We define a new fossorial buthid genus Trypanothacus gen. n., similar to Buthacus Birula, 1908, differing primarily in telson shape, with a bulbous vesicle and aculeus shorter than the vesicle, and in heavier dentition on metasomal segments II–III and IV. The new genus includes two species: T. barnesi sp. n. from Oman and T. buettikeri (Hendrixson, 2006) comb. n. from Saudi Arabia, the latter transferred from Buthacus. We provide detailed illustrations of both species from preserved materials, and in vivo habitus and natural habitat are shown for T. barnesi sp. n.. Information is also provided on ecology and captive rearing of T. barnesi sp. n., and on its karyotype (2n=26). The new genus is compared to genera Buthacus and Vachoniolus Levy et al., 1973. Telson morphology of these genera is analyzed and compared with other psammophilous and pelophilous buthids. In certain subgroups of scorpions, we find that aculeus length can be related to psammophily and body size. As a highly diverse multifunctional organ, the telson is shaped by complex environmental and genetic factors. We propose that telson morphology can nevertheless be useful for taxonomy if it is carefully applied.

References with DOI

AHRENS, D. 2000. Sericinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Melolonthidae) of Arabia. Fauna of Arabia, 18: 177–210.

BIRULA, A. A. 1908. Ergebnisse der mit Subvention aus der Erbschaft Treitl unternommenen zoologischen Forschungsreise Dr. F. Werner`s nach dem ägyptischen Sudan und Nord-Uganda. XIV. Scorpiones und Solifugae. Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, 117/2 (1): 121–152.

BORGES, A. & M. R. GRAHAM. Phylogenetics of scorpions of medical importance. Pp. 81–104 in GOPALAKRISHNAKONE, P. & J. J. CALVETE (Eds.) Venom Genomics and Proteomics. Toxinology. Springer, Dordrecht.

DESOUKY, M. M. A. & A. M. ALSHAMMARI. 2011. Scorpions of the Ha’il Region, northern Saudi Arabia, and molecular phylogenetics of two common species, Androctonus crassicauda and Scorpio maurus kruglovi. Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, 15 (6): 193–200. https://doi.org/10.13156/arac.2011.15.6.193

EL-HENNAWY, H. K. 2009. Scorpions of Saudi Arabia. Serket, 11 (3/4): 119–128.

EL-HENNAWY, H. K. 2014. Preliminary list of spiders and other arachnids of Saudi Arabia (Except ticks and mites). Serket, 14 (1): 22–58.

FET, V., B. GANTENBEIN, A. GROMOV, G. LOWE & W. R. LOURENÇO. 2003. The first molecular phylogeny of Buthidae (Scorpiones). Euscorpius, 4: 1–10. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2003.vol2003.iss4.1

FET, V., G. POLIS, & W. D. SISSOM. 1998. Life in sandy deserts: the scorpion model. Journal of Arid Environments. 39: 609–622. https://doi.org/10.1006/jare.1997.0386

FET, V., M. E. SOLEGLAD & G. LOWE. 2005. A new trichobothrial character for the high-level systematics of Buthoidea (Scorpiones: Buthida). Euscorpius, 23: 1–40. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2005.vol2005.iss23.1

HENDRIXSON, B. E. 2006. Buthid scorpions of Saudi Arabia, with notes on other families (Scorpiones: Buthidae, Liochelidae, Scorpionidae). Fauna of Arabia, 21: 33–120.

KOVAŘÍK, F. 2005. Taxonomic position of species of the genus Buthacus Birula, 1908 described by Ehrenberg and Lourenço, and description of a new species (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius, 28: 1–13. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2005.vol2005.iss28.1

KOVAŘÍK, F. 2007. A revision of the genus Hottentotta Birula, 1908, with descriptions of four new species (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Euscorpius, 23: 1–40. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2007.vol2007.iss58.1

KOVAŘÍK, F. 2009. Illustrated catalog of scorpions. Part I. Introductory remarks; keys to families and genera; subfamily Scorpioninae with keys to Heterometrus and Pandinus species. Prague: Clairon Production, 170 pp.

KOVAŘÍK, F. 2018. Notes on the genera Buthacus, Compsobuthus, and Lanzatus with several synonymies and corrections of published characters (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Euscorpius, 269: 1–12. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2018.vol2018.iss269.1

KOVAŘÍK, F., G. LOWE, P. JUST, A. I. AWALE, H. SH A. ELMI & F. ŠŤÁHLAVSKÝ. 2018. Scorpions of the Horn of Africa (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part XVI. Review of the genus Gint Kovařík et al., 2013, with description of three new species from Somaliland (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Euscorpius, 258: 1–41. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2018.vol2018.iss259.1

KOVAŘÍK, F., G. LOWE, J. PLÍŠKOVÁ & F. ŠŤÁHLAVSKÝ. 2013. A new scorpion genus, Gint gen. n., from the Horn of Africa (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Euscorpius, 173: 1–19. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2013.vol2013.iss173.1

KOVAŘÍK, F., G. LOWE, K. B. RANAWANA, D. HOFEREK, V. A. SANJEEWA JAYARATHNE, J. PLÍŠKOVÁ & F. ŠŤÁHLAVSKÝ. 2016a. Scorpions of Sri Lanka (Arachnida, Scorpiones: Buthidae, Chaerilidae, Scorpionidae) with description of four new species of the genera Charmus Karsch, 1879 and Reddyanus Vachon, 1972 stat. n.. Euscorpius, 220: 1–133. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2016.vol2016.iss220.1

KOVAŘÍK, F., G. LOWE & F. ŠŤÁHLAVSKÝ. 2016b. Review of Northwestern African Buthacus, with description of Buthacus stockmanni sp. n. from Morocco and Western Sahara (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Euscorpius, 236: 1–18. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2016.vol2016.iss236.1

KOVAŘÍK, F. & A. A. OJANGUREN AFFILASTRO. 2013. Illustrated catalog of scorpions Part II. Bothriuridae; Chaerilidae; Buthidae I., genera Compsobuthus, Hottentotta, Isometrus, Lychas, and Sassanidotus. Prague: Clairon Production, 400 pp.

KOVAŘÍK, F., F. ŠŤÁHLAVSKÝ. T. KOŘÍNKOVÁ, J. KRÁL & T. VAN DER ENDE. 2009. Tityus ythieri Lourenço, 2007 is a synonym of Tityus magnimanus Pocock, 1897 (Scorpiones: Buthidae): a combined approach using morphology, hybridization experiments, chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA. Euscorpius, 77: 1–12. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2009.vol2009.iss77.1

LEVY, G. & P. AMITAI. 1980. Scorpiones. Fauna Palaestina. Arachnida I. The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Jerusalem, 1980.

LEVY, G., P. AMITAI & A. SHULOV. 1973. New scorpions from Israel, Jordan and Arabia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 52 (2): 113–140. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1096-3642.1973.tb00782.x

LEWIS, D. J. & W. BÜTTIKER. 1982. Insects of Saudi Arabia. The taxonomy and distribution of Saudi Arabian phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae). Fauna of Saudi Arabia, 4: 353–397.

LORIA, S. F. & L. PRENDINI. 2014. Homology of the lateral eyes of Scorpiones: a six-ocellus model. PLoS ONE 9(12): e112913. https://www.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112913.

LOURENÇO, W. R. 2006. Further considerations on the genus Buthacus Birula, 1908 (Scorpiones: Buthidae), with a description of one new species and two new subspecies. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 38: 59–70.

LOURENÇO, W. R. & E.-A. LEGUIN. 2009. A new species of the genus Buthacus Birula, 1908 from the United Arab Emirates (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Zoology in the Middle East, 46: 103–108. https://doi.org/10.1080/09397140.2009.10638335

LOURENÇO, W. R. & J-X. QI. 2006. A new species of the genus Buthacus Birula, 1908 (Scorpiones, Buthidae), from Pakistan. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 39: 161–164.

LOWE, G. 1993. Tales of tails: scorpions in Oman. The Historical Association of Oman. Newsltter. Natural History. No. 2. LOWE, G. 2010a. A new species of Odontobuthus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from northern Oman. Euscorpius, 96: 1–22. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2010.vol2010.iss96.1

LOWE, G. 2010b. The genus Vachoniolus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in Oman. Euscorpius, 100: 1–37. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2010.vol2010.iss100.1

LOWE, G. 2018. The genera Butheolus Simon, 1882 and Xenobuthus gen. nov. (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in Oman. Euscorpius, 261: 1–73. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2018.vol2018.iss261.1

LOWE, G., E. A. YAĞMUR & F. KOVAŘÍK. 2014. A review of the genus Leiurus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) with description of four new species from the Arabian Peninsula. Euscorpius, 100: 1–37. https://doi.org/10.18590/euscorpius.2014.vol2014.iss191.1

MATTOS, V. F., D. M. CELLA, L. S. CARVALHO, D. M. CANDIDO & M. C. SCHNEIDER. 2013. High chromosome variability and the presence of multivalent associations in buthid scorpions. Chromosome Research, 21: 121–136. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10577-013-9342-3

NEWLANDS, G. 1972a. Notes on psammophilous scorpions and description of a new species (Arachnida: Scorpionides). Annals of the Transvaal Museum, 27 (12): 241–254. https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v15i1.666

NEWLANDS, G. 1972b. Ecological adaptations of Kruger National Park scorpionids (Arachnida: Scorpionides). Koedoe, 15: 37–48.

OJANGUREN-AFFILASTRO, A. A., C. I. MATTONI, J. A. OCHOA, M. J. RAMÍREZ, F. S. CECCARELLI & L. PRENDINI. 2016. Phylogeny, species delimitation and convergence in the South American bothriurid scorpion genus Brachistosternus Pocock 1893: Integrating morphology, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94: 159–170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2015.08.007

PRENDINI, L. 2001. Substratum specialization and speciation in southern African scorpions: the effect hypothesis revisited. Pp. 113–138 in: Fet, V & Selden, P.A. (eds). Scorpions 2001. In Memoriam Gary A. Polis. Burnham Beeches, Bucks. British Arachnological Society.

ROWE, A.H., Y. XIAO, M. ROWE, T. CUMMINS & H. ZAKON. 2013. Voltage-gated sodium channel in grasshopper mice defends against bark scorpion toxin. Science, 342: 441–447. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1236451

SIMON, E. 1892. Liste des arachnides recueillis en Syrie par M. le docteur Théod. Barrois. Revue Biologique du Nord de la France, 5: 80–84. SISSOM, W. D. 1990. Systematics, biogeography and paleontology. Pp. 64–160 in POLIS, G. A. (Ed.) The Biology of Scorpions. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.

SISSOM, W. D., G. A. POLIS &D. D. WATT. 1990. Field and laboratory methods. Pp. 445–461 in POLIS, G. A. (ed.). The Biology of Scorpions. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.

STAHNKE, H. L. 1971. Scorpion nomenclature and mensuration. Entomological News, 81: 297–316.

VACHON, M. 1949. Études sur les Scorpions. III (suite). Déscription des Scorpions du Nord de l’Afrique. Archives de l’Institut Pasteur d’Algérie, 27(1): 66–100.

VACHON, M. 1952. Étude sur les Scorpions. Institut Pasteur d’Algérie, Alger, 482 pp.

VACHON, M. 1953. Contribution à’l étude du peuplement de la Mauritanie. Scorpions. Bulletin d’Institut Français d’Afrique Noire, 55(3): 1012–1028.

VACHON, M. 1963. De l’utilité, en systématique, d’une nomenclature des dents de chélicères chez les scorpions. Bulletin du Musèum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, (2), 35 (2): 161–166.

VACHON, M. 1974. Études des caractères utilisés pour classer les familles et les genres des scorpions (Arachnides). 1. La trichobothriotaxie en arachnologie. Sigles trichobothriaux et types de trichobothriotaxie chez les Scorpions. Bulletin du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, 3e série, 140 (Zoologie, 104): 857–958.

VACHON, M. 1975. Sur l’utilisation de la trichobothriotaxie du bras des pedipalps des Scorpions (Arachnides) dans le classement des genres de famille des Buthidae Simon. Compte rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’Academie des Sciences, Paris Ser.D Sciences Naturelles, 281 (21): 1597–1599.

VACHON, M. 1979. Arachnids of Saudi Arabia, Scorpiones. Fauna of Saudi Arabia, 1: 30–66.

VAN DER MEIJDEN, A. & T. KLEINTEICH. 2016. A biomechanical view on stinger diversity in scorpions. Journal of Anatomy, 230(4): 497–509.