Gint gaitako Kovařík, Lowe, 2013

Kovařík, František, Lowe, Graeme, Plíšková, Jana & Šťáhlavský, František, 2013, A New Scorpion Genus, Gint gen. n., from the Horn of Africa (Scorpiones: Buthidae), Euscorpius 173, pp. 1-19 : 4-18

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Gint gaitako Kovařík, Lowe


Gint gaitako Kovařík, Lowe ,

Plíškováet Šťáhlavský, sp. n.

( Figs. 1–4, 6–63)

TYPE LOCALITY AND TYPE DEPOSITORY. Ethiopia: Oromia State , Borana Province, 04°25'31.5"N 38°58' 14"E, 1171 m a.s.l. ( FKCP) GoogleMaps .

TYPE MATERIAL EXAMINED. Ethiopia: Oromia State , Borana Province, 04°25'31.5"N 38°58'14"E, 1171 m a.s.l GoogleMaps . (Locality No. 13 EI, Fig. 28) , 27-28.VI.2013, 1♂ (holotype) , 1♀, 4♀ ims., 3juvs . (paratypes) ( FKCP) , 1♂, 1♀ im., 1juv . (paratypes) ( GL) , UV detection, leg. F. Kovařík .

ETYMOLOGY. Gaitako (phonetically, the language does not have a written form) means scorpion in Tsamai, an East Cushitic language spoken by the Tsamai people of southwestern Ethiopia.

DIAGNOSIS. Total length 22–26 mm (males) and 37 mm (female); carapace densely granulated with only anterior median carinae developed; anterior margin of carapace straight; pectine teeth 20–22; all sternites lacking carinae; sternite VII with four smooth, poorly indicated carinae, may be weakly granulated (mainly in males); metasomal segments I–IV intercarinal surfaces granulated in males, smooth or almost smooth in females; metasomal segment Vof both sexes has only ventrolateral carinae that in posterior halves bear several lobate granules; dorsal and lateral surfaces of this segment smooth, without granules and carinae in both sexes; all metasomal segments sparsely setose; metasomal segment V ca. 35 long setae in both sexes; telson rather elongate, aculeus slightly shorter than vesicle in both sexes; legs I–III with bristle combs composed of long, thin setae; movable finger of pedipalp with 8 rows of granules, with external and internal accessory granules.

DESCRIPTION. Adult males are 22–26 mm long and the adult female is 37 mm long. For distribution of trichobothria of pedipalps see Figs. 14–18. Sexual dimorphism is noticeable. Males are substantially smaller, have somewhat longer metasoma and longer pectines than females, and are more granulated, with e.g. the chela of pedipalp granulate and with carinae in males but smooth, without granules in females. First to fourth segments of metasoma are almost smooth in the female ( Figs. 6–8) and densely granulate in males ( Figs. 9–10). Other differences, such as in metasomal carination, are described below. COLORATION ( Figs. 1–4, 6–27, 29, 40, 42). Base color is yellow to orange with dark patterning and spots, but expression of colors is quite variable, and some specimens may be described as yellow to white with brown to black overtones. The tergites of immature females may have more obvious symmetrical black spots ( Fig. 25). Dorsal and ventral carinae on the metasoma can be dark. Segment Vof the metasoma is usually darker than the others, but may also be quite light-colored. The chelicerae are yellow with reticulation only in an-terior and lateral parts; dentition is reddish. CARAPACE ( Figs. 19, 22, 29–30, 40, 42). The surface is densely granulated. The anterior margin is straight and bears six to eight macrosetae. Anterior median carinae coarsely granular. There are 5 lateral eyes on each side (3 larger, 2 smaller). MESOSOMA ( Figs. 29–31, 40–45). The tergites bear three coarsely granular carinae, of which the lateral pair on the tergites I–II are inconspicuous. All tergites with dense coarse and fine granulation. The pectinal tooth count is 21–22 (1 × 21, 3 × 22) in males and 20–22 in females (2 × 20, 4 × 21, 7 × 22). The marginal tips of the pectines extend to the anterior quarter of sternite IV in females, and to the anterior half of sternite Vin males. The pectines have 3 marginal lamellae and 7–9 middle lamellae. The lamellae bear numerous dark setae, four to six on each fulcrum. Sternites III–VI lack carinae, and surfaces are smooth except for finely shagreened lateral areas on sternite III covered by the pectines. Sternite VII has one or two pairs of smooth, poorly indicated carinae and may be weakly granulated in the area outside the lat-

eral carinae, more so in males. All sternites bear many long macrosetae on their surfaces and margins.

HEMISPERMATOPHORE ( Figs. 32–33). Long, slender, with a relatively short flagellum. Inner, median and outer lobes well formed, laminate, apically rounded. Inner lobe separated from median and outer lobes, the latter fused. Basal lobe a broad, rounded flange extending over the base of the inner margin of the median lobe (i.e. at the incision separating it from the inner lobe).

METASOMA AND TELSON ( Figs. 6–12, 58–61). Metasoma Ibears 8 carinae, the ventromedial pair being obsolete. Metasoma II–III bear 10 carinae. Median lateral carinae are complete or almost complete on I–III. Ventromedial and ventrolateral carinae on metasoma II–III are granulated, with larger granules posteriorly, and strong granulation in females. Metasoma IV bears 8 carinae that are more complete and granulate in males (ventromedial pair obsolete). In the female, metasoma IV is smooth, without granules (or with only sparse, weak granulation), both ventromedial and dorsal carinae are obsolete, and only ventrolateral carinae are present with only several granules. Metasoma Vof both sexes has only ventrolateral carinae, which in posterior halves bear several lobate granules. Granules on the ventral surface of segment V form an irregular median carina in both sexes. Intercarinal surfaces of segments I–IV are almost smooth in the female ( Figs. 6–8, 58–59) and densely granulate in males ( Figs. 60–61), with granules of approximately equal size, except for the ventral aspect of metasoma Iwhich is smooth in both sexes. Dorsal and lateral surfaces of the fifth segment are smooth, without granules and carinae ( Figs. 11–12, 59, 61) in both sexes. The anal arch consists of two or three lobes in females, and three lobes in males. All segments are sparsely setose; the fifth segment has ca. 35 long setae in both sexes. The telson is rather elongate. The aculeus is slightly shorter than the vesicle in both sexes. The surface of the telson is smooth, sparsely hirsute, without a subaculear tubercle.

LEGS ( Figs. 13, 52–55). 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 thin in both sexes. The femur and patella may bear four to six carinae, which however may be obsolete. The femur bears only solitary macrosetae.

PEDIPALPS ( Figs. 14–18, 20–21, 34–39, 46–51). 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, noncarinate or with only obsolete carinae in females. The chela is smooth, with only incomplete carinae indicated in males and smooth, without granules and carinae in females. All pedipalp segments including the trochanter are sparsely hirsute, with long, dark macrosetae in both sexes. The dentate margin of the movable finger ( Fig. 21) has eight rows of granules, each with one external and one internal granule, and 5–6 terminal granules (4–5 terminal and one basal terminal). The fixed finger has eight or nine rows of granules, each with one external and one internal granule.

MEASUREMENTS IN MM. Holotype male. Total length 26; carapace length 2.75, width 3; metasoma and telson

length 16.4; first metasomal segment length 2.05, width 1.825; second metasomal segment length 2.375, width 1.7; third metasomal segment length 2.52, width 1.675; fourth metasomal segment length 2.975, width 1.75; fifth metasomal segment length 3.475, width 1.637; telson length 2.975; telson width 0.975; pedipalp femur length 2.15, width 0.675; pedipalp patella length 2.775, width 0.95; chela length 3.875; manus width 0.725; movable finger length 2.725. Paratype female. Total length 37; carapace length 3.65, width 3.9; metasoma and telson length 20.7; first metasomal segment length 2.55, width 2.2; second metasomal segment length 2.95, width 1.95; third metasomal segment length 3.15, width 1.9; fourth metasomal segment length 3.65, width 1.9; fifth metasomal segment length 4.15, width 1.95; telson length 4.25; telson width 1.4; pedipalp femur length 2.575, width 0.85; pedipalp patella length 3.425, width 1.2; chela length 4.825; manus width 1.025; movable finger length 3.375.

KARYOTYPE ( Figs. 62–63). We analyzed one male paratype of Gint gaitako sp. n. using standard cytogenetic methods (e. g. Kovařík et al., 2009). The diploid com- plement of this specimen is composed of 30 chromosomes ( Fig. 62A). The chromosomes exhibit typical holocentric organization without localized centromere region and achiasmatic behavior during meiosis. These features are typical for buthid scorpions (e. g. Mattos et al., 2013). During meiosis we found a distinct tetravalent in all observed postpachytenes ( Fig. 62B). Despite this fact all analyzed metaphases II demonstrate the same number of chromosomes ( Fig. 62C) and the holocentric organization probably guarantees equal dispersion of the chromosomes to sister metaphases II. The chromosomes of analyzed specimen gradually decrease in size from 4.93% to 1.88% of the diploid set during postpachytene ( Fig. 63A). Only the largest and smallest chromosomes are slightly different from neighboring chromosomes. These slightly different chromosomes belong to the chromosomes that form a tetravalent. Their different sizes probably result from the reciprocal translocation be-tween two pairs of autosomes ( Fig. 63B) and this rearrangement produced a distinct tetravalent ( Figs. 62B, 63B–C). This type of chromosomal rearrangement is known in the family Buthidae and the number of chromosomes in multivalents may exhibit intraspecific variability (e.g. Mattos et al., 2013).

AFFINITIES. Males of the new species have sternites III– VII smooth, whereas those of G. calviceps comb. n. have them wrinkled. Metasomal segment IV is ventrally granulated in both sexes of G. calviceps comb. n.,

whereas in the new species it is granulated only in males and smooth in females.

COMMENTS ON LOCALITIES AND LIFE STRATEGY. The type specimens were collected in a small area of no more than 100 m 2 ( Fig. 28), with substrate consisting of coarse red sand and sparse vegetation of herbs. Amuch larger adjoining area with denser growth of brush and small trees did not produce any specimens of Gint gaitako sp. n., but instead many Hottentotta trilineatus (Peters, 1862) and Parabuthus pallidus Pocock, 1895 , and less commonly Parabuthus liosoma (Ehrenberg, 1828) . During night collecting (UV detection), specimens of Parabuthus pallidus were found on open ground, whereas those of Hottentotta trilineatus remained inside shrubs and often were seen climbing on twigs. These two species, mostly juveniles, were rarely found at the niche inhabited by Gint gaitako sp. n. Specimens of G. gaitako were mostly found motionless in sand and remained so when picked up, faking death (similar cataleptic behavior is also observed in all species of Neobuthus ). We assume during the day that the scorpions are buried in sand near the roots of herbs and shrubs.

At the type locality, the first author (FK) recorded on 27–28 June 2013, shortly after sunset, a temperature of 23.1 ºC, which gradually dropped to 13.8 ºC (minimum temperature) before sunrise. Humidity during the night varied between 74% and 54%. Hottentotta trilineatus and Parabuthus pallidus became active immediately after sunset (18.39 h), whereas the first specimen of Gint gaitako sp. n. was found only at 22:30 h, and all 12 specimens of the type series were collected between 22:30 h and 01:00 h. Surface activity of this species was relatively sparse, because during the same period we estimate that at least 200 specimens of Hottentotta trilineatus and Parabuthus pallidus could easily be collected. For comparison, at a similar locality we collected 70 specimens of Neobuthus sp. during 90 min.

Gint calviceps ( Pocock, 1900) , comb. n. ( Figs. 64–71)

Buthus calviceps Pocock, 1900a: 54 ; Pocock, 1900b: 57; Moriggi, 1941: 84; Lamoral & Reynders, 1975: 505.

Buthus (Buthacus) calviceps: Birula, 1917: 214 , 224.

Buthacus claviceps [sic]: Probst, 1973: 329; El- Hennawy, 1992: 112.

Buthacus calviceps: Levy, Amitai & Shulov, 1973: 138 ; Levy & Amitai, 1980: 76; Kovařík, 1998: 105; Fet & Lowe, 2000: 82; Kovařík, 2003: 137; Kovařík, 2005: 10.

TYPE LOCALITY AND TYPE DEPOSITORY. Northwest Somaliland, Berbera or Hargaisa; BMNH.

TYPE MATERIAL EXAMINED. Northwest Somaliland, Berbera, 16.IV.1895 or Hargaisa, 25-28.IV.1895, leg. C. V. A. Peel, 1♀ (holotype), BMNH .

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL EXAMINED. Somalia (Puntland) , near Galgalo (10.9667 N 49.0833 E) GoogleMaps , 1980, 1♂, leg. Dorsak, FKCP. Somaliland, between Sheikh and Laas Caanood, 09°36'40.1"N 45°29'35.7"E, 1089 m a.s.l. (Locality No. 2011 L, Fig. 71) GoogleMaps , 10.VII.2011, 1juv., leg. F. Kovařík, FKCP .

ETYMOLOGY. The specific epithet is a Latin-Greek conjunction meaning ‘bald head’, a reference to the obsolescence of most carinae on the carapace.

DIAGNOSIS. Total length 31 mm (female holotype) to 32 mm (male); carapace densely granulated, with only anterior median carinae developed; anterior margin of carapace straight; pectinal teeth 26 in male, 21 in female; all sternites lack carinae; sternites III–VII smooth in female, wrinkled in male; metasomal segments I–III between carinae granulated in males, smooth and sparsely punctate in female; metasomal segment IV ventrally granulated in both sexes; metasomal segment Vof both sexes has only ventrolateral carinae, which in posterior halves bear several lobate granules; dorsal and lateral surfaces of metasoma Vgranulated in males ( Fig. 66); all metasomal segments sparsely setose; metasomal segment Vbearing sparse, long setae in both sexes; telson rather elongate, aculeus slightly shorter than vesicle in both sexes; legs I–III with bristle combs composed of long, thin setae; movable finger of pedipalp with 8 rows of granules, with external and internal accessory granules and four terminal and one basal terminal granules.

COMMENTS. Buthus calviceps Pocock, 1900 was based on a single female first kept dry and later relaxed and placed in alcohol ( Figs. 67–69). Its taxonomic position was not subsequently studied and its transfer to the genus Buthacus was done only formally, without examination of the type. Apart from the female type, which is colorless and damaged, we have had an opportunity to also examine a male and a juvenile (13 mm long, 23 pectinal teeth). All three specimens originate from the same region but different localities. Their transfer to the new genus as Gint calviceps ( Pocock, 1900) comb. n. should thus be regarded as provisional. Certain species level characters remain to be determined, e. g. differences between juveniles and adults, and expressions of sexual dimorphism. Additional fieldwork is needed to acquire more adult specimens of both sexes from a single locality.

COMMENTS ON LOCALITIES AND LIFE STRATEGY. The first author collected one juvenile ( Fig. 70) at the locality shown in Fig. 71. It was a sizeable area of wind-

blown sands with sparse shrubs. Unfortunately, after sunset this area is unsafe for foreigners, and this species is virtually impossible to find during the day. On 10.VII.2011 about one hour after sunset we ventured to collect there for ca. 15 min with UV lights and obtained four specimens of scorpions – three specimens of Lanzatus somalicus Kovařík, 2001 and one juvenile of Gint calviceps comb. n. All specimens were found on sand near shrubs.


United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]














Gint gaitako Kovařík, Lowe

Kovařík, František, Lowe, Graeme, Plíšková, Jana & Šťáhlavský, František 2013

Buthacus claviceps

PROBST 1973: 329

Buthus calviceps

MORIGGI 1941: 84
POCOCK 1900: 54
POCOCK 1900: 57