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Ordre des Scorpions. Scorpionides Latreille, 1810. Scorpiones Hemprich et Ehrenberg, 1810. Scorpiides C. L. Koch, 1837

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... This season corresponds to the hibernation period where scorpions are hiding in depth terriers and do not appear on the soil surface. Their slow life is due to the nutrients reserves accumulated during the summer [15]. Low lipase activity levels measured during winter can be explained by a long starvation period for the scorpion. ...
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Unlike classical digestive lipases, the scorpion digestive lipase (SDL) has a strong basic character. The SDL activity's optimal pH, when using tributyrin or olive oil as substrate, was 9.0. Added to that, the estimated isoelectric point of the native SDL using the electrofocusing technique, was found to be higher than 9.6. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an animal digestive lipase having such a basic character. When olive oil was used as substrate, SDL was shown to be insensitive to the presence of amphiphilic proteins such as bovine serum albumin (BSA). Furthermore, the hydrolysis was found to be specifically dependent on the presence of Ca(2+) ions, since no significant SDL activity was detected in the presence of ions chelator such as EDTA. Nevertheless, the SDL does not require Ca(2+) to trigger the hydrolysis of tributyrin emulsion. Interestingly Zn(2+) and Cu(2+) ions act as strong inhibitors of SDL activity when using tributyrin as substrate. An internal chymotryptic cleavage of SDL generated two fragments of 28 and 25 kDa having the same N-terminal sequence. This sequence of 19 residues does not share any homology with known animal and microbial lipases. Polyclonal antibodies directed against SDL (pAbs anti-SDL) failed to recognise ostrich pancreatic and dog gastric lipases (OPL and rDGL). Moreover, both pAbs anti-OPL and anti-rDGL failed to immunoreact with SDL. These immunological as well as distinct biochemical properties strengthen the idea that SDL appears to belong to a new invertebrate's lipase group.
... The reason previous authors were unable to locate the hemispermatophore appears to be due to the fact that (1) most of the specimens purported to be adult males are, in fact, subadults and (2) the hemispermatophore is extremely small and not easily recognized (Fig. 45). Female reproductive organs: Most authors recognise two types of ovariuterine anatomy in scorpions (Birula 1917;Pavlovsky 1924Pavlovsky , 1925Werner 1934;Millot and Vachon 1949;Mathew 1956;Francke 1982c;Stockwell 1989;Hjelle 1990;Sissom 1990;Prendini 2000a; Soleglad and Fet 2003b). Buthidae possess an eight-celled ovariuterus, with five transverse ovarian tubes (or anastomoses, the connections between longitudinal and transverse tubes), whereas the nonbuthid families possess a six-celled ovariuterus with four transverse ovarian tubes. ...
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Pseudochactas ovchinnikovi Gromov, 1998, arguably the most remarkable scorpion discovered during the last century, inhabits an isolated, mountainous region of southeastern Uzbekistan and southwestern Tajikistan, Central Asia. This scorpion displays several morphological characters unique among Recent (extant) scorpions, including a unique trichobothrial pattern and a mixture of other characters, some potentially synapomorphic with Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837, others with the nonbuthid scorpion families, particularly Chaerilidae Pocock, 1893. Consequently, a monotypic family, Pseudochactidae Gromov, 1998 was created to accommodate it. Although there is widespread agreement that Pseudochactas Gromov, 1998 is basal within Recent scorpions, its precise phylogenetic position remains a matter of debate. Three competing hypotheses have been proposed to account for its position: (1) sister group of all Recent scorpions; (2) sister group of Buthidae; (3) sister group of Chaerilidae. Despite the importance of Pseudochactas in determining the basal relationships among Recent scorpions, several important character systems, including the hemispermatophore and the ovariuterus, have not yet been studied in the genus. There are also several misconceptions regarding some of the character systems (e.g., trichobothria and carinae) that have been studied. In this contribution, we provide a detailed, fully illustrated reexamination of the morphology of Pseudochactas, including the first descriptions of its hemispermatophore, ovariuterus, and pectinal peg sensillae. We discuss the implications of these and other characters for the phylogenetic position of this ‘living fossil’ and conclude that Hypothesis 2, sister group of Buthidae, is the most plausible of the alternatives, all of which await further testing in a rigorous phylogenetic analysis.
... In taxonomic descriptions, the identification of segments follows Millot [1949], that of appendages follows Snodgrass [1948]. The following abbreviations were used: PNM Philippine National Museum, Manila (curator V.U. ...
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A new whip scorpion genus and species is described from Panay Island (Philippines) on the basis of three males and a female. The new genus is diagnosed from the superficially similar Thelyphonus by the structure of genitalia of both sexes.
... Ovariuterus in dorsal aspect of (a) Rhopalurus rochai (apoikogenic species) and (b) Scorpio maurus (katoikogenic species). Modified as described by Matthiersen[29] and Millot and Vachon[70] Lourenço Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases (2018)24:19 simplest at the apoikogenic base to the most complex type at the katoikogenic apex(Figs. 7, 8 and 9). ...
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This work aims to contribute to the general information on scorpion reproductive patterns in general including species that can be noxious to humans. Scorpions are unusual among terrestrial arthropods in several of their life-history traits since in many aspects their reproductive strategies are more similar to those of superior vertebrates than to those of arthropods in general. This communication focuses mainly on the aspects concerning embryonic and post-embryonic developments since these are quite peculiar in scorpions and can be directly connected to the scorpionism problem. As in previous similar contributions, the content of this communication is addressed mainly to non-specialists whose research embraces scorpions in several fields such as venom toxins and public health. A precise knowledge of reproductive strategies presented by several scorpion groups and, in particular, those of dangerous species may prove to be a useful tool in the interpretation of results dealing with scorpionism, and also lead to a better treatment of the problems caused by infamous scorpions.
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In laboratory bioassays, Steinernema glaseri Steiner, Steinernema riobrave Cabanillas, Poinar & Raulston, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar, and Heterorhabditis marelatus Liu & Berry were capable of infecting and killing the bark scorpion, Centruroides exilicauda (Wood). Steinernema feltiae (Filipjev) and Steinernema carpocapsae (Weiser) failed to infect C. exilicauda at 22 degrees C. S. glaseri, H. marelatus, and H. bacteriophora caused significant mortality at 22 degrees C, indicating the potential role of these parasites as a biocontrol option. Efficacy of S. glaseri and H. bacteriophora was reduced in an assay conducted at 25 degrees C. Only S. glaseri was able to reproduce in the target host. Dissection of scorpions at the end of the experimental periods revealed inactive juvenile S. riobrave, H. marelatus, and H. bacteriophora nematodes. Both mermithid and oxyurid nematodes have been documented as nematode parasites of scorpions, but rhabditids have not been reported until now. Field studies are warranted to assess the usefulness of entomopathogenic nematodes as biocontrol agents of bark scorpions.
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Higher animal's lipases are well characterized, however, much less is known about lipases from primitive ones. We choose the scorpion, one of the most ancient invertebrates, as a model of a primitive animal. A lipolytic activity was located in the scorpion digestive glands, from which a scorpion digestive lipase (SDL) was purified. Pure SDL, a glycosylated protein, has a molecular mass of 50 kDa, it presents the interfacial activation phenomenon. It was found to be more active on short-chain triacylglycerols than on long-chain triacylglycerols. SDL is a serine enzyme and possesses one accessible sulfhydryl group which is not essential for the catalysis. Among the NH2-terminal 33 residues, a 17 amino acids sequence shows similarities with sequence of Drosophila melanogaster putative lipase. Interestingly, neither colipase, nor bile salts were detected in the scorpion hepatopancreas. This indicates that colipase evolved in vertebrates simultaneously with the appearance of an exocrine pancreas and a true liver which produces bile salts. Furthermore, polyclonal antibodies directed against SDL failed to recognise the classical digestive lipases. Altogether, these results suggest that SDL is a member of a new group of digestive lipases belonging to invertebrates.
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A new genus and species of mountain liochelid scorpion are described on the basis of a single specimen collected in Tibet (China). This is the first liochelid scorpion found in the high Himalayan Mountains of Tibet, and the first example of the family to be collected out of its typical tropical and subtropical areas of distribution. Some considerations on mountain scorpions are proposed.
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For the first time the scanning electron microscope was used to compare developmental changes in scorpion embryos and the first and second stadia. In the buthid species of this study, Centruroides vittatus, and all other scorpions, the newborn climb up on their mother's back and remain there without feeding for several days. At this location, they undergo their first molt and in a few days they disperse, fully capable of foraging in the terrestrial environment. The results here support earlier suggestions that the first stadium (pronymph) is a continuation and extension of embryological development. The first molt results in a nymph with exoskeletal features much like those in the adult. In the first molt the metasoma becomes relatively longer, and the sting (aculeus) becomes sharp and functional. The metasomal segments are modified for dorsal flexion and sting use. The embryos and the pronymphs have spiracles that open into an invagination near the posterior margin of flap-like abdominal plates in segments 4-7 of the ventral mesosoma. The second instars have spiracles that lead to book lungs farther anterior in sternites. Tubular legs with cylindrical segments in embryos and pronymphs become more sculptured and oval in the transverse plane. Each leg in the pronymph has a blunt, cup-shaped tip while distal claws (ungues, dactyl) are present in the second instar and subsequent stages. There are some sharp bristles and primordial sensilla in the pronymphs, but the second stadium has adult-like surface features: rows of knobs or granulations (carinae), serrations on the inner surfaces of cheliceral and pedipalpal claws, filtering hairs at the mouthparts, peg sensilla on the pectines, and mechano- and chemoreceptor sensilla on the body and appendages. Scorpion embryos and pronymphs have some structures like fossil scorpions thought to have been aquatic. There is a gradual development of features that appear to be terrestrial adaptations. Evidence is provided for the formation of the sternum from third and fourth leg coxal primordia and possibly from the first abdominal segment. This study is the first to provide evidence for a forward shift of the gonopore along with other structures in the anterior abdomen.
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The aridification from Middle Miocene onwards has transformed the Asian interior into an arid environment, and the Pleistocene glacial-interglacial oscillations exerted further ecological impact. Therefore, both aridification and glaciation would have considerably influenced the evolution of many mid-latitude species in temperate Asia. Here, we tested this perspective by a phylogeographic study of the mesobuthid scorpions across temperate Asia using one mitochondrial and three nuclear genes. Concordant mitochondrial and nuclear gene trees were obtained, which are consistent with species tree inferred using a Bayesian approach. The age of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all the studied scorpions was estimated to be 12.49 Ma (late Middle Miocene); Mesobuthus eupeus diverged from the clade composing Mesobuthus caucasicus and Mesobuthus martensii in early Late Miocene (10.21 Ma); M. martensii diverged from M. caucasicus at 5.53 Ma in Late Miocene. The estimated MRCA ages of M. martensii and the Chinese lineage of M. eupeus were 2.37 and 0.68 Ma, respectively. Central Asia was identified as the ancestral area for the lineage leading to M. martensii and M. caucasicus and the Chinese lineage of M. eupeus. The ancestral habitat of the genus Mesobuthus is likely to have been characterized by an arid environment; a shift towards more humid habitat occurred in the MRCA of M. martensii and a lineage of M. caucasicus, finally leading to the adaptation of M. martensii to humid environment. Our data strongly support the idea that the stepwise intensified aridifications from Mid-Miocene onwards drove the diversification of mesobuthid scorpions, and suggest that M. martensii and M. eupeus observed today in China originated from an ancestral lineage distributed in Central Asia. Both the colonization and the ensuing evolution of these species in East Asia appear to have been further moulded by Quaternary glaciations.
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The scorpion hepatopancreas consists of digestive diverticula and interstitial tissue. A digestive diverticulum is composed of two differentiated cell types: the secretory zymogene-like cells and the digestive cells which are the most abundant. The scorpion digestive lipase (SDL) has been previously purified from scorpion hepatopancreas, but its cellular localization has not yet been established. Polyclonal antibodies specific to SDL were prepared and used in immunofluorescence and immunogold techniques to determine the cellular location of SDL. Our results clearly established that SDL was detected intracellularly in specific vesicles tentatively named (SDL+) granules of the digestive cells. No immunolabelling was observed in secretory zymogene-like cells. This immunocytolocalization indicates that lipid digestion might occur in specific granules inside the digestive cells, as suggested by previous studies on the scorpion digestive process.
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The female scorpion ovariuterus was examined in 10 scorpion species belonging to five families: Buthidae, Vaejovidae, Scorpionidae, Urodacidae, and Diplocentridae. Two main patterns of development are known in scorpions: (1) The apoikogenic type with an ovariuterus containing yolk-rich eggs housed in follicles. This type is found in many scorpion taxa (largely buthids). A peculiar case of apoikogenic ovariuterus is a "beaded" ovariuterus where most of the ova's embryogenesis takes place inside the ovariuterus rather than on pedicels situated on the external wall of the ovariuterus as in most buthids. This type is found in a few scorpion species. (2) The katoikogenic type with an ovariuterus where the embryo develops in a diverticulum composed of four parts: a stalk (pedicel), a thickened collar, a conical portion containing the ovum, and an appendix containing the oral feeding apparatus where the embryos' chelicerae grip a "teat"-like structure, described in four families: Hemiscorpiidae, Scorpionidae, Urodacidae, and Diplocentridae. There are three kinds of diverticulae: small rudimentary finger-like diverticulae, embryonic (ED) large projections, and postpartum diverticulae (PPD) empty diverticulae, which are remnants after parturition. The subject is reviewed and its bearing on reproduction in scorpions are discussed.
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The main goal of this study was to study the acarine parasite, Pimeliaphilus joshuae (Prostigmata: Pterygosomatidae) on various scorpion species from Egypt to determine its prevalence, abundance and intensity in relation to host species, size and sex. A total of 95 Leiurus quinquestriatus, 98 Androctonus australis, 40 A. amoreuxi, 30 Scorpio maurus palmatus and 46 Orthochirus scrobicuosus were examined during August 2009. Prevalence and mean abundance of P. joshuae varied significantly in relation to host species, host size and sex. In L. quinquestriatus, A. australis, and A. amoreuxi, the prevalence was 76.8, 13.3, and 50.0%, whereas the mean abundance was 47.6, 6.7 and 14.3%, respectively. Prevalence and mean abundance of P. joshuae were both positively correlated with host size in L. quinquestriatus and A. australis. We conclude that P. joshuae is found in a wide range of scorpion species exhibiting a low degree of host specificity. Controlled laboratory infection experiments are required to explain why S. m. palmatus and O. scrobicuosus are not susceptible to infestation by P. joshuae.
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We present a review and reassessment of anatomical variation in the ovariuterus (and associated follicles), digestive gland, and lateral lymphoid organs of scorpions, and discuss the contribution of these character systems to the understanding of scorpion phylogeny. New data, obtained using light microscopy, are presented from an examination of 55 scorpion species, representing most scorpion families, and are collated with observations from the literature. Six distinct types of ovariuterine anatomy are identified: five in the family Buthidae and one in the remaining (nonbuthid) families. The buthid genera Lychas C.L. Koch, 1845 and Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876 are exceptional in possessing multiple types of ovariuterine anatomy among the congeneric species studied. The presence or absence of lateral lymphoid organs appears to be phylogenetically informative: the organ is absent in buthids, chaerilids and Pseudochactas Gromov, 1998. Embryo follicle morphology appears to be phylogenetically informative within the superfamily Scorpionoidea Latreille, 1802, where it supports the controversial sister-group relationship between Urodacus Peters, 1861 and Heteroscorpion Birula, 1903. The mesosomal anatomy of Microcharmus Lourenço, 1995 (Microcharmidae Lourenço, 1996) is consistent with that of Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837, and we therefore propose the following new synonymy: Microcharmidae Lourenço, 1996 = Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837. © 2008 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 154, 651–675.
Les venins de scorpions sont caractérisés par le grand nombre et la diversité des neurotoxines actives sur les canaux ioniques membranaires. Ces neurotoxines constituent de véritables familles de molécules peptidiques polymorphes de haute spécificité auxquelles s'apparentent structurellement les déf ensines, famille de peptides antimicrobiens circulants présents dans l'hémolymphe des scorpions et dans celle d'autres ordres d'arthropodes. La diversification et la spécificité fonctionnelles à partir d'un schéma stucturel commun sont discutées d'un point de vue physiologique et évolutif.
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Although Mesobuthus scorpions in China have become endangered in recent years, they are largely underinvestigated. Even the baseline data on their distributions are lacking. Here the geographical distributions of two Mesobuthus scorpions in China are provided through a combined study of systematic field surveys and GIS-based ecological niche modeling using 227 surveyed point occurrence data across an area of ca. 2800 × 1700 km2 and validated historical records. Mesobuthus martensii (Karsch 1879) appears to be restricted to latitude south of 43°N and the north side of the Yangtze River, bordered by the Helan Mountains and the Tengger and Mo Us sand desert in the west and limited by the sea in the east. Mesobuthus eupeus (C.L. Koch 1839) reaches the east side of the Helan Mountains and the west edge of the Loess Plateau, extending westward along the northern slope of the Qilian Mountains and ultimately penetrating to the northern part of the Junggar Basin. The former is mainly found in semi-humid and humid regions while the latter is an arid and semi-arid dweller. The two species show a parapatric distribution on the whole with a contact zone formed at the boundary of their ranges across the big turning of the Yellow River in the central-western part of Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and the middle part of the Gansu Province. This pattern of distribution is shaped both by the fundamental ecological niche constraint of the species and possibly by the biological interactions between the two species. Some diagnostic features for the two species are also provided for quick identification.
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The scanning electron microscope was used to study changes in the ventral mesosoma of the vaejovid scorpion, Paruroctonus mesaensis. Observations are compared with those from scorpion fossils. The oldest fossils are from the Silurian period; migration from water to land occurred in the Carboniferous and Permian periods. All recent scorpions are terrestrial with four pairs of booklungs and spiracles in mesosomal sternites. Ancient eurypterids and scorpions had flap-like abdominal plates attached to the ventral surface of five mesosomal segments. The abdominal plates were apparently an aquatic adaptation, and authors have described possible gill tissue in the chamber above. In scorpion embryos, rectangular (holostem) plate-like structures precede the formation of sternites in the ventral mesosoma. Transverse folds were seen in the space above the abdominal plates. The lack of elaborate gill-like structures here supports an earlier hypothesis that aquatic scorpions had other mesosomal respiratory sites (e.g., pectines), resulting in less reliance on respiratory tissues above the abdominal plates. Spiracles initially appear as round or ovoid patterns in the epidermis at the latero-posterior margins of the ventral plates. The booklung spiracles are positioned farther anterior in sternites, but the developmental sequence for this transition is still unclear and may occur later than the stages of this study. The abdominal plates lengthen and enlarge laterally and/or epidermis is added at the lateral edges so that broad, overlapping sternites eventually cover the ventral surface of the mesosoma.
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The nervous system of the order Scorpiones appears to have a common organizational structure. The combination of an anatomical study using methylene blue as the contrast medium together with a histological analysis using hematoxylin-eosin and Heindenhain's iron hematoxylin techniques permitted the identification of a large number of nerves in B. bonariensis. Many of these are also present in a variety of other species of scorpions, belonging to distinct families of the order Scorpiones. Nevertheless, two pairs of nerves from B. bonariensis originating in the cheliceral ganglion, one pair of esophageal nerves and one pair of nerves from the aortic arch, appear to diverge from this basic organization. They have not been previously described, nor have any equivalents been reported in research on other scorpion species, in which the current homological criteria have been employed.
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Near Palmyra, in the Syrian Desert, 5 species of scorpions belonging to 2 families (Buthidae and Scorpionidae) were observed; Buthacus tadmorensis, Androctonus crassicauda, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Orthochirus scrobiculosus, and Scorpio maurus palmatus. B. tadmorensis accounted for 80.6% of the total number of recovered or observed scorpions, while O. scrobiculosus was the least common (1.4%). Pitfall traps proved to be more efficient at sampling (304 individuals) than checking under stones (57 individuals). Pitfall trapping results showed that scorpion abundance differed significantly between the 3 survey areas, while their abundance showed no significant difference among the 3 areas when employing the under-stone method. Notes on predation of scorpions (interspecific and intraspecific) and predators of scorpions are also included. Seasonal abundance and emergence of scorpions is described briefly. Biometric data on collected scorpion species indicating their weight are given. Population structure of B. tadmorensis during the study period is analyzed.
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Light and electron microscopy were used to examine the sequential changes in embryos and maternal reproductive tubules in the vaejovid scorpion, Paruroctonus mesaensis. The early stages are described, from oogenesis to the time of embryogenesis just before spiracles and booklungs begin to appear. The oocytes and associated trophic cells originate in the epithelium of the maternal ovariuterine tubules. Each oocyte with follicle (primary trophic) cells forms a protuberance on the tubular surface. After fertilization and cleavage, the morula appears to be pulled into the tubular lumen by tissue invaginated from the wall opposite the protuberance. Secondary trophic cells originating near each oocyte form a trophic layer parallel and connected to the ovariuterine tubules. These cells encircle the tubular epithelium and apparently induce or transform it to a trophic mode. Within the tubules, each embryo develops in a specialized region (uterus) where the embryo abuts a cell mass (follicular placenta). The latter, along with the tubular and uterine epithelia, apparently releases nutrients that are absorbed through the embryo epidermis. The main structures of the embryo body develop from the germinal disc of the blastula. Segments and appendages are formed in an anterior-to-posterior direction. The chelicerae, initially posterior to the stomodeum, are gradually positioned anterior and dorsal. The early abdomen has only a few segments with no separation into meso- and metasoma. The latter structure, when formed, has a ventral flexure and segments of smaller diameter than those in the mesosoma. The telson starts as a broad, bilobed structure, becoming tapered with two openings near the tip. Each pectine appears first as a lobe attached to the body wall. Transverse grooves appear distally and then later along the entire length. In the stages of this study, there was no indication of ventral plates, gills, or sternites in the ventral mesosoma where booklungs and spiracles will eventually form. J. Morphol. 237:187–211, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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A cladistic analysis of relationships among the genera of Scorpionidae Latreille, 1802—Heterometrus Ehrenberg, 1828; Opistophthalmus C. L. Koch, 1837; Pandinus Thorell, 1876; and Scorpio Linnaeus, 1758—based on morphology and DNA sequence data from loci of three genes in the mitochondrial genome (12S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), 16S rDNA and cytochrome oxidase I) and one gene in the nuclear genome (28S rDNA) is presented. The analysis makes use of exemplar species, specifically selected to test the monophyly of the genera, rather than supraspecific terminal taxa. Other methods used in the analysis are justified in the context of a discussion of current methods for phylogenetic reconstruction. Relationships among the scorpionid genera are demonstrated to be as follows: (Opistophthalmus (Scorpio (Heterometrus + Pandinus))). This reconstruction identifies Opistophthalmus as the basal lineage of the Scorpionidae, rather than the sister-group of Scorpio. Revised descriptions, diagnoses and a key to identification of the four scorpionid genera are provided, together with a summary of what is known about their ecology, distribution and conservation status.
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Scorpions previously assigned to the genus Liocheles Sundevall, 1883, of the family Hormuridae Laurie, 1896, are widely distributed in the tropical forests of the Indo-Pacific region. Revisionary systematics of these poorly known scorpions has revealed a tremendous diversity of species. As part of an ongoing investigation, the first analysis of Indo-Pacific hormurid scorpion phylogeny based on morphological data scored for all currently recognized species of Hormiops Fage, , Hormurus Thorell, 1876, and Liocheles, is presented. The taxonomy of these scorpions is reassessed and their biogeography reinterpreted in the light of the phylogeny. Phylogenetic, morphological, and distributional data support the revalidation of Hormiops and Hormurus, previously synonymized with Liocheles. The phylogeny indicates that the Australasian hormurids are more closely related to the Afrotropical and Neotropical hormurids than to the Indian hormurids, as previously proposed, refuting the “out-of-India” origin of Asian hormurids. A recent paleogeographical hypothesis, the “Eurogondwana model”, is supported instead. According to this hypothesis, hormurid scorpions colonized Laurasia from Africa via the Apulia microplate (Europa terrane) in the Cretaceous, subsequently colonized the Australo-Papuan archipelago in the early-mid Cenozoic, and then went extinct in the Northern Hemisphere during the second half of the Cenozoic. These results suggest that, contrary to the traditional paradigm, dispersal and extinction may affect spatial and temporal biotic distributions as much as vicariance, even in animals with limited vagility, such as scorpions.
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The endemic North American vaejovid scorpion subfamily Syntropinae Kraepelin, 1905, is redefined and its component genera revised, based on a simultaneous phylogenetic analysis of 250 morphological characters and 4221 aligned DNA nucleotides from three mitochondrial and two nuclear gene markers. Tribe Stahnkeini Soleglad and Fet, 2006, is removed from Syntropinae. Tribe Paravaejovini Soleglad and Fet, 2008, and subtribe Thorelliina Soleglad and Fet, 2008, are abolished: Paravaejovini Soleglad and Fet, 2008 = Syntropinae Kraepelin, 1905, syn. nov.; Thorelliina Soleglad and Fet, 2008 = Syntropinae Kraepelin, 1905, syn. nov. Eleven genera, six newly described, are recognized within Syntropinae: Balsateres, gen. nov.; Chihuahuanus, gen. nov.; Kochius Soleglad and Fet, 2008; Konetontli, gen. nov.; Kuarapu Francke and Ponce-Saavedra, 2010; Maaykuyak, gen. nov.; Mesomexovis, gen. nov.; Paravaejovis Williams, 1980; Syntropis Kraepelin, 1900; Thorellius Soleglad and Fet, 2008; Vizcaino, gen. nov. Hoffmannius Soleglad and Fet, 2008, is abolished: Hoffmannius Soleglad and Fet, 2008 = Paravaejovis Williams, 1980, syn. nov. Lissovaejovis Ponce-Saavedra and Beutelspacher, 2001 [nomen nudum] = Paravaejovis Williams, 1980, syn. nov. Ten species, formerly placed in Hoffmannius, are transferred to Paravaejovis: Paravaejovis confusus (Stahnke, 1940), comb. nov.; Paravaejovis diazi (Williams, 1970), comb. nov.; Paravaejovis eusthenura (Wood, 1863), comb. nov.; Paravaejovis flavus (Banks, 1900), comb. nov. [nomen dubium]; Paravaejovis galbus (Williams, 1970), comb. nov.; Paravaejovis gravicaudus (Williams, 1970), comb. nov.; Paravaejovis hoffmanni (Williams, 1970), comb. nov.; Paravaejovis puritanus (Gertsch, 1958), comb. nov.; Paravaejovis spinigerus (Wood, 1863), comb. nov.; Paravaejovis waeringi (Williams, 1970), comb. nov. Paravaejovis schwenkmeyeri (Williams, 1970), comb. nov., is removed from synonymy. Four species, formerly placed in Kochius, are transferred to Chihuahuanus, gen. nov.: Chihuahuanus cazieri (Williams, 1968), comb. nov.; Chihuahuanus crassimanus (Pocock, 1898), comb. nov.; Chihuahuanus kovariki (Soleglad and Fet, 2008), comb. nov.; Chihuahuanus russelli (Williams, 1971), comb. nov. Four species, formerly placed in Kochius, Thorellius, or Vaejovis C.L. Koch, 1836, are transferred to Mesomexovis, gen. nov.: Mesomexovis atenango (Francke and González-Santillán, 2007), comb. nov.; Mesomexovis oaxaca (Santibáñez-López and Sissom, 2010), comb. nov.; Mesomexovis occidentalis (Hoffmann, 1931), comb. nov.; Mesomexovis subcristatus (Pocock, 1898), comb. nov. Mesomexovis variegatus (Pocock, 1898), comb. nov., is reinstated to its original rank as species. Four subspecies are newly elevated to species: Kochius barbatus (Williams, 1971), stat. nov.; Kochius cerralvensis (Williams, 1971), stat. nov.; Kochius villosus (Williams, 1971), stat. nov.; Mesomexovis spadix (Hoffmann, 1931), comb. et stat. nov. Three subspecies are synonymized: Vaejovis diazi transmontanus Williams, 1970 = Paravaejovis diazi (Williams, 1970), syn. nov.; Vaejovis bruneus loretoensis Williams, 1971 = Kochius villosus (Williams, 1971), syn. nov.; Vaejovis hoffmanni fuscus Williams, 1970 = Paravaejovis hoffmanni (Williams, 1970), syn. nov.
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Spiders (Araneae) and scorpions (Scorpiones) are two orders of the class Arachnida, subphylum Chelicerata. In addition to ticks and mites (Acari), the Arachnida also include whip-scorpions (Thelyphonida), tailless whip-scorpions (Amblypygi), wind-scorpions or camel-spiders (Solifugae), false-scorpions (Pseudoscorpiones), harvestmen (Opiliones) and some other less important orders. None of these minor orders has any medical significance. Larger Solifugae are alleged to give very painful bites, but this is a most unusual occurrence and these arachnids are not venomous; Mastigoproctus giganteus, the vinegaroon of southern USA and Mexico and the largest of the whip-scorpions, ejects a defensive spray from a movable knob at the base of its flagellum that can blister sensitive human skin and stain the fingers but in other respects the species is harmless.
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The Neotropical "club-tailed" scorpions of the genus Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876, and two related genera in family Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837, i.e., Physoctonus Mello-Leitão, 1934, and Troglorhopalurus Lourenço et al., 2004, are revised, based on a simultaneous phylogenetic analysis of 90 morphological characters and 4260 aligned DNA nucleotides from three mitochondrial and two nuclear gene loci. The monophyletic New World buthid subfamily Rhopalurusinae Bücherl, 1971, to which these scorpions were originally assigned, is redefined, revised diagnoses and a key to identification of its genera and species (except for Centruroides Marx, 1890) provided, and their distributions mapped. The paraphyly of Rhopalurus Thorell, 1876, which comprises several monophyletic groups congruent with its disjunct distribution, justifies its relimitation and that of Troglorhopalurus Lourenço et al., 2004, the revalidation of Heteroctenus Pocock, 1893, and creation of Ischnotelson, gen. nov. (type species: Rhopalurus guanambiensis Lenarducci, Pinto-da-Rocha and Lucas, 2005) and Jaguajir, gen. nov. (type species: Rhopalurus agamemnon C.L. Koch, 1839). Ten new combinations are proposed: Heteroctenus abudi (Armas and Marcano Fondeur, 1987), comb. nov.; Heteroctenus bonettii (Armas, 1999), comb. nov.; Heteroctenus garridoi (Armas, 1974), comb. nov.; Heteroctenus gibarae (Teruel, 2006), comb. nov.; Heteroctenus princeps (Karsch, 1879), comb. nov.; Ischnotelson guanambiensis (Lenarducci, Pinto-da-Rocha and Lucas, 2005), comb. nov.; Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839), comb. nov.; Jaguajir pintoi (Mello-Leitão, 1932), comb. nov.; Jaguajir rochae (Borelli, 1910), comb. nov.; Troglorhopalurus lacrau (Lourenço and Pinto-da-Rocha, 1997), comb. nov. Three new species are described: Ischnotelson peruassu, sp. nov. (type locality: Parque Estadual do Peruassu, Minas Gerias, Brazil); Physoctonus striatus, sp. nov. (type locality: Castelo do Piauí, Piauí, Brazil); Rhopalurus ochoai, sp. nov. (type locality: San Agustín, Edo. Zulia, Venezuela). Fifteen new junior subjective synonyms are proposed: Rhopalurus acromelas Lutz and Mello, 1922, Rhopalurus melleipalpus Lutz and Mello, 1922, Rhopalurus iglesiasi Werner, 1927, Rhopalurus lambdophorus Mello-Leitão, 1932, Rhopalurus dorsomaculatus Prado, 1938, and Rhopalurus goiasensis Prado, 1940 = Jaguajir agamemnon (C.L. Koch, 1839); Rhopalurus pintoi kourouensis Lourenço, 2008 = Jaguajir pintoi (Mello-Leitão, 1932); Rhopalurus crassicauda Caporiacco, 1947, Rhopalurus amazonicus Lourenço, 1986, and Rhopalurus crassicauda paruensis Lourenço, 2008 = Rhopalurus laticauda Thorell, 1876; Rhopalurus melloleitaoi Teruel and Armas, 2006, and Rhopalurus aridicola (Teruel and Armas, 2012) = Heteroctenus junceus (Herbst, 1800); Rhopalurus granulimanus Teruel, 2006 = Heteroctenus gibarae (Teruel, 2006); Rhopalurus virkii Santiago-Blay, 2009 = Heteroctenus abudi (Armas and Marcano Fondeur, 1987); Rhopalurus brejo Lourenço, 2014 = Troglorhopalurus lacrau (Lourenço and Pinto-da-Rocha, 1997).
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In this chapter, the state of art of the arachnid fauna of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest is presented, emphasizing diverse aspects of their systematics, morphology, natural history, distribution and conservation. Almost all groups of extant arachnids are present in this biome, such as mites, whip-spiders, spiders, scorpions, whip-scorpions, schizomids, harvestmen, palpigrads and pseudoscorpions. These animals, of abundance and richness surpassed only by the insects, are important predators, decomposers and pollinators in different ecosystems of the Atlantic Forest. Some species of plant feeding mites cause huge economic losses to crops. Many harvestmen are considered indicators of environment quality because they are extremely sensitive to environmental changes. Spiders and some predatory mites are also often used in studies of applied ecology in virtue of being important agents of biological control. Likewise, several species of mites, spiders and scorpions possess high medical and veterinary importance. As a consequence, the conservation of areas of Atlantic Forest is of paramount importance to maintain the balance of this complex and diverse biome, relatively unexplored and heavily impacted by human activities.
Technical Report
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