Kozhikode: A group of researchers have discovered a new scorpion species of the genus Buthoscorpio Werner, 1936 from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki. The new species has been named ‘Busthoscorpio chinnarensis’.
A team led by K Aswathi, Researcher at the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) regional centre in Kozhikode, P M Sureshan, Senior scientist at ZSI, Kozhikode and Wilson R Lourenco of Natural History Museum, Paris have published their findings in the latest edition of Taprobanica, a scientific journal published from University of Indonesia.
According to researchers the new species 4 - 5 cm in length and black in colour was recorded in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary from a locality near Surulipatty Tribal settlement area. It was found under a boulder showing the peculiar posture of holding the metasoma over the mesosoma giving the appearance of beetles.
Species Buthoscorpio Werner, 1936 are rare and have a limited distribution represented by three species in India: Buthoscorpio politus, Buthoscorpio rayalensis, Buthoscorpio indicus and one in Sri Lanka -Buthoscorpio sarasinorum.
“Three specimens of Buthoscorpio were collected from Chinnar Wildlife during the recent faunal exploration survey undertaken by the ZSI. Detailed examination of the specimens indicate that these show close affinities with the Indian species Buthoscorpio politus, but also show distinct characters which clearly suggest a new species,” researchers say.
After the description of this new species, the total number of known species in the genus is raised to five; four in India and one in Sri Lanka.
ZSI scientist P M Sureshan said that it was a major recording of a scorpion species from the state after the discovery of species Rugodentus from Malayatoor by the scientists of ZSI centres in Pune and Kozhikode.