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An annotated checklist of scorpions in south and southwestern parts of Iran

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Abstract

A checklist of the scorpion fauna in south and southwestern parts of Iran, as well as a brief history of taxonomic research on scorpions of Iran is presented. The checklist is based on records of scorpion species whose presence has been confirmed in Iran through field expeditions, examination of scorpion collections, literature review, and personal articles from research in different parts of Iran. Keywords: Scorpions, Buthidae, Scorpionidae, Hemiscorpiidae, Diplocentridae, checklist, South,
southwestern, Iran.

1. Introduction

The scorpion fauna of Iran was first explored by Olivier (1807). Later the Russian zoologist, Alexei Andreevich Byalynitskii-Birulya (Birula, 1900, 1903, 1905 and 1917) produced a series of publications on scorpions from Iran. His reports were mainly based on specimens collected by another Russian zoologist, Nicholas A. Zarudny. These specimens were deposited in the zoological museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg (ZISP). They included well known species and several rare taxa which have been the subject of several recent taxonomic and biogeographic studies (Fet, 1984, 1997; Lourenço, 1996; Fet et al., 2001). Birula described three genera and seven species in 1900, five genera and nine species in 1903, five genera and 11 species in 1905, and four genera and 17 species in 1917, clearly making significant contributions to our knowledge of scorpions in Iran. A few scorpion species were also described by the pioneering zoologists Pocock (1900) and Werner (1936). Recently, many revisionary works, descriptions of new taxa and distributional records of Iranian scorpions were published by Farzanpay (1986, 1987, 1988), Habibi (1971), Fet (1989, 1997) Fet et al. (2001), Kovarik (1997, 2003, 2004, 2007), Kovarik & Fet (2006a,b), Lourenco (2000), Lourenco & Pezier. (2002), Mirshamsi et al (2011a, b) Navidpour et al. (2008a, b, c, d, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), El- Hennawy, 1992; Akbari, 2007. Vachon (1966) reported nine genera and 15 species. Two Iranian scorpiologists, Talat Habibi and Reza Farzanpay, made contributions during the same period. Habibi (1971) recorded 24 species belong to 11 genera and, Farzanpay (1987, 1988) recorded 23 species belong to 17 genera. Farzanpay (1987) claimed that four genera, Olivierus, Simonoides, Sassanidotus, and
Razianus, had not been previously described. Subsequent evidence has shown that only Sassanidotus and Razianus were new genera (Kovařík and Fet, 2006a, b). Olivierus Farzanpay, 1987 was demonstrated to be a junior synonym of Mesobuthus Vachon, 1958 (synonymized by Gantenbein et al., 2003), and Simonoides was shown by Kovařík and Fet (2006a, b) to be a junior synonym of Orthochirus Karsch, 1891. Razianus has been synonymized with Neohemibuthus Lourenço, 1996. However, Fet and Lowe (2000) suggested that the name Razianus is valid, because the genus was described under this name before being described under the name of Neohemibuthus. Although neglect of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature caused some taxonomic problems, Farzanpay's book Knowing Scorpions made a great contribution to our knowledge of scorpions in Iran.

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