Neobuthus awashensis Kovařík et Lowe, Kovarik et Lowe, 2012

Kovařík, František & Lowe, Graeme, 2012, Review of the genus Neobuthus Hirst, 1911 with description of a new species from Ethiopia (Scorpiones: Buthidae), Euscorpius 138, pp. 1-25: 7-16

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Neobuthus awashensis Kovařík et Lowe

sp. n.

Neobuthus awashensis Kovařík et Lowe   , sp. n.

( Figs. 5–6, 18–21, 34–38, 44–47, 67–74, 86, 89, 92, 95– 96, 100–101)

TYPE LOCALITY AND TYPE DEPOSITORY. Ethiopia, Awash , Metahara env., 08°54'N 39°54'E, 960-1050 m. a.s.l. ( Fig. 71); the authorś collection ( FKCP) GoogleMaps   .

TYPE MATERIAL. Ethiopia, Awash , Metahara env., 08°54'N 39°54'E, 960-1050 m a.s.l. ( Fig. 71), 1♀ (paratype), 2008, leg. V. Trailin, 2♀1♀ im. (allotype and paratypes), XI.2010, leg. T. Mazuch and P. Novák, 32♂ (holotype and paratypes) 18♀ (paratypes) 11♀ ims. 5♂ ims. (paratypes), 19.-22.VII.2011, leg. F. Kovařík. Most types are in the collection of the first author ( FKCP), two paratypes (♂ ♀) are in the collection of the second author ( GL) GoogleMaps   .

ETYMOLOGY. Named after the type locality.

DIAGNOSIS. Total length 20–21 mm (males) and 27–30 mm (females); carapace densely granulated with only anterior median carinae developed, area between these carinae fuscous; anterior margin of carapace straight or slightly convex; pectine teeth 15–18 in females, 17–21 in males; sternites III–VI smooth, sternite VII with 4 weakly granulated or obsolete carinae; pedipalps including trochanter, metasoma and telson with sparse dark, long thin setae in females and shorter spiniform setae in males; metasomal segment V with ca. 35–40 long setae in females, shorter spiniform setae in males; legs I–III with bristle combs; movable finger of pedipalp bears 5–6 rows of denticles, with external and internal accessory denticles and three distal denticles; pedipalp femur length to width ratio 2.4–2.6 in females, 2.5–2.7 in males.

DESCRIPTION. Adult males are 20–21 mm long and adult females are 27–30 mm long. The habitus is shown in Figs. 18–19 (male) and Figs. 20–21 (females). For position and distribution of trichobothria of pedipalps see Fig. 47. Trichobothrium d 2 of pedipalp femur present on dorsal surface but often smaller than other trichobothria or absent. Trichobothrium d 2 of pedipalp patella either present but often smaller than other trichobothria, or absent. Sexual dimorphism is noticeable. Males are substantially smaller with bristle combs composed of long spiniform setae, whereas females have bristle combs composed of long thin setae. All segments of metasoma and pedipalps are sparsely hirsute, with dark long setae in females ( Figs. 5, 35) and shorter spiniform setae in males ( Figs. 38, 44). Males also have longer pectines than females and are more granulated, with e.g. the chela of pedipalp granulate with carinae in males, and smooth without granules in females. Males are matte, females and juveniles are glossy. Other differences such as metasomal carination are described below.

COLORATION. The mesosoma and carapace are dark (brown to black) with orange to yellow spots, but proportions of the colors are quite variable so that some specimens may be described as orange to yellow with brown to black spots. However, the space between the anterior median carinae on the carapace is always dark, and does not appear as an orange to yellow spot ( Fig. 34). The mesosoma bears a median black stripe and two orange stripes or only a stripe with orange spots surrounded by black. The base color of the metasoma, pedipalps and legs is yellow or orange with dark spots or reticulations. Carinae on the metasoma and on the pedipalps are dark. The fifth metasomal segment is darker than others, with the contrast more profound in males. The chelicerae are yellow with reticulation only in anterior part, and with reddish denticles ( Fig. 34).

CARAPACE ( Figs. 34, 37, 74). The surface is densely granulated. Carinae are absent or inconspicuous, only anterior median carinae are well developed. The anterior margin of the carapace is straight, but in males may be slightly convex; it bears 8–11 macrosetae, which are long setae in females and shorter spiniform setae in males.

MESOSOMA. The mesosoma bears three carinae, of which the lateral pair are incomplete or absent; in males even the median carina may be less conspicuous. The pectinal tooth count is 15–18 (9x15, 23x16, 14x17, 2x18) in females and 17–21 (1x17, 6x18, 28x19, 27x20, 6x21) in males. The marginal tips of the pectines extend to the proximal half of sternite IV in females, and to the proximal half of sternite V in males. The pectines have three marginal lamellae and seven or eight middle lamellae. The lamellae bear numerous dark setae, three to six on each fulcrum; the setae are shorter in males. Sternites III–VI without carinae, but may be weakly granulated, mainly in males. Sternite VII is more strongly granulated, with granulation apparent even in females; there may be a weakly granulated pair of median carinae, and obsolete lateral carinae indicated by granules. Hemispermatophore with three short, spatulate or laminate basal lobes, and prominent pointed hook ( Fig. 73).

METASOMA AND TELSON ( Figs. 5–6, 95–96, 100–101). Metasomal segments I–III bear eight or ten carinae; segment IV bears eight carinae that are more complete in males, but in females only the ventrolateral carinae may be complete. Other carinae in females may be indicated only by several granules. Metasomal segment V of both sexes has only ventrolateral carinae, which in their posterior halves bear several lobate granules usually more conspicuous in females. Granules on the ventral surface of metasomal segment V may form an irregular median carina in both sexes. Metasomal segments I–III are densely granulated, with granules of approximately equal size. Granules on segments IV–V are of unequal sizes and unevenly distributed, especially in females. Granulation in females is sparse on all surfaces of segments I–III, and lateral and dorsal surfaces of segment IV (these surfaces more densely granulated in males). The anal arch consists of two lobes in females, three or four lobes in males. All segments are sparsely setose in females or spinose in males; on metasomal segment V there are ca. 35–40 long setae in females or shorter spiniform setae in males. The telson is rather elongate in both sexes. The aculeus is slightly shorter than the vesicle in both sexes. The surface of the telson is bumpy, sparsely hirsute and without a subaculear tubercle, although the angular shape of the vesicle may appear as a protuberance ( Figs. 5, 100–101).

LEGS. The tarsomeres bear two rows of macrosetae on the ventral surface and numerous macrosetae on the other surfaces, which on legs I–III form bristle combs. The macrosetae are longer in females. The femur and patella may bear four to six carinae, which however may be obsolete. The femur bears only solitary macrosetae.

PEDIPALPS. The femur is granulated and bears three to five carinae; the ventroexternal carina is incomplete or absent, the other carinae are granular. The patella is granular, with seven coarsely granular carinae in males, and smooth, without carinae or obsolete carinae in females. The chela is granulate with five carinae, which may be weak and incomplete in males and smooth, without granules and carinae in females. All pedipalps including the trochanter are sparsely hirsute, with dark long setae in females ( Fig. 35) and shorter spiniform setae in males ( Fig. 38). The movable and fixed fingers bear five to six rows of denticles, with external and internal accessory denticles and three distal denticles ( Fig. 49).

MEASUREMENTS IN MM. Male holotype. Total length 21; carapace length 2.28, width 2.65; metasoma and telson length 12.4; first metasomal segment length 1.45, width 1.57; second metasomal segment length 1.72, width 1.45; third metasomal segment length 1.80, width 1.45; fourth metasomal segment length 2.12, width 1.40; fifth metasomal segment length 2.78, width 1.35; telson length 2.36; telson width 0.85; pedipalp femur length 1.57, width 0.62; pedipalp patella length 2.15, width 0.85; chela length 2.60; manus width 0.55; movable finger length 1.60.

Female allotype. Total length 29; carapace length 3.05, width 3.65; metasoma and telson length 16.6; first metasomal segment length 1.97, width 2.17; second metasomal segment length 2.28, width 1.95; third metasomal segment length 2.42, width 1.92; fourth metasomal segment length 2.95, width 1.85; fifth metasomal segment length 3.67, width 1.85; telson length 3.30; telson width 1.15; pedipalp femur length 2.00, width 0.83; pedipalp patella length 2.65, width 1.15; chela length 3.37; manus width 0.80; movable finger length 2.33.

AFFINITIES. The described features distinguish Neobuthus awashensis   sp. n. from all other species of the genus. In contrast to N. berberensis   the entire pedipalps are sparsely hirsute with dark setae (females, Fig. 35) or spiniform setae (males, Fig. 38) and there are one or more dark spots ( Figs. 44, 47), whereas N. berberensis   has the entire femur of pedipalp yellow without dark spots and with only several white setae ( Figs. 39–40). The pubescence on trochanter and femur of pedipalps is the same in N. ferrugineus   comb. n. and N. awashensis   sp. n., but the latter species is darker, which is best apparent from the coloration of the femur of pedipalp and the carapace; in N. ferrugineus   comb. n. the space between the anterior median carinae on the carapace always has an orange to yellow spot ( Fig. 28), which is absent in N. awashensis   sp. n. ( Fig. 34). Males of N. ferrugineus   comb. n. have spiniform setae/macrosetae shorter than N. awashensis   sp. n. ( Fig. 33 vs. 38). N. awashensis   sp. n. also differs from N. ferrugineus   comb. n. morphometrically, in having a longer and narrower femur of pedipalp. The telson of females of N. ferrugineus   comb. n. and N. berberensis   have a more bulky vesicle compared to females of N. awashensis   sp. n. ( Figs. 1, 3 vs. Fig. 5).