Vaejovis nitidulus C. L. Koch 1842
Vaejovis nitidulus C. L. Koch, 1842: 4, pl. CCCXXVII, fig. 758; Peters, 1861: 510; Karsch, 1879b: 135; Borelli, 1915: 7; Moritz & Fischer, 1980: 320; ►Sissom & Francke, 1985: 244-249, 263, fig. 1-13; Sissom, 1986b: 14; Sissom, 1991b: 12, 17, 22, fig. 81-82; Fet et al., 1998: 613, 614, fig. 3, 9; Kovarík, 1998: 147; Beutelspacher, 2000: 100, 141, 142 (part), 145, 153, map 79; Sissom, 2000: 546; Soleglad & Fet, 2003b: 6, fig. 7; Soleglad & Fet, 2003a: 9, 41, 67, 142, 160, figs. 6, 71, 80, Tabs. 3, 4; Sissom & González Santillán 2004: 5, 6.
Vejovis nitidus (ISS): Thorell, 1876b: 186.
Vejovis spinigerus (MIS; part): Kraepelin, 1894: 202.
Vejovis nitidulus: Kraepelin, 1901: 274 (part?); Bücherl, 1971: 329; Stahnke, 1974: 135.
Vaejovis nitidulus nitidulus: Díaz Najera, 1975: 7 (all records listed for the species are erroneous
Vejovis nitidulus intermedius (MIS; part): Díaz Najera, 1964: 24 (record from Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo).
Vaejovis nitidulus intermedius (MIS; part): Díaz Najera, 1975: 25 (record from Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo).
Franckeus nitidulus: Soleglad & Fet, 2005: 2, 5, 7, Figs. 6, 9.
HOLOTYPE: Vaejovis nitidulus C. L. Koch - Lectotype (designated by Sissom & Francke, 1985: 245): F (ZMB 10a), “México”. Of four syntypes of Vaejovis nitidulus used by Koch (1843) in his original description, only two remain (Moritz and Fischer 1980). Both are adult females, and represent two different taxa . Koch's description is too general to determine whether he based it on either specimen or all four; likewise, his measurements cannot be assigned with certainty to either specimen (Although his measurements, which are few and general, are similar to those of the smaller female, it is not certain that they indeed belong to that female; it is equally possible that the measurements refer to one of the missing syntypes). We hereby select the larger female from Mexico (Deppe, coll.), bearing the label ZMB 10a, as the lectotype for V. nitidulus. We have identified conspecific material from Hidalgo and eastern Queretaro, Mexico, and the coloration of these specimens match very well the description by Koch and his color plate (Koch 1843: fig. 758).
The lectotype, originally a dry, pinned specimen, is in very poor condition. The pedipalps, metasoma, and most of the legs are detached from the body; some of the legs themselves are broken into separate segments, as is one pedipalp. Some damage by dermestid beetles is evident . The carapace is also detached from the body, and the specimen is strongly discolored . However, in spite of its poor condition, no body parts are missing and taxonomic characters are readily observable .
The identity of specimen ZMB 10 is unknown. It is definitely not referable to V. nitidulus, and we have not yet seen any material which is conspecific with it. In the vial containing this specimen is a label written by H. L. Stahnke, selecting this specimen as lectotype. Dr. Stahnke has never published this designation, and therefore, it is not valid according to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, Art. 74(a)(i). The reference to Stahnke's invalid lectotype by Moritz & Fischer (1980) also does not constitute proper designation, as it was not intended as such [ICZN 74(c)]. Stahnke's paralectotype label in the vial containing ZMB l0a should likewise be disregarded. Both specimens are deposited in the Zoologisches Museum of Humboldt Universitat in Berlin .
Vaejovis nitidulus C. L. Koch, 1842:
Sissom & Francke, 1985:
Diagnosis.—Adults 45-65 mm in length. Base color yellow brown, without conspicuous underlying markings . Sternite VII with lateral keels weak, granular. Metasoma with ventral submedian carinae obsolete on I-IV; ventrolateral carinaemoderate to weak, smooth ; distalmost granules of dorsolateral and lateral supramedian carinae enlarged, spinoid. Pedipalp: tibia with 15 trichobothria (3 et, 1 est, 2 em, 3 esb, 5 eb, 1 v) on external face; fixed finger with primary row divided into seven subrows by six larger granules; keels of chela developed. Pectinal tooth count 24-28 in males, 21-27 in females.
Vaejovis nitidulus, in possessing an extra esb trichobothrium on the tibia and high pectinal tooth counts, is most similar to V. minckleyi . It is easily distinguished from that species by possessing seven subrows of denticles on the pedipalp chela fixed finger (instead of six subrows), by having smooth or obsolete keels on the dorsal and external surfaces of the pedipalp chela (instead of granulose keels), by having obsolete ventral submedian keels on the metasom a (rather than weak, granular keels), and by having metasomal segments I-II wider than long (instead of longer than wide) .
Redescription.—The following redescription is based on adults. Parenthetical statements refer to females . Measurements of the female lectotype and an adult male appear in Table 1.
Coloration (in alcohol). Carapace and tergites yellow brown. Metasomal segments I-III yellow brown to light orange brown, IV-V orange brown to reddish brown. Telson yellow brown to light orange brown; aculeus dark brown. Pedipalps: femur and tibia yellow, lighter than body; chela orange brown, darker at base of fingers with yellowish fingertips; denticles of dentate margin brown. Legs yellow with some faint dusky markings; tarsi yellowish. Venter: coxosternal region yellow brown; pectines yellowish white; sternites light yellow brown; third sternite in male with whitish patch along posteromedial margin (absent).
Prosoma. Carapace approximately as long as wide . Median ocular prominence moderately raised above carapacial surface. Three pairs of lateral eyes. Anterior carapacial margin obtusely emarginate; median notch shallow, narrow. Median longitudinal furrow deep, wide at anterior margin; deep, narrow posteriorly. Posterior lateral furrow curved, deep, wide. Entire carapacial surface densely granular.
Mesosoma. Tergites I-VI: median carina on I obsolete, on II-VI weak, granular; submedian carinae vestigial . Tergite VII: median carina weak, finely granular, present on anterior one-third to one-half; submedian and lateral carinae strong, serratocrenulate. Genital operculi distinctly lobed posteriorly; without median longitudinal membranous connection (with short basal connection, one half length of genital operculum). Genital papillae well developed (absent). Pectinal teeth numbering 24-28 (21-27). Sternites III-VI smooth, stigmata about three times longer than wide. Sternite VII with median pair of carinae obsolete; lateral carinae weak, granular.
Metasoma. Segments I-IV : Segments I-II, occasionally III, wider than long, others longer than wide. Dorsolateral carinae on I-III strong, serrate; on IV strong, irregularly crenulate to serrate; distalmost denticle distinctly enlarged, spinoid (Fig. 5). Lateral supramedian carinae on I strong, serrate; on II-III strong, finely crenulate to finely serrate; on IV moderate, smooth to finely serrate; distalmost denticle distinctly enlarged, spinoid on I-III ; flared and winglike on IV (Fig . 5). Lateral inframedian carinae on I complete, strong, crenulate to serrate; on II present only on posterior one-third, crenulate to serrate; on III present on posterior one-fourth, granular to crenulate; on IV absent. Ventrolateral carinae on I moderate, smooth, sometimes with few posterior serrations; on II-IV weak, smooth, posterior serrations sometimes present . Ventral submedian carinae on I-IV obsolete. Intercarinal spaces irregularly granular, lustrous. Segment V (Fig . 5): slightly more than twice as long as wide. Dorsolateral carinae weak, granular. Lateral median carinae present on anterior three-fourths, weak, granular. Ventrolateral and ventromedian carinae moderate, finely serrate. Intercarinal spaces irregularly granular, lustrous.
Telson (Fig. 5.). Dorsal surface flattened, smooth; ventral surface with irregularly spaced granules and punctations.
Chelicera . Movable finger internally with well developed serrula.
Pedipalp. Femur (Fig. I) tetracarinate. Dorsointernal, dorsoexternal, and ventrointernal carinae strong, crenulate . Ventroexternal carina strong, with irregularly spaced, large rounded granules . Internal face with large, conical granules; dorsal face coarsely granular; ventral and external faces with granulation on basal portion. Orthobothriotaxia C (Vachon 1974). Tibia (Fig .s 2-4) tetracarinate. Dorsointernal and ventrointernal carinae strong, crenulate. Dorsoexternal carina moderate, granular to crenulate. Ventroexternal carina moderate, crenulate . Internal face with moderate basal tubercle and large, sharp granules. Dorsal face smooth; ventral face with few scattered, coarse granules; external face with weakly granular, longitudinal series of granules. Neobothriotaxia C (Vachon 1974), with three esb trichobothria; esb2 petite (Fig. 3). Positions of eml and em2 variable (see Figs . 11-13). Chela (Figs . 6-10): Dorsal marginal carina weak, granular. Dorsal secondary and digital carinae weak, smooth. External secondary carina obsolete. Ventroexternal and ventromedian carinae weak, smooth. Ventrointernal carina weak, granular. Dorsointernal carina moderate, with large sharp granules. Dentate margin of fixed finger with primary row broken up into seven subrows by six larger granules; six internal accessory granules of which all but distal one paired with larger granule in primary row (Fig . 9). Dentate margin of movable finger with primary row broken up into seven subrows by six enlarged granules; apical row consisting of one or two small granules; seven internal accessory granules of which distal granule not paired with larger granule of primary row, basalmost granule distinctly basal to corresponding granule in primary row (Fig . 10). Both fingers terminating in large, sharp, claw-like tooth bearing distally an oblong elongate whitish cap . Orthobothriotaxia C (Vachon 1974).
Legs. Tarsomere I on legs I-II with one retrolateral and two ventrolateral rows of spinules; ventral rows complete, interrupted at irregular intervals by large spines. Retrolateral row present on distal one-half, interrupted by one or two spines. Tarsomere I spinule rows rudimentary on legs III-IV, with spines well developed. Tarsomere II on all legs with single ventromedian row of spinules, procurved basally, terminating distally between single pair of medium-sized spines. Spinule rows flanked by pairs of setae as in Soleglad (1975 : Fig . 17); set a formula given in Table 3.
Variation .—Although only a small number of specimens have been located and examined, pectinal tooth counts varied as follows : among males, 5 combs with 24 teeth, 3 combs with 25 teeth, 3 combs with 26 teeth, 2 combs with 27 teeth, and 3 combs with 28 teeth; among females, 2 combs with 21 teeth, 3 combs with 22 teeth, 4 combs with 23 teeth, 4 combs with 24 teeth, 4 combs with 25 teeth, 3 combs with 26 teeth, and 2 combs with 27 teeth. As is typical of the group, adult males have relatively shorter, wider chelae than females and slightly longer and narrower metasomal segments. No other significant variation was observed .
Remarks.— V. nitidulus and its relationship to other species in the group have been poorly understood since the original description . Hoffmann (1931), in his treatment of the scorpions of Mexico, considered V. nitidulus to be polytypic, containing three subspecies: V. n. nitidulus, V. n. intermedius, and V. n. nigrescens. The new characters established by examination of the types of the three nominal taxa (i .e., number of subrows in the dentate margin of the chela fingers, structure of pedipalp chela keels, trichobothrial pattern of the tibia, pectinal tooth counts, and morphometrics) show conclusively that each is a good species. Problems in identifying these taxa were compounded by the fact that Hoffmann (1931) misidentified V. nitidulus. We have examined some of Hoffmann's specimens from Cuicatlan, Oaxaca, and they are not referable to V. nitidulus (actually they represent a new species being described by the senior author). All records of V. nitidulus from Guanajuato and western Queretaro (Diaz Najera 1975) need to be confirmed.
distribution: NORTH AMERICA. México (Hidalgo, eastern Querétaro).
Published Records: MEXICO: Hidalgo : Jacala (east side), W99 .11 : N21 .01, 27 July 1966 (J . & W. Ivie), 1 female (AMNH), 1 juv (AMNH); 18 July 1963 (R . E . Woodruff) (under cow dung), I female (FSCA) ; Jacala, W99.12:N21.01, 20 April 1963 (W. J . Gertsch & W. Ivie), 1 female (AMNH) ; Taxquillo (Tzindejeh), W99.19:N20.33, 29 July 1966 (J . & W. Ivie), 1 male (AMNH), 1 juv (AMNH) : 1 mi SE Danghu (3 mi S Taxquillo), 22 Aug 1984 (W. D . Sissom, C . Myers, L. Born) (N slope of rocky hillside, UV light) , 5 males, 2 females (WDS), 1 male, 1 female (OFF); Queretaro: Mountains near San Joaquin, July 1976 (S . Minton), 1 female (SAM) ; Mission Bucareli, 31 Dec 1981 (S . Minton), 1 female (SAM), 1 juv female (MEB) .
notes: The type series consisted of four specimens, only two of which have been found in the ZMB (Sissom & Francke, 1985). The second specimen is not referable to V. nitidulus. Beutelspacher's (2000) records for Colima, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Estado de México (Ixtapan de la Sal), and Puebla are all in error.