New data on the genus Urophonius in Patagonia with a description of a new species of the exochus group (Scorpiones: Bothriuridae).
Abstract: New data on the distribution and systematics of Patagonian species of the scorpion genus Urophonius Pocock 1893 are provided. A species of this genus from Peninsula Valdes in central eastern Argentinean Patagonia, Urophonius martinezi new species, is described. The surface activity period of most of the species of the genus is reviewed and clearly established. A distribution map as well as a key for the Patagonian species of the genus are provided.

Keywords: Scorpiones, systematics, Neotropics, Patagonia, summer vs. winter activity
Article Type: Report
Subject: Scorpions (Identification and classification)
Authors: Ojanguren-Affilastro, Andres Alejandro
Cheli, German
Pub Date: 09/01/2009
Publication: Name: Journal of Arachnology Publisher: American Arachnological Society Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Biological sciences; Zoology and wildlife conservation Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Arachnological Society ISSN: 0161-8202
Issue: Date: Sept, 2009 Source Volume: 37 Source Issue: 3
Geographic: Geographic Code: 30SOU South America
Accession Number: 253537142
Full Text: Species of the scorpion genus Urophonius Pocock 1893 occur in southern South America, from southern Brazil to southern Patagonia. Most species inhabit grasslands and shrub steppes, but some species have been collected in forests and even in low mountain ranges (Ojanguren-Affilastro 2005). According to Prendini (2000, 2003), the genus shows an intermediate position in the phylogeny of the family Bothriuridae, being the sister group of the genus Cercophonius Peters 1861 from Australia. One of the most remarkable characteristics of Urophonius is that most species of this genus have their surface activity period in the winter, opposite to most of the Bothriuridae, which have their surface activity period in the summer (Maury 1968, 1969, 1977, 1979; Ojanguren-Affilastro 2002, 2005). Only some species of the genus Vachonia Abalos 1953 apparently share this winter activity period (Lopez & Magnanelli 2002; Ojanguren-Affilastro 2005); however, the information available on this genus is still scarce.

In a revision of Urophonius, Acosta (1988) has separated the species of this genus into three different groups of species: U. brachycentrus, U. granulatus, and U. exochus groups. The first two groups were formerly included in a single group (group B, Maury 1973), whereas exochus group corresponds to group A of Maury (1973), which also corresponds to the original definition of genus Iophorus Penther 1913.

Most of the information we have on this genus concerns species of the brachycentrus group (Abalos & Hominal 1974; San Martin & Gambardella 1974; Maury 1977; Acosta 1999), and information on members of the exochus and granulatus groups is still scarce (San Martin 1965; San Martin& Cekalovic-Kuschevich 1968; Maury 1979; Cekalovic-Kuschevich 1981; Acosta 2003). The species of the exochus group have only been collected in Argentina from southern Patagonia to the central part of the country. Only three species have been described in this group, Urophonius exochus (Penther 1913), Urophonius mahuidensis Maury 1973, and Urophonius eugenicus (Mello-Leitao 1931); all of these species have been redescribed with modern standards in a recent monograph on the Argentinean scorpion fauna (Ojanguren-Affilastro 2005). Besides these species, several specimens of this group have already been cited from a wide area of central and southern Patagonia; however, in most cases they were juveniles or females without clear diagnostic characters for assigning them to a species; so our previous information about this genus in Patagonia is scarce and fragmentary. Recently we have collected additional material of this genus that allowed us to clarify, at least partially, some aspects of the systematics of this group. In this contribution we describe a new species of the exochus group; we provide information about the surface activity period of most species of this genus, as well as a key and a distribution map of the Patagonian species of Urophonius.


Descriptive terminology follows Mattoni & Acosta (2005) for the hemispermatophores, Vachon (1974) for the trichobothria, and Francke (1977) for the metasomal carinae, abbreviated as follows: DL: dorsolateral; LIM: lateral inframedian; LSM: lateral supramedian; VSM: ventral submedian; VL: ventrolateral; VM: ventromedian. We followed Francke (1977) for the pedipalp carinae, abbreviated as follows: DI: dorsal internal; DE: dorsal external; VI: ventral internal; VE: ventral external; D: digital; E: external; V: ventral; VM: ventral median; DM: dorsal marginal; DS: dorsal secondary. Abbreviations of collections are as follows: AMNH: American Museum of Natural History (New York, USA); CDA: Catedra de Diversidad Animal I (Universidad de Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina); MACN-Ar: Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales 'Bernardino Rivadavia", (Buenos Aires, Argentina); MHNC: Museo de Historia Natural, Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidad San Antonio Abad del Cusco (Cusco, Peru); CENPAT: Centro Nacional Patagonico (Puerto Madryn, Argentina); MZUC: Museo de Zoologia de la Universidad de Conception, (Conception, Chile). Other abbreviations: NPA-PV: Natural Protected Area Peninsula Valdes. Illustrations were produced using a Leitz Wetzlar stereomicroscope and camera lucida. Photographs where taken using a Digital Camera (Nikon DXM 1200) attached to a stereomicroscope (Nikon SMZ 1500), the focal planes composed with Helicon Focus 3.10.3 (Online at http:// Measurements, taken using an ocular micrometer, were recorded in mm. Scorpions where collected manually by ultraviolet collection at night, and by pitfall traps in Natural Protected Area Peninsula Valdes (NPA-PV). Traps were placed in shrubby steppes with 40-60% vegetation cover, where the shrub Chuquiraga avellanedae Lorentz and the grass Stipa tenuis Philippi were the most representative species. The traps used were open plastic containers, 11 cm in diameter and 12 cm depth, with 300 cm3 of 30% propylene glycol; the traps were neatly buried in the soil near Ch. avellanedae bushes. Trap contents were collected after 15 days, fixed in 70% ethyl alcohol, and taken to the laboratory for specimen identification.


Family Bothriuridae Simon 1880 Genus Urophonius Pocock 1893

Urophonius Pocock 1893:100-101.

Type species.--Urophonius iheringi Pocock 1893, by original designation.

Urophonius martinezi new species Figs. 1, 2, 6-11, 13, 18, 20; Table 1

Urophonius sp. grupo exochus: Ojanguren-Affilastro 2002:185, 186 ("ejemplares del grupo exochus provenientes de Peninsula Valdes"); Ojanguren-Affilastro 2005:145, 146 ("escorpiones provenientes de Peninsula Valdes [...] muy relacionados con U. eugenicus").

Type series.--ARGENTINA: Chubut: Holotype male (MACN-Ar 15808) 20 km N from Puerto Madryn (42[degrees]32'49.4"S, 64[degrees]48'25"W), 6-10 June 2008, Ojanguren-Affilastro, Martinez & Cheli.

Paratypes: ARGENTINA: Chubut Province: 2 [male], Lab. Vida Silvestre, San Jose Gulf (42[degrees]27'51.01"S, 64[degrees]29'57.15"W), 28 October 1970, J. Dacinde (MACN-Ar 15805); 1 [male], 2 [female], 4 juveniles, La Falsa, Peninsula Valdes (42[degrees]13'26.6"S, 63[degrees]51'45.3"W), May-July 2005, G. Cheli (MACN-Ar 15806); 12 [male],7 [female], 12 juveniles, area around Puerto Madryn, (specimens were collected at different points along the coastal road close to Puerto Madryn: 42[degrees]49'10.8"S, 64[degrees]54'00.1"W; 42[degrees]48'02.7"S, 64[degrees]57'17.3"W; 42[degrees]39'52.7"S, 64[degrees]59'37.8"W; 42[degrees]36'57.8"S, 64[degrees]51'47.4"W; 42[degrees]32'49.4"S, 64[degrees]48'25"W), 6-10 June 2008, Ojanguren-Affilastro, Martinez & Cheli (MACN-Ar); 1 [male], 1 [female], 1 juvenile, same data, (CDA); 1 [male],1 [female], 1 juvenile, same data, (MHNC); 1[male], 1 [female], 1 juvenile, same data, (AMNH).

Etymology.--This species is named after the entomologist Juan Jose Martinez (MACN, CONICET), who has collected most of the type material of this species.

Diagnosis.--Urophonius martinezi is most similar to U. eugenicus from southern Patagonia. Both species can be separated by the shape of the telson, which is more globose in U. eugenicus, with its vesicle more expanded towards the sting and the posterior part of the telson (Figs. 11-14). This difference is more conspicuous in males than in females, because the telson of U. martinezi males is dorsoventrally compressed (Fig. 11), such that males of both species can be separated by means of the length/height ratio of the telson: U. martinezi 3.10-3.52, n = 20, mean = 3.28; U. eugenicus 2.54-3.03, n = 18, mean = 2.85; (in females the difference in shape is not reflected by the difference in this ratio). We have not found any male specimen in which this ratio overlaps; however, the extremes of variation are very close, so this possibility cannot be discounted. There are other differences between these species. Urophonius eugenicus is more densely pigmented than U. martinezi: the carapace of U. eugenicus has a broad irregular stripe between the lateral eyes and the ocular tubercle (Fig. 17), whereas in U. martinezi this stripe does not exist, or it is reduced to some isolated spots (Fig. 18). The ventral surface of tergite V and metasoma of U. eugenicus is more densely granular than in U. martinezi. In tergite V of U. eugenicus females there are two well developed VL carinae, and between them there are abundant coarse granules, with the VSM carinae almost indistinguishable; whereas in U. martinezi between the VL carinae there are some tiny scattered granules and two poorly developed VSM carinae (Fig. 6).

Description.--Color: General color yellowish, with dark brown spots of pigment. Carapace: anterior margin with a little dark spot in its median area, around the median notch; ocular tubercle and area around the lateral ocelli dark brown; and in the median part of the carapace there are two irregular dark stripes that surround the ocular tubercle, the postocular furrow, and the anterior longitudinal sulcus. With two lateral irregular dark spots that connect with the lateral eyes, and with two little posterolateral dark spots (Fig. 18). Chelicerae: fixed finger with reticular pigment, especially near the articulation with the movable finger; movable finger densely pigmented in the external margin. Tergites: with two lateral and two paramedian dark stripes, the lateral stripes are very narrow and occupy almost the entire length of the segment, from the posterior edge, almost reaching the anterior margin; the paramedian stripes are triangular shaped, and extend from the posterior margin to the median part of the segment. Sternites, sternum, genital opercula and pectines unpigmented. Metasoma: segment I: ventral surface with two VL stripes extending the entire length of the segment and two VSM stripes poorly developed and barely visible; lateral surface slightly pigmented over the LSM carina; the rest of the segment unpigmented. Segments II-IV: ventral surface with two VL and two VSM stripes poorly marked but extending the entire length of the segment; lateral surface with a dark stripe over the LSM carinae, which is thicker near the posterior margin and fuses with the VL stripes; dorsal surface with a little median triangular spot. Segment V: ventral surface with two VL and two VSM stripes extending the entire length of the segment. The VSM stripes are very diffuse and very ramified, connecting between them and with the VL stripes (Fig. 20); lateral surface with a poorly marked and very ramified stripe over the line of LSM setae; dorsal surface slightly pigmented in the median part and on the lateral margins. Telson: vesicle with dorsal surface unpigmented in its median area. In males, the telson gland is light yellow; slightly pigmented near the lateral margins; ventral and lateral surfaces densely pigmented; aculeus dark brown. Legs: femur and patella densely pigmented on the internal surface and near the articulation, the rest unpigmented. Pedipalps: femur and patella slightly pigmented near the articulations and on the dorsal and external surfaces, the rest unpigmented; chela, with six longitudinal stripes over the DI, DM, DS, D, E, V and VM carinae.




Morphology: Measurements of a paratype male and a paratype female (MACN-Ar 15807) are recorded in Table 1. Total length in males 28.50-36 mm (n = 14, mean = 32.25), 29-39 in females (n = 12; mean = 34.60). Carapace: tegument slightly granular on the lateral margins, the rest smooth; anterior margin with a well developed median notch; anterior and posterior longitudinal sulci, lateral sulcus and postocular furrow well developed; ocular tubercle well developed, median eyes well developed, one diameter apart; with three lateral eyes on each side of the carapace placed in a small bulge, two of them placed in the lower part of it, aiming to the front and the lateral margins, and the third one, 20% smaller than the others, is placed in the upper part of the bulge, aiming to the posterolateral margin. Chelicerae: with two well developed subdistal teeth. Tergites: I-VI completely smooth or slightly granular near the posterior margin; VII slightly granular in the posterior half, with four longitudinal carinae (two paramedians, two laterals) marked by coarse granulation, the lateral carinae occupying almost the entire length of the segment, whereas the paramedian carinae are restricted to the posterior half of the segment. Sternites I-IV with smooth tegument, spiracles small and slightly elliptic; sternite V: smooth in the anterior half, posterior half slightly granular, with four longitudinal carinae poorly marked. Metasoma: segment I: ventral surface with two VL carinae well developed, two VSM carinae formed by scattered coarse granules diverging proximally almost forming a transversal carinae, with four ventral macrosetae (n = 10), two over each VSM carina, with four VL macrosetae (n = 10), two over each VL carina, with four distal macrosetae (n = 10) (Fig. 6); lateral surface: LIM carinae granular and well marked in the posterior three quarters of the segment, with one macroseta over the anterior third of the LIM carina, LSM and DL carinae well marked occupying the entire length of the segment; dorsal surface smooth. Segment II: similar to segment I, but the LIM carina is restricted to the second half of the segment, and there is a macroseta over the posterior third of the LSM carina. In some specimens there is also a DL macroseta. Segment III: ventral surface, VSM and VL carinae poorly marked, longitudinal, and occupying the entire length of the segment; lateral surfaces, LIM carina restricted to the posterior third of the segment, the rest similar to segment II. Segment IV: ventral surface smooth, or with poorly developed VL carinae, with four to six ventral macrosetae (n = 10; median = 6) and three or four VL macrosetae (n = 10; median = 3); lateral surface, LSM and DL carinae represented by a slight elevation of the tegument, and occupying the entire length of the segment, lateral surface with one to three LSM setae (n = 10; median = 2) and one DL macroseta (n = 10), the rest of the tegument smooth. Segment V: very elongated, ventral surface with some coarse scattered granules in the posterior third of the segment, VM and VL carinae occupying the entire length of the segment. Very close to the VL carinae there is a group of granules parallel to the lateral margin (Fig. 10) that apparently correspond to a VSM carina; with six or seven ventral macrosetae (n = 10; median = 7) and five to seven VL macrosetae on each lateral margin of the segment (n = 10; median = 6); lateral surface smooth, LSM carina represented by a row of six to nine macrosetae (n = 10; median = 9), with one to three DL macrosetae (n = 10; median = 1). Telson: vesicle low and elongated in males, globose in females (Figs. 11, 13), ventral surface slightly granular; dorsal surface smooth, with a well developed median glandular depression in males; aculeus very short and curved. Legs: smooth tegument, with two well developed and symmetrical pedal spurs; telotarsi low and elongated, with a ventromedian row of hyaline setae of the same length as the VL spines, and with well developed ventrolateral spines; spinal formula typical of the group: tarsus I: 1-1 (n = 15); tarsus II: 2-2 (n = 15), tarsus III: 4-4 in most specimens (n = 13), but in some cases there is one additional external spine 4-5 (n = 2), tarsus IV: 4-5 in most specimens (n = 12), but in some specimens there is an additional internal spine 5-5 (n = 3); telotarsal ungues symmetrical, very curved. Pectines: number of pectinal teeth in males: 16-18 (n = 10; median = 17); in females: 15-17 (n = 10; median = 16). Pedipalps: femur: DE and VE carinae extending the entire length of the segment, slightly granular in males, blunt in females; DI and VI carinae granular and well developed, extending the entire length of the segment. Patella: DI carina blunt, with some granules near the articulation with the femur, extending the entire length of the segment, VI carina granular, extending the entire length of the segment, DE and VE carinae blunt, extending the entire length of the segment, internal median carina represented by some scattered granules in the median part of the segment. Chela: slightly elongated, more robust in males, (Figs. 7, 9); on the internal surface males with a lobular expansion continued by a slight depression near the articulation with the movable finger (Figs. 8, 9); with six carinae poorly developed, most of them barely visible as a slight elevation of the tegument with some setae, but the ventral carinae is well developed and bears two rows of setae, probably a fusion of two different carinae: DI and DS (in the basal half of the segment), DM, D, E and V + VM, extending the entire length of the segment. Trichobothrial pattern: neobothriotaxic major type C, with one accessory trichobothrium in the V series of chela; femur with 3 trichobothria (1 d,1 i and 1 e); patella with 19 trichobothria (3 V, 2 d, 1 i, 3 et, 1 est, 2 em, 2 esb, and 5 eb); chela with 27 trichobothria (1 Est, 5 Et, 5 V, 1 Esb, 3 Eb, 1 Dt, 1 Db, 1 et, 1 est, 1 esb, 1 eb, 1 dt, 1 dst, 1 dsb, 1 db, 1 ib, 1 it). Hemispermatophore: basal portion very developed; distal lamina short and curved, smaller than the basal portion; distal crest parallel to and almost transversal to the posterior margin, with a transversal crest; internal lobe with a small bilobate apophysis in its external surface that is not connected with the laminar apophysis (Fig. 2); lobe region well developed but very simple (Fig. 1), capsular concavity not very deep, restricted to the anterior margin of the basal lobe, but occupying most of the frontal surface of the lobe region; basal lobe very simple, without internal structures; internal lobe also very simple, almost completely covered by the basal lobe. We have dissected the hemispermatophores of seven specimens and have observed no conspicuous differences between them.

Distribution and habitat.--Urophonius martinezi has only been collected in Peninsula Valdes and in an area very close to Puerto Madryn in central eastern Argentinean Patagonia (Fig. 21).

The Natural Protected Area Peninsula Valdes (NPA-PV) is the largest unit of conservation of arid ecosystems of Argentina, it consists of a wide plateau of 4000 [km.sup.2] located in north-eastern Chubut province (42[degrees]05'-42[degrees]53'S, 63[degrees]35'-65[degrees]04'W) and has been declared Human Patrimony by UNESCO in 1999. Geologically it is formed by Oligo-Miocenic marine sediments and a continuous cover of aeolian sediments with quaternary gravels (Haller et al. 2001). Its actual landscape configuration was originated in the Pleistocene (~1 myrs) probably by strong periglacial winds that caused the deflation of the Gulfs of Nuevo and San Jose (Haller et al. 2001). The mean annual temperature is 14[degrees] C and the average annual precipitation is 175 mm in the coastal zone, with oscillations between 200 and 225 mm in internal zones (Barros & Rivero 1982). In this area, as in other arid ecosystems, the vegetation has a patchy structure alternating with bare ground (Bisigato & Bertiller 1997). The dominant physiognomy is a shrub steppe of Chuquiraga avellanedae, accompanied by Chuquiraga hystrix Don., Condalia microphylla Cav., Lyciun chilense Miers, Schinus polygamus (Cav.), and Prosopidastrum globosum (Gill.). At the grass layer, the most common species are S. tenuis, Piptochaetium napostaense (Speg.) Hack., and Poa ligularis Nees (Bertiller et al. 1981). In the southern portion of NPA-PV the shrub steppe is replaced by an herbaceous steppe where Sporobolus rigens Desv. as the most important species, along with patches of Ch. avellanedae and Hyalis argentea D. Don (Bertiller et al. 1981; Leon et al. 1998). The NPA-PV has been the subject of several scientific contributions; however, there is conflict over its biogeographical identity. Soriano (1956) classified this area as belonging to the phytogeographical province of Patagonia. Cabrera & Willink (1973) included NPA-PV within the Monte province, whereas Leon et al. (1998) and Elissalde et al. (2002) described this region as an ecotone Monte-Patagonia. From a zoogeographical perspective its identity is still confusing because Morrone (2001a, 2001b) placed NPA-PV at the Patagonia Central province, while Roig-Junent & Flores (2001) classified it as Monte region. The information about the epigean arthropod fauna from NPA-PV included in these contributions is mainly based on sporadic samplings and some references about the presence of a few isolated taxa (e.g. Cuezzo 1998; Flores 1998; Ceballos 2008; Crespo 2008; Ocampo 2008). Thus these contradictions about the biogeographical identity of NPA-PV are a consequence of a fragmentary knowledge about its epigeal arthropods fauna. The first ecological study in Peninsula Valdes including an intensive seasonal sampling effort (from 2003 to 2006) is the one performed by the second author (Cheli, unpublished data). The presence of Urophonius martinezi in the Peninsula Valdes, its closest relative being U. eugenicus (a typical southern Patagonian species), adds support to Morrone s (2001a) proposal of including NPA-PV in the Patagonian region, but future studies are needed to clarify this matter.

The actual distribution of U. martinezi cannot be accurately established with the scarce distribution data we have at this moment. With the information available, we can only conclude that this species occurs in the coastal area of central Chubut province. Some 200 km further north in Valcheta, southern Rio Negro Province, it is replaced by U. exochus, and 400 km south in Caleta Olivia, in northern Santa Cruz province, it is replaced by U. eugenicus (Fig. 21). Our data show that U. martinezi has a restricted distribution (compared to other species of the genus), but we cannot be certain that it is restricted only to the NPA-PV and the area close to it, or if it occurs in a wider area of Chubut province.

Comments on the distribution and activity period of Urophonius in Patagonia.--In a previous contribution on the genus Urophonius (Ojanguren-Affilastro 2002) the first author has suggested that the Patagonian species of group exochus, U. eugenicus, and the species described in this contribution may be active on the surface during summer, whereas the rest of the species of the group are active at the surface during the winter. We based this conclusion on the dates of collection of the material deposited in different collections. However, the Patagonian specimens of Urophonius previously studied by us were old, manually collected material. The fact that these specimens were collected in the summer does not necessary imply that they were actually active in that period; most probably this only reflects when most collecting trips in that area are carried out (during the summer), because of the extreme cold weather of the Patagonian winter. In a recent summer trip to Patagonia, no specimens of the exochus or brachycentrus group were observed during UV collecting at night (C.I. Mattoni pers. com.); the only active specimens of Urophonius observed at night were Urophonius granulatus Pocock 1898. In a recent trip to Patagonia in early winter (June-July 2008) we observed active specimens belonging to different species of exochus and brachycentrus groups: U. exochus, U. eugenicus, U. martinezi, and Urophonius brachycentrus (Thorell 1876), but no specimens of the granulatus group.


In addition, extensive collections from 2003 to 2006 performed in NPA-PV using pitfall traps by the second author have shown that the activity period of Urophonius martinezi is restricted to late autumn and winter (June, July, August), making it the only species of scorpion active in the area during this period of the year.

We have recently observed active populations of Urophonius tregualemuensis Cekalovic-Kuschevich 1981 in southern Chile during the spring and summer; this species of the granulatus group apparently has the same activity period as the Argentinean species of the granulatus group, U. granulatus and Urophonius somuncura Acosta 2003, which also have a spring-summer surface activity period (Maury 1979; Acosta 2003; Ojanguren-Affilastro 2005, 2007). The activity period of the other known species from southern Chile, Urophonius tumbensis Cekalovic-Kuschevich 1981, is still not known; we could not collect, nor observe, any active specimen of this species in areas near the type locality during collection trips in the summer. The type material of this species could not be found in its depository at the MZUC (Raul Briones Parra and Jaime Pizarro Araya pers. com.) and no other specimen has been collected since the original description of the species. Unfortunately the original description of U. tumbensis is a little vague, and we can not assign it to any of the groups of the genus. Our results show that all known species of exochus and brachycentrus groups have a winter surface activity period, whereas all known species of granulatus group have a spring-summer surface activity period. Taking into consideration that almost all bothriurid species show a spring-summer surface activity period, the winter activity pattern could be a synapomorphy for the exochus and brachycentrus group (C. Mattoni pers. com).

Recently we have collected specimens of U. exochus in a wide area of northern Patagonia (Neuquen and Rio Negro provinces) belonging to the Monte phytogeographic province and to the ecotone between Monte and Patagonia phytogeographic provinces (Fig. 21). The known distribution of this species was restricted to Mendoza (in a slightly different environment) and to some probable records from Neuquen (Ojanguren-Affilastro 2005). These new records considerably expand the distribution of these species. We have observed slight morphological differences between specimens from different areas, but we prefer to consider them as intraspecific variation.

Acosta (1988) mentions the presence of a probable undescribed entity of the exochus group from Perito Moreno, in western Santa Cruz province, Argentina. We have examined a male specimen from this locality (probably the one studied by Acosta) and consider it to be an undescribed species. This species is closely related to U. eugenicus, but it has different morphometric proportions; is smaller and more densely pigmented. We have examined other specimens from southeastern Santa Cruz province, and they could also belong to this new species; however, they are poorly preserved, so we cannot assure this. Apparently this undescribed species inhabits areas close to the Andes mountain chain, whereas U. eugenicus occurs in the eastern part of the province.

New records for Urophonius species from Patagonia.--Urophonius exochus: Neuquen Province:6 [male], 12 [female], 18 juveniles, 30 km SW Zapala, (39[degrees]01'04.4"S, 70[degrees]09'21.2"W), 2 June 2008, Ojanguren-Affilastro, Compagnucci & Martinez (MACN-Ar); 7 [male], 16 [female], 23 juveniles, 20 km NE Piedra del Aguila (39[degrees]58'46.5"S, 70[degrees]02'20.8"W), Ojanguren-Affilastro, Compagnucci & Martinez (MACN-Ar). Rio Negro Province: 1 [female], 1 juvenile, Pajalta, (40[degrees]45'0"S, 66[degrees]2'60"W), 18 August 1967, Maury (MACN-Ar); 1 juvenile, 60 km N Nahuel Niyeu, (40[degrees]30'04"S, 66[degrees]32'58.9"W), Bachmnn (MACN-Ar); 3 [male], 4 [female], 10 juveniles, 15 km N Valcheta, (40[degrees]43'05.7"S; 66[degrees]11'56.2"W), Ojanguren-Affilastro, Compagnucci & Martinez, 4 June 2008, (MACN-Ar); [male], 4 [female], 8 juveniles, 8 km W. Choele-Choel, General Roca Monument (39[degrees]14'19"S, 65[degrees]40'48.7"W), Ojanguren-Affilastro, Compagnucci & Martinez, 3 June 2008, (MACN-Ar); 3 [male], 5 [female], 14 juveniles, 15 km S. Paso Cordova (General Roca), (39[degrees]07'29.7"S, 67[degrees]40'37.4"W), 31 May 2008, Ojanguren-Affilastro, Compagnucci & Martinez, (MACN-Ar); 1 [female], Cerro Villegas, Estancia San Ramon, San Carlos de Bariloche, (41[degrees]04'10.86"S, 71[degrees]0.8'52.41"W), 17 July 1968, Muller, (MACN-Ar).

Comments.--Maury (1973) records the presence of Urophonius mahuidensis Maury 1973 in the locality of Paja Alta, in the base of the Somuncura plateau, based on a female and a juvenile specimen; Ojanguren-Affilastro (2002, 2005) repeats this. Unfortunately the identification of the specimens of this group is very difficult and in some cases it is only possible to identify the male specimens. We have been able to study more material from that area (including males) and we conclude that the specimens studied by Maury actually belong to U. exochus, or at least to a species very closely related to it, but not to U. mahuidensis. According to our results U. mahuidensis is endemic to the Tandilia and Ventania mountain chains in southern Buenos Aires province, Argentina, the same as Bothriurus voyatti Maury 1973 (Maury 1973).

Urophonius eugenicus: Santa Cruz Province: 8 [female], 16 juveniles, 15 km S Caleta Olivia, near Canadon Seco (46[degrees]30'36.6"S, 67[degrees]27'48"W), 7 June 2008, Ojanguren-Affilastro & Martinez, (MACN-Ar); 5 [female], 7 juveniles, 20 km W. Las Heras (46[degrees]33'35"S, 69[degrees]02'23.2"W), 8 June 2008, Ojanguren-Affilastro & Martinez, (MACN-Ar); 17 [male], 5 [female], 20 juveniles, 8 km N. Puerto Deseado, (47[degrees]42'42,43"S, 65[degrees]50'15.68"W), 6 June 2008, Ojanguren-Affilastro & Martinez, (MACN-Ar).

Comments.--We have collected this species in the Eastern part of Santa Cruz province. Specimens from Western Santa Cruz, previously mentioned as belonging to U. eugenicus (Ojanguren-Affilastro 2002, 2005) belong to an undescribed species.

Urophonius brachycentrus: Rio Negro Province: 1 [male], 3 [female], 8 juveniles, 30 km E Choele-Choel, (39[degrees]15'27.7"S, 65[degrees]35'59.3"W), 3 June 2008, Ojanguren-Affilastro, Compagnucci & Martinez, (MACN-Ar).

Comments.--This is the first time this species has been collected in Rio Negro province; however, it was previously collected in nearby areas from the surrounding provinces of Buenos Aires and La Pampa. In the locality of Cholel-Choel, this species has been collected very close to U. exochus; however, both species have different habitat preferences; U. exochus apparently prefers slopes and areas with some rocks, whereas U. brachycentrus prefers plains. In the nearby locality of Paso Cordova, where U. brachycentrus is not present, U. exochus is present in both types of environment, but it is more abundant on slopes than in plains.


We are grateful to Luis Compagnucci for his help during field work and to Camilo I. Mattoni for the information on summer Patagonian species of Urophonius. We are grateful to Paula Cushing, Mark Harvey, Camilo Mattoni and Oscar Francke for their helpful comments on the manuscript. We are also grateful to Raul Briones Parra and Jaime Pizarro Araya for the information provided about the type specimen of U. tumbensis. This research was supported by a postdoctoral grant from CONICET to the first author, by a doctoral grant from CONICET to the second author, and by a CONICET grant (PIP 6502) to the first author. Finally we deeply thank Idea Wild Foundation for providing field equipment for the first author and part of the optical equipment used in this contribution by the second author.

Manuscript received 17 September 2008, revised 14 January 2009.


Abalos, J.W. & C. Hominal. 1974. Urophonius achalensis, nueva especie de Bothriuridae. Acta Zoologica Lilloana 31:19-26.

Acosta, L.E. 1988. Contribution al conocimiento taxonomico del genero Urophonius Pocock 1893 (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae). Journal of Arachnology 16:23-33.

Acosta, L.E. 1998. Urophonius transandinus sp. nov. (Bothriuridae), a scorpion from Central Chile. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 33:157-164.

Acosta, L.E. 2003. Description of a new Patagonian species of Urophonius Pocock (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae), from Meseta de Somuncura, Argentina. Zootaxa 187:1-12.

Barros, V.R. & M. Rivero. 1982. Mapas de probabilidad de precipitacion en la provincia de Chubut, Centro Nacional Patagonico (CONICET), Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

Bertiller, M.B., A.M. Beeskow & M.P. del Irisarri. 1981. Caracteres Fisionomicos y Floristicos de la Vegetacion del Chubut. 2. La Peninsula Valdes y el Itsmo Ameghino. Contribution No. 41. CONICET, Centro Nacional Patagonico, Puerto Madryn.

Bisigato, A.J. & M.B. Bertiller. 1997. Grazing effects on patchy dryland vegetation in northern Patagonia. Journal of Arid Environments 36:639-653.

Cabrera, A.L. & A. Willink. 1973. Biogeografia de America Latina. OEA Monografias 13. Serie Biologia.

Ceballos, A. & B. Rosso de Ferradas. 2008. Pseudoscorpiones. Pp. 105-116. In Biodiversidad de Artropodos Argentinos. Volumen 2. (L.E. Claps, G. Debandi & S. Roig-Junent, eds.). Sociedad Entomologica Argentina, Mendoza, Argentina.

Cekalovic-Kuschevich, T. 1981. Dos nuevas especies y un nuevo registro del genero Urophonius para Chile (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae). Boletin de la sociedad Biologica de Conception 52:195-201.

Crespo, F.A. & A. Valverde. 2008. Blattaria. Pp. 167-180. In Biodiversidad de Artropodos Argentinos. Volumen 2. (L.E. Claps, G. Debandi & S. Roig-Junent, eds.). Sociedad Entomologica Argentina, Mendoza, Argentina.

Cuezzo, F. 1998. Formicidae. Pp. 452-462. In Biodiversidad de Artropodos Argentinos. Volumen 1. (J.J. Morrone & S. Coscaron, eds.). Ediciones Sur, La Plata, Argentina.

Elissalde, N., J. Escobar & V. Nakamatsu. 2002. Inventario y evaluacion de pastizales naturales de la zona arida y semiarida de la Patagonia. Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria. Centro Regional Patagonia sur. EEA Chubut, Trelew.

Flores, G.E. 1998. Tenebrionidae. Pp. 232-240. In Biodiversidad de Artropodos Argentinos. Volumen 1. (J.J. Morrone & S. Coscaron, eds.). Ediciones Sur, La Plata, Argentina.

Francke, O.F. 1977. Scorpions of the genus Diplocentrus Peters from Oaxaca, Mexico. Journal of Arachnology 4:145-200.

Haller, M., A. Monti & C. Meister. 2001. Hoja Geologica 4363-1, Peninsula Valdes, Provincia del Chubut. Boletin 266. Secretaria de Energia y Mineria, Servicio Geologico Minero Argentino, Buenos Aires.

Leon, R.J.C., D. Bran, M. Collantes, J.M. Paruelo & A. Soriano. 1998. Grandes unidades de vegetacion de la Patagonia extra-andina. Ecologia Austral 8:125-144.

Lopez, E.C. & M.A. Magnanelli. 2002. Nueva localidad y biologia de Vachonia sp. Abalos (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae), 356 pp., V Congreso Argentino de Entomologia, Buenos Aires. Abstract.

Mattoni, C.I. & L.E. Acosta. 2005. A new species of Bothriurus from Brazil (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae). Journal of Arachnology 33:735-744.

Maury, E.A. 1968. Aportes al conocimiento de los escorpiones de la Republica Argentina. I. Observaciones biologicas sobre Urophonius brachycentrus (Thorell 1877) (Bothriuridae). Physis 27:407-418.

Maury, E.A. 1969. Observaciones sobre el ciclo reproductivo de Urophonius brachycentrus (Thorell 1877) (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae). Physis 29:131-139.

Maury, E.A. 1973. Los escorpiones de los sistemas serranos de la provincia de Buenos Aires. Physis, Sec. C 32:351-371.

Maury, E.A. 1977. Comentarios sobre dos especies de escorpiones del genero Urophonius (Bothriuridae). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia" (Buenos Aires) 5(7):143-160.

Maury, E.A. 1979. Escorpiofauna patagonica. II. Urophonius granulatus Pocock 1898 (Bothriuridae). Physis, Sec. C 38:57-68.

Morrone, J.J. 2001a. Biogeografia de America Latina y el Caribe. Zaragoza, Manuales y Tesis SEA 3.

Morrone, J.J. 2001b. Review of the biogeographic provinces of the Patagonian subregion. Revista de la Sociedad Entomologica Argentina 60:1-8.

Ocampo, F.C. & E.R. Manzanos. 2008. Scarabaeidae. Pp. 535-558. In Biodiversidad de Artropodos Argentinos. Volumen 2. (L.E. Claps, G. Debandi & S. Roig-Junent, eds.). Sociedad Entomologica Argentina, Mendoza, Argentina.

Ojanguren-Affilastro, A.A. 2002. Nuevos aportes al conocimiento del genero Urophonius Pocock 1893 (Scorpiones, Bothriuridae). Revista Iberica de Aracnologia 6:181-186.

Ojanguren-Affilastro, A.A. 2005. Estudio Monografico de los escorpiones de la Republica Argentina. Revista Iberica de Aracnologia 11:74-246.

Ojanguren-Affilastro, A.A. 2007. A new endemic scorpion species from the Somuncura Plateau, in northern Patagonia (Scorpiones; Bothriuridae). Zootaxa 1466:47-56.

Pocock, R.I. 1893. A contribution to the study of neotropical scorpions. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (6) 12:77-103.

Prendini, L. 2000. Phylogeny and classification of the superfamily Scorpionoidea Latrielle 1802 (Chelicerata, Scorpiones): an exemplar approach. Cladistics 16:1-78.

Prendini, L. 2003. A new genus and species of bothriurid scorpion from the Brandberg Massif, Namibia, with a reanalysis of bothriurid phylogeny and a discussion of the phylogenetic position of Lisposoma Lawrence. Systematic Entomology 28:149-172.

Roig-Junent, S. & G.E. Flores. 2001. Historia geografica de las areas aridas de America del Sur Austral. Pp. 257-266. In Introduccion a la Biogeografia en Latinoamerica: Teorias, Conceptos, Metodos y Aplicaciones. (J.L. Busquets & J.J. Morrone, eds.). Las prensas de Ciencias, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM, Mexico, Distrito Federal.

San Martin, P.R. 1965. Escorpiofauna Argentina. I. Bothriuridae. Redescripcion del holotipo y descripcion del alotipo hembra de Urophonius eugenicus. (Mello-Leitao, 1931). Physis 25:283-290.

San Martin, P.R. & T. Cekalovic-Kuschevich. 1968. Escorpiofauna Chilena. I. Bothriuridae. Una nueva especie de Urophonius para Chile. Investigaciones Zoologicas Chilenas 13:81-100.

San Martin, P.R. & L.A. Gambardella. 1974. Redescripcion de Urophonius iheringi Pocock 1893 y consideraciones sobre morfologia, bioecologia y distribucion. Boletin de la Sociedad Biologica de Concepcion 47:93-119.

Soriano, A. 1956. Los distritos floristicos de la provincia Patagonica. Revista de Investigaciones Agricolas 10:321-357.

Vachon, M. 1973. Etude des caracteres utilises pour classer les familles et les genres de scorpions (Arachnides). 1. La trichobothriotaxie en arachnologie. Sigles trichobothriaux et types de trichobothriotaxie chez les scorpions. Bulletin du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris), Ser. 3, 140:857-958.

Andres Alejandro Ojanguren-Affilastro: Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia", Avenida Angel Gallardo 470, CP: 1405DJR, CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail:;

German Cheli: Centro Nacional Patagonico (Cenpat), Boulevard Brown 2825, Puerto Madryn--CP: U 9120 ACF, Chubut, Argentina

1. Ventral surface of metasoma with
   two VL and a VM stripe (Fig. 19)
   Ventral surface of metasoma with two
   VL and two VSM stripes (Fig. 20)                   granulatus group
2. e trichobothria of pedipalp femur                                 4
   placed proximally with respect to M1
   macroseta (Fig. 15)                           Urophonius granulatus

   e trichobothria of pedipalp femur
   placed distally or in the same axis
   with respect to M1 macroseta (Fig. 15)                            3

3. e trichobothria of pedipalp femur
   placed on the same axis or slightly
   distally with respect to M1 macroseta
   (Fig. 15)                                      Urophonius somuncura

   e trichobothria of pedipalp femur
   placed clearly more distally
   than M1 macroseta (Fig. 15)              Urophonius tregualemuensis

4. Pedipalp femur with two macrosetae              brachycentrus group
   (M1 and M2) associated with d and e        Urophonius brachycentrus
   trichobothria (Fig. 16)                               exochus group

   Pedipalp femur with one macroseta (M1)
   associated with d and e trichobothria
   (as in granulatus group) (Fig. 15)                                5

5. Bilobate protuberance of the
   hemispermatophore connected to the
   distal lamina (Fig. 5)                       Urophonius mahuidensis

   Bilobate protuberance of the
   hemispermatophore not connected to the
   distal lamina (Figs. 2, 3, 4)                                     6

6. Bilobate apophysis of the
   hemispermatophore very close to the

   distal lamina, but not forming a part
   of it; distal lamina slender, almost
   straight, anterior margin slightly
   curved (Fig. 4)                                  Urophonius exochus

   Bilobate apophysis of the
   hemispermatophore clearly separated
   from the distal lamina; distal lamina
   stout, anterior margin strongly curved
   (Figs. 2, 3)                                                      7

7. Vesicle of the telson globose,
   highly developed toward the anterior
   margin (Figs. 12, 14), length/height
   ratio of telson in males:

   2.54-3.03, n = 18, median = 2.85.
   Pigment pattern of prosoma occupying
   most of the area between the ocular
   tubercle and the lateral eyes (Fig.
   17)                                            Urophonius eugenicus

   Vesicle of the telson slender,
   especially in males, in females it is
   globose but not highly developed
   towrds the anterior margin (Figs. 11,
   13), length-height ratio of telson in
   males: 3.10-3.52, n = 20, mean = 3.28.
   Pigment patern of prosoma poorly
   developed, area between the ocular
   tubercle and the lateral eyes almost
   unpigmented (Fig. 18)                          Urophonius martinezi

Table 1.--Measurements of a male and a female
paratype of Urophonius martinezi (MACN-Ar 15807).

                               Urophonius martinezi new species

     Measurements (mm)         Male paratype     Female paratype

Total length                   32.24             33.23
Carapace, length                4.04              4.05
Carapace, anterior width        2.83              2.91
Carapace, posterior width       4.85              4.28
Mesosoma, total length          7.27             11.48
Metasoma, total length         15.27             12.85
Metasomal segment I,            2.02/2.59/1.94    1.70/2.67/2.02
Metasomal segment II,           2.42/2.51/1.94    2.10/2.59/2.01
Metasomal segment III,          2.59/2.51/1.94    2.42/2.51/1.95
Metasomal segment IV,           3.39/2.34/1.86    2.83/2.42/1.78
Metasomal segment V,            4.85/2.18/1.65    3.80/2.42/1.70
Telson, length                  5.66              4.85
Vesicle, length/width/height    4.44/2.34/1.78    3.88/2.34/1.78
Aculeus, length                 1.21              0.97
Femur, length/width             3.88/1.21         3.56/1.21
Patella, length/width           3.72/1.37         3.64/1.41
Chela, length/width/height      7.03/2.26/2.66    6.30/1.86/2.18
Movable finger, length          3.55              3.35
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.