Wood Scorpions of the genus Euscorpius are found in Europe from Iberia to Russia, as well as North Africa and southwest Asia, and is therefore one of the best studied Scorpion genuses, with eighteen described species grouped into four subgenera, and numerous subspecies. Despite this it is thought that there is still much to be learned about its taxonomy, and that the genus probably contains many undescribed species across its range.
In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 4 September 2012, Gioele Tropea of the Società Romana di Scienze Naturali, Ersen Aydın Yağmur of the Alaşehir Vocational School at Celal Bayar University, Halil Koç of the Biology Department at Sinop University, Fatih Yeşilyurt of the Biology Department at Kırıkkale University and Andrea Rossi of Aracnofilia Centro Studi sugli Aracnidi describe a new species of Euscorpius from the Dilek Peninsula National Park in Aydın Province, western Anatolia, Turkey.
The new species is named Euscorpius avcii, in honour of the Turkish herpetologist Aziz Avcı, who helped collect some of the specimens from which the species is described. Euscorpius avcii is a small brown Scorpion reaching 24-28 mm in length. It is placed in the subgenus Euscorpius, the first member of this subgenus from Turkey (making it technically Euscorpius Euscorpius avcii).
Euscorpius avcii, male (left) and female (right) in dorsal view. Tropea et al. (2012).
Euscorpius avcii was found living on the northern part of the Dilek Peninsula, an area of Pine-Oak woodland and coastal scrub that remains humid all year round. Specimens were found at night with a UV lamp (Scorpion exoskeletons fluoresce under UV light) under bark on decomposing wood, under stones and in rock crevices. One specimen was observed being consumed by the larger Sorpion Mesobuthus gibbosus.
Typical environment of Euscorpius avcii, at Canyon in the Dilek Peninsula National Park. Tropea et al. (2012).
Tropea et al. also note that a Scorpion similar to Euscorpius avcii has been reported from the Greek island of Samos, but never formally described. Samos is less than 2 km offshore of the Dilek Peninsula, making it likely that the Samos Scorpions are either the same species or closely related, but they were not able to obtain specimens of this species to examine.
Mesobuthus gibbosus feeding on Euscorpius avcii. Tropea et al. (2012).
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