Posts Tagged ‘distribution’



Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some of the world’s medically important scorpion species. The systematics and diversity of Mexican scorpion fauna has not been revised in the past decade; and due to recent and exhaustive collection efforts as part of different ongoing major revisionary systematic projects, our understanding of this diversity has changed compared with previous assessments. Given the presence of several medically important scorpion species, the study of their venom in the country is also important. In the present contribution, the diversity of scorpion species in Mexico is revised and updated based on several new systematic contributions; 281 different species are recorded. Commentaries on recent venomic, ecological and behavioral studies of Mexican scorpions are also provided. A list containing the most important peptides identified from 16 different species is included. A graphical representation of the different types of components found in these venoms is also revised. A map with hotspots showing the current knowledge on scorpion distribution and areas explored in Mexico is also provided.

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Two new species of Pseudouroctonus are described from southeastern Arizona, USA, Pseudouroctonus santarita, sp. nov. from the Santa Rita Mountains and P. kremani, sp. nov. from the Santa Catalina Mountains. These new species are closely related to P. apacheanus (Gertsch et Soleglad, 1972). A combination of morphological differences in the hemispermatophore, the mating plug, and several morphometric-based characters are identified as diagnostic. New substructures are identified for the mating plug.

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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




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



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.

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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


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A new species of the genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861 is described, based on several specimens collected in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It is characterized by a high telotarsal spiniform setae count (4-5/5:5/6:6/6:6/6-7), and the pectinal tooth counts of 12–15, mode = 13 (male) or 11–13, mode = 12 (female). With the description of this species, the diversity of the genus is increased to 51 species in Mexico.


The genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861 comprises nearly 60 species, 51 of them are distributed in Mexico, is the most diverse genus in the family Diplocentridae Karsch, 1880 (Santibáñez-López et al. 2013a). The Mexican species were divided in two groups by Hoffmann (1931), based on size and coloration. Francke (1977) redefined the groups in a key to identification of the Diplocentrus species occurring in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, based on cheliceral and pedipalp femur ratios, and renamed the whitei group to mexicanus group because it included type species (Diplocentrus mexicanus Peters, 1861). Nevertheless, Francke (1978) realized that the distinction of both groups was problematic because the diagnostic characters of the pedipalp femur were also used to separate other genera in the family. Recently, Santibáñez-López et al. (2013a) presented an operational diagnosis for the keyserlingii group; but did not assume that it was monophyletic, pending further investigation of Diplocentrus phylogeny. Fifteen species are reported for the Mexican state of Oaxaca, nine of them belong to the keyserlingii group, and six to the mexicanus group. In the present contribution, Diplocentrus franckei, sp. n. from the mexicanus group is described from Oaxaca, Mexico; it is compared to its most morphological similar species.

Citation: Santibáñez-López CA (2014) A new species of the genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones, Diplocentridae) from Oaxaca, Mexico. ZooKeys 412: 103–116


Blog title update:  Expanding  into news with general arachnids relevant to North America all in one place.  Mexico and the western states in the U.S. presents various transitions zones and micro habitats and is thus unique in arachnid taxa.

Hope you enjoy the site for educational and regional informations !


Chad Lee B.Sc. 1995.

Biology and Natural Resource Management.  Texas Certified Applicator


ZooKeys-364-029-g003ZooKeys-364-029-g001 (1)ZooKeys-364-029-g002


A new scorpion species is described from the Spring Mountain Range near Las Vegas, Nevada. The new species appears to be geographically isolated from other closely related species ofUroctonites Williams & Savaryand Pseudouroctonus Stahnke. We tentatively place the new species in Pseudouroctonus and provide detailed descriptions and illustrations of type material. We compare the new species to 17 congeneric taxa, briefly discuss the taxonomic history ofPseudouroctonus, and provide DNA barcodes for two paratypes to assist ongoing research on the systematics of family Vaejovidae.


Low dispersal potential and ecological specialization (stenotopy) are thought to make certain groups of scorpions predisposed to accelerated diversification (Prendini 2005; Bryson et al. 2013a). Scorpions restricted to highland ecosystems are particularly diverse, perhaps resulting from allopatric divergence on small spatial scales (microallopatry, see Fitzpatrick et al. 2008) facilitated by historical changes in geomorphology and climate regimes (Bryson et al. 2013a,2013b). Recently, this hypothesis has been repeatedly supported by the discovery of numerous new scorpion species from isolated mountain ecosystems, especially from the “sky islands” region of the North American aridlands (Graham 2007Ayrey 20092012Graham and Bryson 2010Ayrey and Soleglad 2011Hughes 2011Graham et al. 2012Sissom et al. 2012Ayrey and Webber 2013).

The Spring Mountain Range, located just outside of Las Vegas in southern Nevada, is among the most insular of the sky islands, reaching elevations more than 3, 400 m above the Mojave Desert lowlands. While conducting diurnal surveys for myriapods in the Spring Mountains, we serendipitously discovered yet another new scorpion that appears to be restricted to a sky island ecosystem. After numerous diurnal and nocturnal (using UV light; Stahnke 1972) surveys, we only managed to collect a total of five individuals from mixed pine-oak woodlands in Kyle Canyon, one of the most heavily visited regions in the Spring Mountains. Unfortunately, forest fires ravaged the type locality shortly after we collected the type series and surveys in other areas of the mountains were unsuccessful.

The new species is clearly a member of family Vaejovidae, and is most similar to generaPseudouroctonus and Uroctonites, both of which are stenotypic and contain species endemic to sky island ecosystems in southwestern North America. Interestingly, the Spring Mountains are situated in the middle of a substantial gap between the known distributions of these two genera (Fig. 1), so the new species could prove to be a missing link in our understanding of the biogeography of this group (Bryson et al. 2013a) and the southwestern sky islands. Herein, we tentatively place the new species in Pseudouroctonus, although we predict that the genus is polyphyletic and in need of a thorough systematic revision.

Since the population at the type locality may have been extirpated during recent fires, we provide DNA barcodes (COI) for two specimens (paratypes) to assist colleagues in their ongoing research on the biogeography and systematics of family Vaejovidae. Given that the species went undetected for so long despite occurring in a populated region near one of the most visited cities in the world, we suspect that similar new species may still await discovery in the more remote and less-explored sky islands of southern Nevada and California.

Brief taxonomic history. Of the 22 species and subspecies currently comprising generaPseudouroctonus and Uroctonites (including the new species described herein), sixteen were described by Gertsch and Soleglad (1972). At that time, twelve of these species were placed in genus Uroctonus (now in family Chactidae) and the other four in genus VaejovisStahnke (1974)moved most of the species placed in Uroctonus into genus Vaejovis and created the new genusPseudouroctonus solely for Pseudouroctonus reddelliStockwell (1992) reversed most of Stahnke’s taxonomic acts by moving the species Stahnke placed in Vaejovis intoPseudouroctonus. In their important paper, Williams and Savary (1991) defined the new genusUroctonites comprised of a new species, Uroctonites giulianii, and three Pseudouroctonus species originally defined by Gertsch and Soleglad (1972). Finally, four other species have now been placed in PseudouroctonusPseudouroctonus minimus minimus (Kraepelin, 1911),Pseudouroctonus glimmei Hjelle, 1972, Pseudouroctonus sprousei Francke & Savary, 2006, andPseudouroctonus saavasi Francke (2009). See Soleglad and Fet (2003: 103–104) for a more detailed discussion on the taxonomic history of these interesting scorpions.


New book released in July 2010:
Texts and photos : Roland STOCKMANN & Éric YTHIER
Foreword by Victor FET
© 2010
Updated: 09.27.10