Orobothriurus calchaqui, Ochoa & Ojanguren Affilastro & Mattoni & Prendini, 2011

Ochoa, José A., Ojanguren Affilastro, Andres A., Mattoni, Camilo I. & Prendini, Lorenzo, 2011, Systematic Revision Of The Andean Scorpion Genus Orobothriurus Maury, 1976 (Bothriuridae), With Discussion Of The Altitude Record For Scorpions, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 2011 (359), pp. 1-90 : 25-40

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.1206/359.1

publication LSID




persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by


scientific name

Orobothriurus calchaqui

sp. nov.

Orobothriurus calchaqui View in CoL , n. sp. Figures 14A View Fig , 18B View Fig , 21D View Fig , 23B View Fig , 24A View Fig , 29–31 View Fig View Fig View Fig , 32A, B View Fig , 36 View Fig K–O, 54; table 3

Orobothriurus alticola: Maury, 1976: 18 View in CoL (part) [misidentification].

TYPE MATERIAL: ARGENTINA: Tucumán Province: Tafí del Valle Department: Holotype ♂ (MACN-Ar), El Infiernillo ( Tafí del Valle ), 26 ° 44913.30S 65 ° 45951.20W, 2700 m, 30.x.2004, A. Ojanguren Affilastro and L. Compagnucci. Paratypes: same data, 20 ♂, 2 ♀ (MACN-Ar), 2 ♂ ( AMNH), 2 ♂ ( AMNH [ LP 5195 ]), 2 ♂ ( LBRE), 2 ♂ ( MHNC) ; Cumbres Calchaquies, Huaca Huasi , 4250 m, E. Domínguez, 1 ♀ (MACN-Ar) ; Vaca Huasi , 4300 m, 16.xi.1974, S. Hallow, 1 ♀ (MACN-Ar) .

ETYMOLOGY: The specific name is a noun in apposition referring to the Cumbres Calchaquies mountain range in the Andes, where this species occurs.

DIAGNOSIS: Orobothriurus calchaqui is most closely related to O. famatina (fig. 5). The two species can be separated by a combination of characters, several of which overlap in some specimens. Orobothriurus calchaqui possesses two or three ML macrosetae on metasomal segment IV, and 70 % of specimens possess one DL macroseta on segment III (absent in 30 %), whereas O. famatina possesses one ML macroseta on segment IV and only 10 % of specimens possess one DL macroseta on segment III (absent in 90 %). There are also differences in the trichobothrial pattern. Pedipalpal chela trichobothria db and Et 3 are always located proximal to Est in O. calchaqui (fig. 31C) whereas, in O. famatina , db is located in the same axis as Et 3 (in 70 % of the specimens) or slightly distal to it (30 %). Pedipalp patella trichobothrium em 2 is located proximal to em 1 in 80 % of the specimens of O. calchaqui (fig. 30C), but in the same axis as, or distal to em 1 in 70 % of the specimens of O. famatina . There are also slight differences in the shape of the hemispermatophore in most specimens. The pedicel of the apex is usually narrower and the angle formed by the apex with the rest of the distal lamina usually greater in O. calchaqui than O. famatina (fig. 36F–H, K–M). However, the hemispermatophore of some specimens of O. calchaqui is indistinguishable from that of O. famatina (fig. 36N, O).

DESCRIPTION: Based on holotype ♂ and paratypes. Measurements of holotype ♂ and paratype ♀ recorded in table 3.

Total length: ♂, 23– 30 mm (n 5 10, mean 5 25.9 mm); ♀, 33.5–36 mm (n 5 4, mean 5 34.45 mm).

Color: General color yellowish with dark brown spots (fig. 29). Carapace, anterior margin faintly pigmented; lateral margins with two large spots medially and posteriorly, remaining area with reticulate pigmentation; median ocular tubercle and lateral ocelli dark brown to black; posterior half of anteromedian longitudinal sulcus, median ocular tubercle, and postocular sulcus pigmented. Chelicerae, distal surface of manus, and movable finger with reticulate pigmentation. Pedipalp coxa and trochanter faintly pigmented; femur densely pigmented near articulation with patella; patella densely pigmented near articulations; chela manus with six complete longitudinal stripes along carinae, contiguous at base of movable finger; fingers and articulation of fingers pigmented. Legs, femur, patella, tibia, and basitarsus faintly pigmented, especially near articulations and along dorsal margin. Tergites I–VI each with two dark spots sublaterally along almost entire margin, broader near anterior margin, delimiting broad, unpigmented median stripe (fig. 29A, B); VII with four dark spots, two larger spots posterolaterally, occupying area between dorsolateral carinae and external margins of sclerite, and two small dark triangular spots submedially, extending along submedian carinae, delimiting unpigmented median stripe. Sternum, genital opercula and pectines unpigmented. Sternites III–VI usually unpigmented, but lateral margins of segments V and VI faintly pigmented in some specimens; VII with two narrow dark stripes sublaterally (fig. 29B, D). Metasomal segment I, dorsal surface unpigmented or with two small faint spots medially; lateral surfaces densely pigmented between ML and LIM carinae (fig. 29); ventral surface with two narrow VL stripes, becoming slightly broader in posterior half. Segment II, dorsal surface with two subtriangular spots medially; lateral surface as for segment I; ventral surface with one narrow VM and two narrow VL stripes, becoming slightly broader in posterior half. Segment III, dorsal surface as for segment II; lateral surfaces densely pigmented below ML carinae; ventral surface as for segment II. Segment IV, dorsal surface with reticulate pigmentation medially; lateral and ventral surfaces as for segment III. Segment V, dorsal and lateral surfaces as for segment IV; ventral surface with three dark narrow stripes (one VM and two VL), becoming slightly broader in posterior half but not contiguous with lateral pigmentation at posterior margin. Telson vesicle with narrow VM and two broad, dark VL stripes, separated by two narrow unpigmented stripes; aculeus sclerotized, dark reddish brown.

Chelicerae: Movable finger with two subdistal teeth.

Carapace: Surfaces smooth medially, finely granular near lateral margins. Anterior margin with shallow median notch (fig. 14A). Anteromedian longitudinal sulcus weakly developed; median ocular, posteromedian longitudinal and posterolateral sulci well developed. Median ocular tubercle raised, situated anteromedially; median ocelli two ocular diameters apart.

Pedipalps: Femur, DI and VI carinae complete, finely granular; DE carina complete, finely granular proximally (fig. 30A); internal surface finely and sparsely granular medially; ventral surface finely granular proximally; other surfaces smooth. Patella, DI and VI carinae complete, finely granular (fig. 30B–D); DPP carina finely granular; VPP carina vestigial, comprising two or three small granules proximally; internal surface with prominent granule adjacent to trichobothrium i near DI carina. Chela manus slender, fingers relatively elongated (fig. 31); length/width ratio: ♂, 3.97–4.51 (n 5 10; mean 5 4.17), ♀, 3.47–3.73 (n 5 4, mean 5 3.63); length/height ratio: ♂, 3.40–4.03 (n 5 10; mean 5 3.71), ♀, 3.07–3.31 (n 5 4, mean 5 3.18); D, DS, DMA, DI, and VM carinae obsolete; intercarinal surfaces smooth; internal surface with acuminate apophysis (♂) or low bulge (♀) near articulation of movable finger (fig. 31A, D); fingers, dentate margins each with median denticle row and 4–5 pairs of internal and external accessory denticles.

Trichobothria: Femur with 3 trichobothria, patella with 19, chela with 27 (fig. 30, 31). Patella trichobothrium em 2 situated proximal to em 1 in 80 % of specimens (fig. 30C). Chela trichobothrium Et 3 situated proximal to Est (fig. 31C).

Tergites: Tergites I–VI, surfaces finely granular, becoming smooth posterolaterally. Tergite VII tetracarinate, paired DL carinae restricted to posterior two-thirds of segment, paired DSM carinae to posterior half; intercarinal surfaces coarsely granular, other surfaces finely granular.

Legs: Femur and patella, prolateral surfaces finely granular, retrolateral surfaces smooth. Femur, ventral carinae weakly developed; other carinae absent. Patella acarinate. Telotarsi, pro- and retroventral rows of spiniform macrosetae with following counts on leg I, 1/1; II, 2/2; III and IV, 3/3.

Pectines: Pectinal tooth count: ♂, 18–21 (n 5 21, mode 5 18); ♀, 14 (n 5 4, mode 5 14).

Sternites: Sternites III–VI, surfaces smooth; spiracles small, narrow. Sternite VII, surface smooth; VSM and VL carinae well developed (♀, fig. 17B) or obsolete (♂).

Metasoma: Segment I, DL carinae complete, moderately granular; ML carinae complete, moderately granular in posterior two-thirds; one pair of ML macrosetae; LIM carinae complete, moderately granular in posterior half; VL and VSM carinae complete, well developed (especially in ♀), granular (fig. 17B) ; three pairs of VL and two pairs of VSM macrosetae. Segment II, DL carinae complete, granular; ML carinae complete, granular in posterior two-thirds; one pair of ML macrosetae; LIM carinae restricted to posterior third; VL and VSM carinae complete, well developed (♀) or obsolete (♂) ; three pairs of VL and VSM macrosetae. Segment III, DL carinae complete, granular; ML carinae complete, granular in posterior third; one pair of ML macrosetae; LIM carinae obsolete, restricted to posterior quarter; VL and VSM carinae complete, well developed (♀) or absent (♂) ; three pairs of VL and VSM macrosetae. Segment IV, DL carinae complete, granular; one pair of DL macrosetae; ML carinae obsolete, restricted to posterior margin; one pair of ML macrosetae; LIM carinae absent; VL and VSM carinae absent; three pairs of VL and VSM macrosetae. Segment V, length/width ratio, ♂, 2.33–2.73 (n 5 10; mean 5 2.52), ♀, 1.93–1.98 (n 5 4; mean 5 1.96) ; DL carinae granular, restricted to anterior half; ML carinae absent; four or five pairs of ML macrosetae; lateral margin smooth; VL carinae complete (♂) or restricted to posterior three-quarters (♀) ; VL and VSM carinae situated close together, fused in anterior and posterior thirds; four pairs of VL and VSM macrosetae; two pairs of macrosetae along posterior margin; VM carina complete, obscured by surface granulation in posterior half (fig. 21D).

Telson: Length/height ratio: ♂, 3.52–3.89 (n 5 10, mean 5 3.74); ♀, 2.93–3.13 (n 5 4, mean 5 3.01). Vesicle elongated (♂, fig. 23B) or globose (♀, fig. 24A); dorsal surface slightly concave, gland not apparent (♂); ventral surface smooth (♂) or granular (♀). Aculeus short and curved, more so in ♀.

Hemispermatophore: Apex very well developed; distal crest curved like ventral margin. Frontal crest weakly developed, less than half length of lamina; basal part oblique; distal part short, parallel to ventral margin of lamina; lateral projections slightly undulated. Basal lobe, terminal process extending almost to distal end of frontal crest (fig. 32A, B).

REMARKS: We examined some Orobothriurus specimens from other Andean localities in Salta and Tucumán provinces of northern Argentina. However, specimens from these localities are so scarce and the morphological differences between them and O. calchaqui so subtle that at this time it is unclear whether or not they are conspecific. More specimens from these Orobothriurus populations are required to establish their identity.

DISTRIBUTION: This species is known only from the type locality, Infiernillo Mountain (Tucumán Province, Argentina), belonging to the Cumbres Calchaquies, part of the Andes (fig. 54). Altitude records from Huaca Huasi (4250 m) and Vaca Huasi (4300 m) should be confirmed, because, at this latitude, the environment above 4000 m is usually too extreme for scorpions to survive.

ECOLOGY: All personally collected specimens were found at night in a rocky area near a small mountain river, at 2700 m. The area is a typical Puna habitat ( Cabrera and Willink, 1980). Most specimens collected were on the ground, but some were taken from near-vertical rock walls besides the river, almost 2 m from its base. No specimens could be found in the surrounding area, which has a sandy soil without rocks. Most of the specimens collected were adult males, moving very rapidly, probably searching for females, suggesting that late November, the start of spring in the Southern Hemisphere, is the start of the active period for this species. No other scorpion species were collected in sympatry with O. calchaqui . However, another bothriurid, Brachistosternus intermedius Lönnberg, 1902 , has been recorded in the vicinity ( Ojanguren Affilastro, 2005).


American Museum of Natural History


Museo de Historia Natural de Concepcion (Chile)


Det Kgl. Norske Videnskabers Selskab Museet














Orobothriurus calchaqui

Ochoa, José A., Ojanguren Affilastro, Andres A., Mattoni, Camilo I. & Prendini, Lorenzo 2011

Orobothriurus alticola: Maury, 1976: 18

Maury, E. A. 1976: 18
GBIF Dataset (for parent article) Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF