also analyzed separately and simultaneously with Bayesian inference. The resulting topologies
recovered the monophyly of Diplocentrus, with the exception of two neobothriotaxic species from central Mexico, for which a new genus
Kolotl Santibáñez-López et al., 2014, is justified. The keyserlingii group, as previously defined, was not monophyletic due to the placement
of two species in the mexicanus group; the rest of its component species were monophyletic, however. A third clade was recovered that has
not been previously recognized: the zacatecanus group, comprising four species from northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S.A. New
insights are provided concerning relationships among Diplocentrus and the diplocentrid genera Bioculus Stahnke, 1968 and Didymocentrus
Kraepelin, 1905, the phylogenetic positions of which were previously ambiguous..


Edit note with format issues…Thanks and will try to correct.

Koloti genus


The monophyly and phylogenetic position of Diplocentrus Peters, 1861, has remained ambiguous since the first published phylogenetic analysis of diplocentrid relationships, in which it was rendered paraphyletic by the placement of exemplar species from two other diplocentrid genera, Bioculus Stahnke, 1968, and Didymocentrus Kraepelin, 1905. The discovery of two diplocentrids with neobothriotaxic pedipalps, Diplocentrus magnus Beutelspacher and López-Forment, 1991, and Diplocentrus poncei Francke and Quijano-Ravell, 2009, from the central Mexican states of Guerrero and Michoacán, respectively, raised further questions about the limits of Diplocentrus. A recent phylogenetic analysis of 29 species of Diplocentrus and five exemplar species of the most closely related genera, based on 95 morphological characters and 4202 aligned nucleotides from DNA sequences of five markers in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, recovered the monophyly of Diplocentrus, excepting two neobothriotaxic species from central Mexico, justifying their removal from Diplocentrus. In the present contribution, Kolotl, n. gen. is created to accommodate the two species, Kolotl magnus (Beutelspacher and López-Forment, 1991), n. comb., and Kolotl poncei (Francke and Quijano-Ravell, 2009), n. comb., and both are redescribed.
Picture from the Scorpion Files Blog site.
American Museum of Natural History at the Digital Library.
URL @ http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/handle/2246/5465



The first rigorous analysis of the phylogeny of the North American vaejovid scorpion subfamily Syntropinae is presented. The analysis is based on 250 morphological characters and 4221 aligned DNA nucleotides from three mitochondrial and two nuclear gene markers, for 145 terminal taxa, representing 47 species in 11 ingroup genera, and 15 species in eight outgroup genera. The monophyly and composition of Syntropinae and its component genera, as proposed by Soleglad and Fet, are tested. The following taxa are demonstrated to be para- or polyphyletic: Smeringurinae; Syntropinae; Vaejovinae; Stahnkeini; Syntropini; Syntropina; Thorelliina; Hoffmannius; Kochius; and Thorellius. The spinose (hooked or toothed) margin of the distal barb of the sclerotized hemi-mating plug is demonstrated to be a unique, unambiguous synapomorphy for Syntropinae, uniting taxa previously assigned to different subfamilies. Results of the analysis demonstrate a novel phylogenetic relationship for the subfamily, comprising six major clades and 11 genera, justify the establishment of six new genera, and they offer new insights about the systematics and historical biogeography of the subfamily, and the information content of morphological character systems.

Direct Link at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cla.12091/abstract.

Thanks to the Scorpion Files posting the news.  Its been a long time coming to see the results from the Scorpion Lab at AMNH.

A new scorpion species, Vaejovis grayae sp. nov. is described and placed in the “vorhiesi” group of the genus Vaejovis. This small brown species is found near Yarnell, Arizona, USA. It appears most similar to V. trinityae Ayrey and V. crumpi Ayrey et Soleglad. It can be distinguished from the other members of the “vorhiesi” group by aunique combination of non-overlapping morphological characters and multilocus DNA data (Bryson et al., 2013). The pedipalp fixed finger has 6 ID denticles and the movable finger has 7, like most other northern Arizona “vorhiesi” group species. Another characteristic of this species is its unique Arizona chaparral habitat.


Published at Euscorpius Online Journal:  Occasional papers in scorpiology

PDF:  http://www.science.marshall.edu/fet/euscorpius/p2014_188.pdf

See more with Rich’s web site at AZScorpion.com

Great Article in the recent June 2014 Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.