Sunday, June 29, 2014

Scorpiops spitiensis: A new species of scorpion from Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

Scorpiops spitiensis (Photo from Zambre et al. 2014) The spitians have always known of a scorpion that inhibits their houses and livestock sheds. It lives a almost completely subterranean life. Thus they are mainly sighted when demolishing an old building or digging rocky areas for new buildings. Some of us who have worked here often thought that this was a yet undescribed species.It was June 2011 when I went to Spiti with Mayank Kohli and Ashwin Vishwanathan that we got to collecting a few specimens. Thanks to our friends Amod Zambre, Zeeshan Mirza and Rajesh Sanap who are experts of the taxonomy of scorpions and spiders our scorpion turned out to be a species new to science. The specimens have been deposited in the museum of the Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. The original paper describing the species can be found here.