REVSYS: SYSTEMATICS OF THE
SCORPION FAMILY VAEJOVIDAE
HomeScorpionsVaejovidaeThe ProjectActivities/Products AcknowledgmentsLinks

 

Project Overview
Aims
Motivation
Intellectual Merit
Broader Impacts

Participating Institutions
AMNH
WTAMU
IBUNAM
CAS

Individual participants
Principal Investigators
Collaborators
Graduate Students
Undergraduate Students
High School Students
Technicians
Volunteers

Workplan
Fieldwork
Original Schedule
Collecting,/Sorting/ Documenting
Preserving Morphology and DNA 
Processing and Storage

Museum Collections
Databasing and Mapping
Taxonomy
DNA Sequencing
Phylogenetic Analysis
Publications/Authorship

Timelines and Goals
Research Goals/Products
Training Program
Project Management

 

Collecting, Sorting and Documentation

 

Collecting: Vaejovid scorpions are most easily collected nocturnally with the aid of UV light detection (portable UV lamps, each comprising two mercury-vapor tubes attached to a chromium parabolic reflector and powered by a rechargeable 7 Amp/hr, 12 V battery). Field trips are synchronized with the new or waning moon when scorpion surface activity is greatest, especially in arid areas. Traditional diurnal collecting methods, e.g. rolling rocks and stones, peeling bark, pitfall trapping, though less effective, are also employed for collecting vaejovids. Lithophilous species, Serradigitus, Syntropis and the Vaejovis nitidulus group, amy be found by inspecting rock crevices and exfoliations during the day. Troglophilous species of Pseudouroctonus, Uroctonus, Uroctonites and Vaejovis are among the most difficult to collect, because many of them inhabit inaccessible caves and are present in low numbers.

Sorting: At each locality, the scorpions collected are sorted to morphospecies and one (or more, contingent on availability) specimen of each is fixed for DNA isolation according to standard protocols. Subadults or juveniles are used preferentially for DNA isolation if they can be unequivocally assigned to morphospecies but if they cannot, or if there is any uncertainty, then adults are also preserved for the purpose. A minimum sample of one specimen (part of which will be saved as a voucher) is sufficient for DNA extraction. All other specimens are fixed for morphological study according to standard protocols. If only a single specimen of a particular, rare species is collected at a particular locality (e.g. a potential holotype of a new species), a leg or pedipalp may be fixed for DNA isolation and the rest of the specimen saved as a morphological voucher. Tissue samples used for DNA isolation are cross-referenced in the specimen database with the morphological vouchers from which they were taken. 

Documentation: The geographical coordinates and elevation of collection localities are recorded in the field with portable Garmin® GPS devices and downloaded directly to the online database, along with other provenance and collection data (locality, collector, date, habitat, collection method, etc.), using laptops, thereby obviating introduction of errors during transcription. In the absence of internet connectivity, provenance data are recorded in a standardised form into a spreadsheet or notebook to facilitate databasing during or immediately after a trip has been completed. The units for georeferencing on labels and in publications will be degrees, minutes, and fractions of minutes, e.g. 14o12.25’. Decimel degrees are used for mapping. Each is morphospecies lot from a particular collecting event (collection made by the same group of individuals at the same locality on the same date) is numbered individually at the time of collection and, if possible, also provided with a handwritten label documenting all provenance data.

 


The material included in this site is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0413453.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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