A reanalysis of Parabuthus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) phylogeny with descriptions of two new Parabuthus species endemic to the Central Namib gravel plains, Namibia

Authors

  • LORENZO PRENDINI,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024-5192, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • LAUREN A. ESPOSITO

    1. Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024-5192, USA
    2. City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

E-mail: lorenzo@amnh.org

Abstract

Two new thick-tail scorpions in the genus Parabuthus Pocock, 1890 are described from the gravel plains of the Central Namib Desert, Namibia: Parabuthus glabrimanus sp. nov.; Parabuthus setiventer sp. nov. The two new species occupy discrete distributional ranges, allopatric with the closely related species Parabuthus gracilis Lamoral, 1979 and Parabuthus nanus Lamoral, 1979. The distributions of the four species are mapped and a key provided for their identification. Revised diagnoses are provided for P. gracilis and P. nanus. The two new species are added to a previously published morphological character matrix for Parabuthus species and their phylogenetic positions determined in a reanalysis of Parabuthus phylogeny. Parabuthus setiventer sp. nov. is found to be the sister species of P. nanus, whereas P. glabrimanus sp. nov. is sister to a monophyletic group comprising P. gracilis, P. nanus, and P. setiventer sp. nov. The discovery of two new scorpion species endemic to the Central Namib gravel plains contributes to a growing body of evidence that this barren and desolate region is a hotspot of arachnid species richness and endemism.

© 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 159, 673–710.

Ancillary