REVSYS: SYSTEMATICS OF THE
SCORPION FAMILY VAEJOVIDAE
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What are vaejovids?

Family Vaejovidae
Genus Paravaejovis

Genus Paruroctonus
Genus Pseudouroctonus
Genus Serradigitus
Genus Smeringurus
Genus Syntropis
Genus Uroctonites
Genus Uroctonus
Genus Vaejovis
Genus Vejovoidus

Why study vaejovids?

Diversity
Endemism
Taxonomy
Phylogeny
Biogeography

Bibliography

Endemism

Members of the scorpion family Vaejovidae are endemic to North America (see map below for approximate distribution) and represent a major radiation of terrestrial arthropods on the continent.  The northernmost record (for Paruroctonus boreus) is in southwestern Canada (Sissom & Francke 1981), and the southernmost record (for Vaejovis chiapas) is in Guatemala (Sissom 1989).  Vaejovids occur in most terrestrial habitats, from sand dunes to rocky cliff faces and caves, from the intertidal zone to talus slopes above 3500 meters in elevation, although they are most diverse in the North American deserts (Sissom 1990, 2000; Lourenço & Sissom 2000).  Vaejovids are substratum specialists (Prendini 2001):  most inhabit substrata within a limited range of hardness and composition for which they display ecomorphological adaptations, are endemic to particular geological formations (e.g. isolated mountain ranges and sand systems), and occupy restricted distributional ranges (Williams 1980, 1987; Polis 1990).


 Approximate distribution of the family Vaejovidae.

Literature Cited:

Lourenço, W.R. & Sissom, W.D. 2000. Scorpiones. In: Bousquets, J.L., González Soriano, E. & Papavero, N. (Eds.) Biodiversidad, Taxonomía y Biogeographía de Artrópodos de México: Hacia una Síntesis de su Concimiento. Volume II. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, 115–135.

Polis, G.A. 1990. Ecology. In: Polis, G.A. (Ed.) The Biology of Scorpions. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 247–293.

Prendini, L. 2001. Substratum specialization and speciation in southern African scorpions: The Effect Hypothesis revisited. In: Fet, V. & Selden, P.A. (Eds.) Scorpions 2001. In Memoriam Gary A. Polis. British Arachnological Society, Burnham Beeches, Bucks, UK, 113–138.

Sissom, W.D. & Francke, O.F. 1981. Scorpions of the genus Paruroctonus from New Mexico and Texas (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae). Journal of Arachnology 9: 93–108.

Sissom, W.D. 1989. Redescription of Vaejovis occidentalis Hoffmann with a revised diagnosis for Vaejovis subcristatus Pocock (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae). Revue Arachnologique 8: 179–187.

Sissom, W.D. 1990. Systematics, biogeography and paleontology. In: Polis, G.A. (Ed.) The Biology of Scorpions. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 64–160.

Sissom, W.D. 2000. Family Vaejovidae. In: Fet, V., Sissom, W.D., Lowe, G. & Braunwalder, M.E. Catalog of the Scorpions of the World (1758–1998). The New York Entomological Society, New York, 503–553.

Williams, S.C. 1980. Scorpions of Baja California, Mexico, and adjacent islands. Occasional Papers of the Califorinia Academy of Sciences 135: 1–127.

Williams, S.C. 1987. Scorpion bionomics. Annual Review of Entomology 32: 275–295.

 

 


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