Monday, 30 July 2012

New species of Scorpion from Arizona.

Scorpions of the family Vaejovidae are found throughout North America, and into Central America as far south as Guatemala. There are at least 176 species, divided into 17 genera, inhabiting a broad range of environments, though most favor arid conditions. Their stings are painful, but seldom dangerous.

In a paper published in the American Museum Novitates on 3 May 2012, a group of scientists led by David Sissom of the Department of Life, Earth, and Environmental Sciences at West Texas A&M University, describe a new species of Vaejovid Scorpion from the Hualapai Mountains of Arizona.

The Hualapai Mountains are largely covered by Pine/Oak Montane Forest, and cut of from other similar environments by arid desert plains, making them an excellent place to look for endemic species. The new Scorpions were found living in leaf-litter and under rocks.

The woodlands of the Hualapai Mountains, where the new Scorpions were found. Sissom et al. (2012).

The new species is placed in the existing genus Vaejovis, and given the specific name tenuipalpus, meaning 'slender-clawed'. Vaejovis tenuipalpus is a yellowish-brown Scorpion averaging 25 mm in length when fully grown.

Vaejovis tenuipalpus, male specimen in life. Sissom et al. (2012).


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