Pandinops pugilator (Pocock, 1900)

Kovařík, František, Lowe, Graeme & Elmi, Hassan Sh Abdirahman, 2017, Scorpions of the Horn of Africa (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Part XIII. Review of Pandinops hawkeri, P. peeli, P. platycheles, and P. pugilator (Scorpionidae), Euscorpius 254, pp. 1-20 : 13-18

publication ID


publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Pandinops pugilator (Pocock, 1900)


Pandinops pugilator (Pocock, 1900)

( Figs. 15–60)

Pandinus pugilator Pocock, 1900a: 52–53 , figs.1–1a, plate IV.

Pandinus (Pandinops) pugilator: Vachon, 1974: 953 ; Fet, 2000: 469.

Pandinus (Pandinops) bellicosus: Kovařík, 2000: 4–6 (in part); Kovařík, 2009: 51 (in part).

= Pandinus peeli Pocock, 1900a: 53 , fig. 2, plate IV. Syn. n. (see comments below)

Pandinus (Pandinops) peeli: Birula, 1913: 419–422 , fig. b; Vachon, 1974: 953; Fet, 2000: 469 (complete reference list until 2000); Kovařík, 2009: 53, 118, figs. 321–322.

Pandinops peeli: Kovařík, 2016: 11–12 , 16–18, figs. 66, 69.

= Pandinus hawkeri Pocock, 1900b: 60–61 . Syn. n. (see comments below)

Pandinus (Pandinops) hawkeri: Birula, 1913: 422 ; Vachon, 1974: 921, 953, figs. 116–118; Fet, 2000: 469 (complete reference list until 2000); Kovařík, 2009: 53, 117, figs. 298, 317–320; Kovařík, 2016: 10–11, 17–18, figs. 65, 69.


Berbera or Hargaisa, BMNH.

TYPE MATERIAL EXAMINED. Somaliland, Berbera, 16 April 1895 or Hargaisa, 25–28 April. 1895, leg. C . V. A. Peel, 1♀ (holotype of Pandinus pugilator ) , BMNH No. 1900., 1♂ (holotype of Pandinus peeli , figs. 321–322 in Kovařík , 2009: 118) , BMNH No. 1900.; Jifa Uri ( Fig. 49, 09°43'19"N 43°23'33"E), inland from Zeyla (now Zeila, in Somali Saylac ), leg GoogleMaps . R. M. Hawker, 1♀ (holotype of Pandinus hawkeri , Fig. 50 and figs. 317–320 in Kovařík , 2009: 53, 117) , BMNH No. 1898.4.25.4–6 .

RECENTLY COLLECTED MATERIAL EXAMINED. Somaliland , between Hargeisa and Borama, near Jifa Uri hill, 09°43'35"N 43°24'51"E, 1577 m a.s.l ( Fig. 44, Locality No. 17SP), 9.IX.2017, 1juv. (topotype of Pandinus hawkeri , Fig. 43, alive), leg. F. Kovařík, FKCP GoogleMaps ; Borama , campus Amoud University, 09°56'49"N 43°13' 23"E, 1394 m a.s.l. ( Figs. 45–48, Locality No. 17SR =17 SA), 9-13.IX.2017, 8♂ 9♀2♀ juvs.3juvs. from which 2♂ 6♀ 3juvs. are still alive ( Figs. 15–42, 51–60, DNA Nos. 1317, 1318, 1333), leg. F. Kovařík et P. Just, FKCP GoogleMaps .

EMENDED DIAGNOSIS. Total length 65–95 mm. Color reddish black, carapace and chela orange to reddish brown, legs yellow. Carapace smooth in the middle, several granules distributed very sparsely along margins only. External trichobothria on patella number 14 (5 eb, 3 esb, 2 em, 1 est, 3 et); ventral trichobothria on patella number 24–30. Internal trichobothria on chela number 6–8, ventral trichobothria on chela number 9–12. Pedipalp chela hirsute. Pedipalp chela dorsally smooth, tuberculated or finely granulated without pointed granules. Chela internally smooth with two longitudinal carinae rather smooth or indicated by 4–6 granules. Chela length/ width ratio is 1.65–1.82. Pectinal teeth number 12–17 in female, 14–17 in male. Sternite VII tuberculated to granulated with two carinae indicated or present. Metasomal segments I–IV ventrally without carinae; segments III–V ventrally densely and intensively granulated; segments I–II rather tuberculated in males or almost smooth in juveniles and females. Spiniform formula of tarsomere II = 3/4: 3/4: 3/4-5: 3/4-5. Tarsomere II with 2 spines on inclined anteroventral surface. Length to width ratio of male metasomal segment V is 1.92–2.02.

COMMENTS. Pocock (1900a: 52–53) based Pandinus pugilator and Pandinus peeli on two specimens collected probably together at the same place by C. V. A. Peel. Pocock erroneously took certain ontogenetic and sexually dimorphic differences of these scorpions to be interspecific characters: (i) juveniles and females have chelae rather smooth ( Fig. 19), but males have chelae rather tuberculated to finely granulated ( Fig. 22); and (ii) ventral surfaces of metasomal segments I–II are almost smooth in juveniles and females, but rather tuberculated in males. This led him to describe the female as Pandinus pugilator , and the conspecific male as Pandinus peeli . Understanding the life strategy of this species enabled the first author (FK), together with Pavel Just, to collect additional specimens, and further study has revealed its true coloration and sexual dimorphism. We can now recognize that the holotype of Pandinus pugilator is a female, whereas previously the sex of the specimen was cited as being indeterminate ( Pocock, 1900a: 52–53; Kovařík, 2016: 10–11).

The three species, Pandinus pugilator , P. peeli , and P. hawkeri were described by Pocock (1900a, 1900b) in two papers in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, both published on 23 January 1900. P. pugilator (pp. 52–53) and P. peeli (p. 53) were descrbed in the first paper, and P. hawkeri (pp. 60–61), in the second paper. Therefore, both Pandinus peeli Pocock, 1900 and Pandinus hawkeri Pocock, 1900 are junior synonyms of Pandinops pugilator (Pocock, 1900) .

Hemispermatophore. ( Figs. 51–60). Lamelliform. Distal lamina long, section distal to hook constricted, straight throughout most of its length, internally angled 22°–26° relative to trunk axis. Apex of distal lamina with a short, curved section starting with an abrupt deflection in external direction at 42°–61° relative to axis of straight section, tapering to a narrow tip. Short, robust hook projecting distally near base of internal margin of distal lamina. Proximal section of distal lamina below hook much shorter than distal section above it, with deep dorsal trough bordered internally by a strong, prominent ridge. Median lobe sharply angled, bearing a narrow thickened ridge. Internobasal reflection of sperm duct relatively short, slightly narrowing distally into a broad inner lobe with truncated end. Proximal lobe semicircular in profile. Basal lobe a smaller but distinct, flattened process, asymmetric in profile, angled towards proximal direction. Trunk relatively long, broad, gradually tapered towards base, with weak, but well defined diagonal axial rib. This description is based on examination of both right and left hemispermatophores from 3 males (Nos. 1317, 1318, 1333), all of which displayed consistently similar morphologies ( Figs. 51–56). Measurements (mm) (No. 1318): distal lamina: total L 7.11; oblique L distal to hook 5.16; straight section L 4.60, W 0.78; proximal section (truncal flexure to hook base) L 2.00, W 0.95; trunk L 2.55; foot L 1.38. Morphometric ratios (ranges from Nos. 1317, 1318, 1333): distal lamina straight section L/ W 5.90 –6.75; distal lamina ratio of L distal to hook/ L proximal to hook 2.31– 2.64, W distal to hook/ W proximal to hook 0.67–0.82; distal lamina total L/ trunk L 2.41–2.79.

COMMENTS ON LOCALITIES AND LIFE STRATEGY. Locality 17SP is a large steppe near Jifa Uri hill used by farmers and can be reckoned to be the type locality of P. hawkeri ( Fig. 44); locality 17SR is a riverbed of an occasional river ( Figs. 45–48). The second locality lies in the grounds of Amoud University Campus and is a site of detailed research. P. pugilator were in ca. 40 cm deep burrows with the entrance in open terrain ( Figs. 46–48). In each burrow there were a juvenile; a female; a female with juveniles after first ecdysis; or a female or an immature female with a male. No male was found in a burrow alone. During night collecting with UV light, there was recorded only one male, but no females or juveniles had emerged outside burrows in open terrain. Other scorpions also recorded at the site were: Gint sp. n., Neobuthus sp. n., and Parabuthus abyssinicus Pocock, 1901 , during night collecting. On a margin of the riverbed there is an area of rocky terrain (fig. 45 in Kovařík et al., 2017: 11) where the first author recorded Pandinurus kmoniceki Kovařík et al., 2017 , Babycurus somalicus Hirst, 1907 , Hottentotta polystictus (Pocock, 1896) , Neobuthus sp. n., and Parabuthus abyssinicus Pocock, 1901 .

At this locality, the first author recorded maximum daytime temperatures of 29.1 ºC (10th September 2017) and 31.8 ºC (12th September 2017), and a minimum nighttime temperature of 19.6 ºC. The recorded humidity was between 31% (minimum at night) and 79% (maximum at day).


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Museum national d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratiore de Paleontologie














Pandinops pugilator (Pocock, 1900)

Kovařík, František, Lowe, Graeme & Elmi, Hassan Sh Abdirahman 2017

Pandinus (Pandinops) pugilator: Vachon, 1974: 953

VACHON 1974: 953

Pandinus pugilator

POCOCK 1900: 53

Pandinus peeli

POCOCK 1900: 53

Pandinus hawkeri

POCOCK 1900: 61