Archive for the ‘Recent News’ Category


johnny-cash-tarantula-2 (1)

Abstract

This systematic study documents the taxonomy, diversity, and distribution of the tarantula spider genusAphonopelma Pocock, 1901 within the United States. By employing phylogenomic, morphological, and geospatial data, we evaluated all 55 nominal species in the United States to examine the evolutionary history of Aphonopelma and the group’s taxonomy by implementing an integrative approach to species delimitation. Based on our analyses, we now recognize only 29 distinct species in the United States. We propose 33 new synonymies (A. apacheum, A. minchi, A. rothi, A. schmidti, A. stahnkei = A. chalcodes; A.arnoldi = A. armada; A. behlei, A. vogelae = A. marxi; A. breenei = A. anax; A. chambersi, A. clarum, A.cryptethum, A. sandersoni, A. sullivani = A. eutylenum; A. clarki, A. coloradanum, A. echinum, A. gurleyi, A.harlingenum, A. odelli, A. waconum, A. wichitanum = A. hentzi; A. heterops = A. moderatum; A. jungi, A.punzoi = A. vorhiesi; A. brunnius, A. chamberlini, A. iviei, A. lithodomum, A. smithi, A. zionis = A. iodius; A.phanum, A. reversum = A. steindachneri), 14 new species (A. atomicumsp. n., A. catalinasp. n., A.chiricahuasp. n., A. icenogleisp. n., A. johnnycashisp. n., A. maderasp. n., A. marekisp. n., A. moellendorfisp. n., A. parvumsp. n., A. peloncillosp. n., A. prenticeisp. n., A. saguarosp. n., A. superstitionensesp. n., and A. xwalxwalsp. n.), and seven nomina dubia (A. baergi, A. cratium, A. hollyi, A. mordax, A. radinum, A.rusticum, A. texense). Our proposed species tree based on Anchored Enrichment data delimits five major lineages: a monotypic group confined to California, a western group, an eastern group, a group primarily distributed in high-elevation areas, and a group that comprises several miniaturized species. Multiple species are distributed throughout two biodiversity hotspots in the United States (i.e., California Floristic Province and Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands). Keys are provided for identification of both males and females. By conducting the most comprehensive sampling of a single theraphosid genus to date, this research significantly broadens the scope of prior molecular and morphological investigations, finally bringing a modern understanding of species delimitation in this dynamic and charismatic group of spiders.

Awesome …

URL http://zookeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=6264

cryptomaster-daddylonglegs

Scientists have unearthed a monstrous new arachnid lurking in the woods of southwest Oregon — and it’s a beast.

The new daddy longlegs species, dubbed Cryptomaster behemoth,towers over other creatures of its kind. And like its cousin, the equally elusive Cryptomaster leviathan, the new species is incredibly difficult to find, because it hides out beneath the logs and leafy debris that blanket the forest floor.

The Cryptomaster leviathan was discovered in 1969 at one location in the coastal town of Gold Beach, Oregon. The mysterious creature belonged to one of the most diverse suborders, called Laniatores, which contains at least 4,100 species. (Daddy longlegs belong to the arachnid order commonly known as harvestmen, so-called because they often emerge during the fall months during the harvest.

toxins-08-00002-ag

Abstract

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.

See here at http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/8/1/2

 

kremani2016

Abstract:
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.

URL in PDF Format : http://www.science.marshall.edu/fet/euscorpius/p2015_211.pdf

Scorpion_UofM_palaeolab_J_Jepson_large

Scorpion fossils are possibly more diverse than you might expect. 128 fossil species are currently recognized, with some dating back as far as the Silurian period. They occur in various different rock types and also, more rarely, as inclusions in amber.

Follow the Link for more information and browse Siri Scientific Press.  http://siriscientificpress.co.uk/blogs/news/68263875-new-fossil-scorpion-290-million-years-old-sheds-important-light-on-their-evolutionary-history

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Nice article at University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Please read HERE

Abstract1-s2.0-S1055790315002043-fx1

Camel spiders (Solifugae) are a diverse but poorly studied order of arachnids. No robust phylogenetic analysis has ever been carried out for the order or for any family within the Solifugae. We present a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the endemic North American family Eremobatidae Kraepelin, 1899, the first such analysis of a family of Solifugae. We use a multi-locus exemplar approach using DNA sequences from partial nuclear (28S rDNA and Histone H3) and mitochondrial (16S rRNA and Cytochrome c Oxidase I) gene loci for 81 ingroup exemplars representing all genera of Eremobatidae and most species groups within the genera Eremobates Banks, 1900, Eremochelis Roewer, 1934, andHemerotrecha Banks, 1903. Maximum Likelihood and two Bayesian analyses consistently recovered the monophyly of Eremobatidae, Eremorhax Roewer, 1934 andEremothera Muma, 1951 along with a group comprising all subfamily Eremobatinae Kraepelin, 1901 exemplars except Horribates bantai Muma, 1989 and a group comprising all Eremocosta Roewer, 1934 exemplars except Eremocosta acuitalpanensis (Vasquez and Gavin, 2000). The subfamily Therobatinae Muma, 1951 and the genera Chanbria Muma, 1951, Hemerotrecha, Eremochelis, and Eremobateswere polyphyletic or paraphyletic. Only the banksi group of Hemerotrecha was monophyletic; the other species groups recognized within Eremobates, Eremochelis, and Hemerotrecha were paraphyletic or polyphyletic. We found no support for the monophyly of the subfamily Therobatinae. A time-calibrated phylogeny dated the most recent common ancestor of extant eremobatids to the late Eocene to early Miocene, with a mean estimate in the late Oligocene (32.2 Ma)

Authors

Link http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790315002043

ABSTRACT

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.

AUTHORS

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

LINK

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1206/907.1

Abstract

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.

Authors

GERARDO A. CONTRERAS-FÉLIX, OSCAR F. FRANCKE, ROBERT JR. W. BRYSON

Link

http://biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.3936.1.8

JBI_large

Abstract

Aim

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.

Location

Mojave and Sonoran deserts, south-western USA.

Methods

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).

Results

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/