Genus Vaejovis C. L. Koch 1836
Vaejovis C. L. Koch, 1836: 51; type species by monotypyVaejovis mexicanus C. L. Koch, 1836.
Parabroteas Penther, 1913: 244-245, fig. 5; type species by monotypy Parabroteas montezuma Penther, 1913; a junior homonym of Parabroteas Mrázek, 1902, (Crustacea) (synonymized by Soleglad, 1976b: 299).
Pentheria Francke, 1985: 3, 11, 16, 19; type species Parabrotheas montezuma Penther, 1913; a replacement name for Parabroteas Penther, 1913 (synonymized by Sissom, 2000: 529; see NOTES).
Lissovaejovis Ponce Saavedra & Beutelspacher, 2001: 88, 98. Type species not designated. See NOTES below.
Sissomius Ponce Saavedra & Beutelspacher, 2001: 88, 99. Type species not designated. See NOTES below.
Vejovis (ISS): Thorell, 1876a: 10; Kraepelin, 1894: 182, 198; Laurie, 1896b: 187, 189, 193; Lauire, 1896a: 130; Kraepelin, 1899: 183; Comstock, 1912: 31; Birula, 1917a: 163; Pavlovsky, 1924: 80; Hoffmann, 1931: 346; Werner, 1934: 282; Kästner, 1941: 273; Gertsch & Allred, 1965: 3-4 (part); Gertsch & Soleglad, 1966: 3-4 (part); Bücherl, 1964: 61 (part); Bücherl, 1971: 328 (part); Gertsch & Soleglad, 1972: 553, 557, 559, 564, 593 (part); Soleglad, 1972b: 179-180 (part); Soleglad, 1973b: 351-360 (part); Stahnke, 1974a: 132-136, fig. 9C, 9D (part).
Vaejovis: Pocock, 1902: 8; Ewing, 1928: 7, 9-10; Hjelle, 1972: 20 (part); Vachon, 1974: 914, 916; Williams, 1974: 15 (part); Williams, 1980: 48-55, fig. 51-57 (part); Sissom, 1989a: 132; Sissom, 1990a: 110, 114; Sissom, 1991b: 4, 26-27; Sissom, 1991a: 215-216; Sissom & Stockwell, 1991: 199; Williams & Savary, 1991: 284; Nenilin & Fet, 1992: 9, 10; Kovarík, 1998: 146; Beutelspacher, 2000: 56, 73, 152, Plate 12 (part), Plate 13 (part) ; Sissom, 2000:529-530; Ponce Saavedra & Beutelspacher, 2001: 71; Soleglad & Fet, 2003a: 15, 28, 36, 67, 103, 109, 163, 164, figs. 66, 79, 80, D-2, D-4, Tab. 9.
Parabroteas: Birula, 1917a: 163; Birula, 1917b: 139-140; Werner, 1934: 286, 287; Kästner, 1941: 235; Bücherl, 1971: 329; Soleglad, 1976b: 299; Francke, 1985: 20.
Pentheria: Stockwell, 1992: 411; Kovarík, 1998: 128.
Prosoma. – Anterior carapacial margin broadly V-shaped to essentially straight, with a subtle median indentation.
Mesosoma. – Pectinal tooth counts 11-32 in males, 10-29 in females. All female pectinal teeth similar in size and shape, and with sensorial areas.
Metasoma. – Dorsal carinae of segments I-IV with weak to strong angular termination, sometimes with the distalmost denticle enlarged, subspinoid. Ventral submedian carinae of segments I-IV paired and variously developed, ranging from absent on all segments to granular to denticulate (strength and granulation usually increasing posteriorly). Segment V with linear ventromedian carina (i.e., not bifurcated distally).
Chelicerae. – Ventral margin of the cheliceral movable finger with or without denticles or crenulations; fixed finger lacking ventral denticles, except in a few species. Serrula reduced to well developed distoventrally on movable finger.
Pedipalps. – Patella: Inner face with basal tubercles moderately developed; inner longitudinal carina present in most species. Chelal carinae: Carinal development variable, some with all carinae developed and granular to denticulate, others with various carinae reduced, still others with all carinae absent. Undersurface of chela more or less rounded. Chela dentition: Terminal denticles not prominent, conically shaped. Chela fixed finger with primary denticle row divided into five to six subrows of denticles, these are flanked by four to six (usually six) inner accessory denticles. Chela movable finger with primary denticle row divided into five to seven subrows of denticles, these flanked by four to eight (usually six or seven) inner accessory denticles. Denticles of denticle row variable, subconical to peglike, rounded to subserrate.
Trichobothrial Pattern. Patella with two ventral trichobothria along ventroexternal carina (the third ventral trichobothrium is positioned on the external face). Chela with four ventral (V) trichobothria.. Chelal trichobothrium ib positioned on the fixed finger, either at the base or displaced distally to near the level of the sixth inner accessory denticle of the finger dentate margin. Chela finger trichobothrium est about equidistant between et and esb.
Legs. – Basitarsi and telotarsi in most species without setal combs (a few species, or populations of species, may have setal combs, but these are unlike those of Paruroctonus. Telotarsi ventrally with a median row of small spinules that are flanked distally by one or more pairs of slightly larger spinules. Ventromedian spinule row flanked laterally by setae.
Hemispermatophore. – Mating plug present or absent. Lamellar hook variable.
Included Groups. – eusthenura, intrepidus, mexicanus, nitidulus, punctipalpi.
Species not placed in species groups: V. spicatus Haradon, 1974; V. mumai Sissom, 1993; V. pequeno Hendrixson, 2001; V. acapulco Armas & Eliezer Martín, 2001;V. nayaritArmas & Eliezer Martín, 2001; V. cisnerosi Ponce Saavedra & Sissom, 2004; V. kuarapuFrancke & Ponce Saavedra, 2006.
Similar taxa. See other genera, as indicated in the "species groups" descriptions.
Remarks. - Comprising 74 species and 10 subspecies, Vaejovis is the largest genus of North American scorpions and third largest scorpion genus in the world (after the buthid genus Tityus and the scorpionid genus Opistophthalmus). It includes a diverse assemblage of fossorial, psammophilous, lithophilous and troglobitic species found in equally diverse habitats. However, it is neither monophyletic (Stockwell 1989; Sissom 1985) nor do any modern keys cover its component species. Most older keys are outdated, an exception being that for species in Baja California (Williams 1980). Five species groups (theeusthenura group,intrepidus group, mexicanus group, nitidulus group, and punctipalpi group) are recognized, but it is unclear which, if any, are monophyletic (the mexicanus group is probably not) and several species cannot be assigned to any of the above groups (see Catalog).Several other vaejovid genera were at one time recognized as species groups within Vaejovis: Serradigitus,Paruroctonus, andPseudouroctonus.
Hendrixson, B.E. 2001. A new species of Vaejovis (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae) from Sonora, México. Journal of Arachnology 29: 47–55.
Sissom, W.D. 1985. Systematics of the nitidulus group of the genus Vaejovis, with comments on phylogenetic relationships within the family Vaejovidae (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Ph.D. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University.
Sissom, W.D. 1993. A new species of Vaejovis (Scorpines, Vaejovidae) from western Arizona, with supplemental NOTES on the male of Vaejovis spicatus Haradon. Journal of Arachnology 21: 64–68.
Sissom, W.D. & Francke, O.F. 1985. Redescriptions of some poorly known species of the nitidulus group of the genus Vaejovis (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae). Journal of Arachnology 13: 243–266.
Stockwell, S.A. 1989. Revision of the phylogeny and higher classification of scorpions (Chelicerata). Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.
Williams, S.C. 1980. Scorpions of Baja California, México, and adjacent islands. Occasional Papers of the Califorinia Academy of Sciences 135: 1–127.