Vaejovis cisnerosi, , Ponce-Saavedra and Sissom, 2004

González-Santillán, Edmundo & Prendini, Lorenzo, 2018, Systematic Revision Of The North American Syntropine Vaejovid Scorpion Genera Balsateres, Kuarapu, And Thorellius, With Descriptions Of Three New Species, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 2018 (420), pp. 1-1 : 5-7

publication ID 10.1206/0003-0090-420.1.1

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Vaejovis cisnerosi


Vaejovis cisnerosi is unlike all other spe-

cies of Vaejovis in that the carinae of the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the metasoma are greatly reduced in strength (mostly obsolete) and completely smooth. In addition, the metasomal setation is highly reduced … giving it the lowest setal counts of any species in the genus. These features are autapomorphic.… The hemispermatophore of V. cisnerosi is quite similar to those of the species of the V. eusthenura , V. intrepidus and V. punctipalpi species groups. There is a broad flange along the ental margin of the distal lamina [fused margin of dorsal and ventral troughs], and the ental process of the inner capsular lobe bears a series of hook- lets (Sissom, 1991) [spinose distal barb margin]. The position of trichobothria ib and it on the pedipalp chela fixed finger (displaced to near the 6th inner accessory denticle of the primary denticle row) and the possession of only five subrows of denticles on the chela fixed finger also suggest relationship with those groups. Finally, the ventromedian spinule row of the leg tarsi are flanked distally by two or more pairs of larger spinules, as in the aforementioned groups. The reduction of the carinae of the pedipalps and the absence of ventral carinae on the metasoma place the species closer to the eusthenura group

(e.g., in southern Mexico, this would include Vaejovis punctatus Karsch, 1879 [currently Mesomexovis punctatus (Karsch, 1879) ] and its relatives); on the other hand, the reduction of the metasomal setation and the dorsoventral compression of the metasoma are similar to the conditions seen in the intrepidus species group.

Soleglad and Fet (2008: 95) justified the transfer of V. cisnerosi to Thorellius , despite the uncertainty regarding its phylogenetic placement ( Ponce-Saavedra and Sissom, 2004), and without testing that placement in a quantitative analysis, as follows:

Clearly the hemispermatophore, with its well developed lamellar hook [fused margin of dorsal and ventral troughs], the mating plug with its toothed barb [spinose distal barb margin], and the multiple pairs of ventral distal spinules of the leg tarsus imply this species is a member of tribe Syntropini . The chelal and metasomal carination of this species is unique… where the former exhibits vestigial to smooth carinae and the ventral carinae of the latter are obsolete. The existence of carinae on the chelae, though smooth, and the somewhat robust chelae imply this species is a member of subtribe Thorelliina . The carapace in T. cisnerosi lacks the anterior emargination extending to the lateral ocelli as seen in Kochius and the placement of chelal trichobothrium Dt is well distal of the palm midpoint, indications of genus Thorellius ... Finally, of somewhat less importance, the large size of this species, its large pectinal tooth count (20–22 for males and 20–21 for females), and its geographical distribution also indicates genus Thorellius .

As discussed by González-Santillán and Prendini (2013), most of the new taxa proposed in the classification presented by Soleglad and Fet (2008) were demonstrably paraphyletic or polyphyletic when tested by a quantitative phylogenetic analysis based on morphological characters and DNA sequences from the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes ( González-Santillán and Prendini, 2015a). Thorellius , as defined by Soleglad and Fet (2008), was consistently polyphyletic, and the group comprising T. atrox , T. cristimanus , and T. intrepidus consistently monophyletic. In consequence, Thorellius was restricted to these species, and the other species transferred to different genera by González-Santillán and Prendini (2013). Balsateres was created to account for the phylogenetic position and unique diagnostic character combination of V. cisnerosi , creating B. cisnerosi , whereas V. occidentalis and V. subcristatus were transferred to Mesomexovis , creating Mesomexovis occidentalis ( Hoffmann, 1931) and Mesomexovis subcristatus ( Pocock, 1902) .

Francke and Ponce-Saavedra (2010) discussed the placement of Kuarapu in the context of Soleglad and Fet’s (2008) classification, and offered two alternatives: placement within Syntropini , based on the spinose distal barb margin of the hemimating plug of the male hemispermatophore, peg sensillae on the basal pectinal teeth of the female, and five ventral spinules on the telotarsus of leg III; or within Stahnkeini Soleglad and Fet, 2008 , based on the shared serrate cutting edge of the pedipalp chela fingers and the medial position of trichobothria ib and it on the pedipalp chela fixed finger. The analyses of González-Santillán and Prendini (2015a) confirmed the first hypothesis, based on the spinose distal barb margin of the hemimating plug, uniquely synapomorphic for Syntropinae , and consistently recovered Kuarapu as the basal member the Kochius clade.