Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’


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Tarantulas in the North American genus Aphonopelma are poorly known due to their challenging patterns of morphological variation and questionable taxonomy; few specimens can be confidently identified using existing keys or comparisons to original descriptions. In an effort to identify new strategies for resolving what has been characterized as a “taxonomic and nomenclatural nightmare”, we employed five different approaches for delimiting species in a group of closely related tarantulas from the Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States. These methods included the application of single techniques (morphology, DNA barcoding, shared genealogical exclusivity among independent loci, and generalized mixed Yule coalescent) and an integrative approach that incorporates genealogical and ecological information. Results demonstrate that the taxonomy of these spiders as presently defined underestimates actual species-level diversity and the group is in need of revision. The number of species delimited by each approach, however, was variable and we argue that it is this discordance that emphasizes the importance of incorporating multiple lines of evidence into an integrative taxonomic framework that can be used for constructing robust taxonomic hypotheses for Aphonopelma species

URL:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790312004101

 

journal.pone.0052822.g002

Citation:  Bryson RW Jr, Riddle BR, Graham MR, Smith BT, Prendini L (2013) As Old as the Hills: Montane Scorpions in Southwestern North America Reveal Ancient Associations between Biotic Diversification and Landscape History.

The age of lineages has become a fundamental datum in studies exploring the interaction between geological transformation and biotic diversification. However, phylogeographical studies are often biased towards lineages that are younger than the geological features of the landscapes they inhabit. A temporally deeper historical biogeography framework may be required to address episodes of biotic diversification associated with geologically older landscape changes. Signatures of such associations may be retained in the genomes of ecologically specialized (stenotopic) taxa with limited vagility. In the study presented here, genetic data from montane scorpions in the Vaejovis vorhiesi group, restricted to humid rocky habitats in mountains across southwestern North America, were used to explore the relationship between scorpion diversification and regional geological history.

Link: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0052822

I received an email (04.21.10) with photos for confirmation of species from Matt L. in Alb. NM.  We confirmed his pictures to Centruroides sculpturatus (gertschi form) from Sierra County, New Mexico.    We compared the various characters between Centruroides sculpturatus and Centruroides vittatus.

Matt was gracious to allow his pictures on the blog.

Recently(09.26.10), Matt sent sent some comparison photos of the sexes and species. Can you guess which species is which? Comments are welcome.

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Description of site:  Provides a scorpion species list, desert biology, zoogeography, systematics, publications, habitat photos and specimen images.