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Female holotype.USA: Arizona: Pima Co.: above Molino Basin on Catalina Highway near Seven Cataracts Vista, Santa Catalina Mountains. 32.35796°N, 110.72538°W, 1626 m. 16 March 2012. R.W. Bryson Jr. (RFA specimen number 632, deposited in USNM). Paratypes. Same locality as holotype. 16 March 2012. R.W. Bryson Jr. 1 ♂ (RFA specimen number 633) 2 ♀ (RFA specimen numbers 634 and 635). 17 August 2012. R. F. Ayrey. 1 ♀ (RFA specimen number 643).
The specific epithet is a patronym honoring our colleague Dr. Robert W. Bryson, Jr., the collector of the holotype.
Relatively small-bodied scorpion from the Seven Cataracts Overlook area of the Santa Catalina Mountains, southern Arizona (total body length of the female holotype is 27.50 mm). Color is light to medium brown, light brown to yellow on the legs, with underlying dark mottling on carapace and mesosoma. Metasoma is light brown with darker carinae.
Significant characters that distinguish Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. from other known species in the vorhiesi group are described below.
Vaejovis jonesi, Vaejovis lapidicola, Vaejovis paysonensis, Vaejovis crumpi, and Vaejovis bigelowi all possess 7 inner denticles (ID) on the chela movable finger, not 6 as in Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. The new species can be distinguished from Vaejovis halli by having significantly larger metasomal segment L/W ratios on I, II, and V (Table 1). Vaejovis brysoni can be distinguished from Vaejovis bandido by having larger metasomal segment I L/W ratios in addition to larger fixed finger L/chela L ratios. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. can be distinguished from Vaejovis deboerae by having a smaller and less-developed subaculear tubercle. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. also have shorter total body lengths and shorter carapace lengths. In addition, Vaejovis deboerae have larger telson vesicle L/W ratios. However, Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. have larger metasomal segment I L/W ratios and larger fixed finger L/chela L ratios. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. also have fewer pectinal teeth than Vaejovis deboerae. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. can be distinguished from Vaejovis vorhiesi by having larger metasomal segments L/W ratios on I, II, and III. However, Vaejovis vorhiesi have larger chela L/W ratios. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. also have fewer pectinal teeth than Vaejovis vorhiesi. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. can be distinguished from Vaejovis cashi by having longer total body lengths, and larger metasomal segment L/W ratios on segments I, II, and III. In addition, Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. exhibit larger fixed finger L/chela L ratios.Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. can be distinguished from Vaejovis feti by having larger metasomal segment I and II L/W ratios. Additionally, Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. also have larger fixed finger L/chela L ratios than Vaejovis feti. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. can also be distinguished from Vaejovis feti by having a higher number of pectinal teeth. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. can be distinguished from Vaejovis electrum by having larger metasomal segment L/W ratios on segments I, II, III, and V. In addition, Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. also have larger fixed finger L/chela L ratios than Vaejovis electrum. Finally, Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. can be distinguished from Vaejovis tenuipalpus by having smaller metasomal segment L/W ratios on segments II, III, and IV. Vaejovis tenuipalpus also have larger femur, patella, and chela L/W ratios.
Description of the holotype
Color of the holotype is light to medium brown, light brown to yellow on the legs, with underlying dark mottling on carapace and mesosoma. Metasoma is light brown with darker carinae. Metasomal segments are slightly wider than the vesicle. Small spinoid subaculear tubercle is present (Fig. 1). The pedipalp fixed finger has 5 to 6 ID denticles and movable finger has 6 ID denticles. Carapace:Anterior margin of the carapace is slightly emarginated, the posterior margin is straight. The carapace is moderately granular, with three lateral eyes present on each side. The median furrow is moderate and traverses the entire length of the carapace. The ratio of the location of the median eyes on the carapace (anterior edge/carapace length 0.73/3.75) = 0.19; carapace length/width at median eyes 3.75/2.35 = 1.60. The carapace is longer than metasomal segmentV.Mesosoma: Tergites are moderately granular with vestigial median carina on tergites I–VI. Tergite VII with weak median carina on anterior third and strong dorsal lateral and lateral supramedian granular carinae. Sternites I–V are finely granular and without carinae. Sternite V with weak granular ventral lateral carinae on middle 1/3. Presternites are smooth. Spiracles are ovoid with median side rotated 35 degrees from posterior sternite margin. Sternites with variable number of microsetae. Pectines:Pectinal tooth count is11/12. All pectinal teeth have exterodistal angling with a large sensorial area. Middle lamellae are 6/6. Fulcra are present. Each fulcra with 1–3 central setae.Metasoma: The carapace of the holotype female is longer than the fifth metasomal segment. Ratio of segment I length/width 0.93; of segment II length/width 1.03; of segment III length/width 1.18; of segment IV length/width 1.50; of segment V length/width 2.32. Segments I–IV: dorsolateral carinae are strong and granular to slightly dentate, with the distal denticle of I–IV enlarged and spinoid. Lateral supramedian carinae I–IV are strong and crenulate, with enlarged spinoid distal denticle. Lateral inframedian carinae are moderately granular on posterior 4/5 of segment I, 4/5 of II, 1/2 of III, and nearly obsolete on segment IV. Ventrolateral carinae on segment I, II, and III are moderate and granular; on IV moderate, granular and slightly serrate. Ventral submedian carinae are weak on segment I, weak to moderate on II, moderate, granular to slightly serrate on III and IV. The dorsal and lateral intercarinal spaces are very finely granular. Segment I–IV: ventral submedian setae count is 3/3. Segment V: dorsolateral carinae are moderate and slightly serrate on anterior 1/3. Lateromedian carinae are weak to moderate and granular on basal 3/5, and obsolete on distal 2/5. Ventrolateral and ventromedian carinae are strong and crenate to serrate. Intercarinal spaces are finely granular. Ventrolateral setae count 4/4. Telson:Smooth with four pairs of large setae on the ventral surface, three large setae are along both lateral edges of the vesicle with numerous smaller setae. A small spinoid subaculear tubercle is present. Chelicerae: The dorsal edge of movable cheliceral finger with two subdistal (sd) denticles. Ventral edge is smooth, with well developed serrula on distal half. Pedipalps: Trichobothrial pattern type C (Vachon 1974) (Fig. 12). Trichobothria ib and it near base of fixed finger. Pedipalp ratios: chela length/width 4.00; femur length/width 2.69; patella length/width 2.59; fixed finger length/carapace length 0.68. Chela:Carinae are moderate. Fixed and movable finger median denticles (MD) are aligned and divided into 6 subrows by 5 outer denticles (OD) and usually 6 ID denticles. Femur: Dorsal internal and external are moderate and granular; ventral internal granular to crenulate; ventral external are slightly serrate; dorsal and ventral surfaces are covered with fine granules; external surface is smooth. Patella:Internal surface are covered with very strong dentate to serrate granules on the DPSc carina. Dorsal external and internal are moderate and granular. Ventral internal carinae are strong and granular. External surface is rounded with scattered granulation; dorsal and ventral surfaces are covered with minute granules. Legs: Ventral surface of tarsomere II with single median row of spinules terminating distally with one spinule pair.
Variability of fixed finger ID denticle count was found. For Vaejovis brysoni sp. n., fixed finger ID denticle counts ranged from 5 (n=3) to 6 (n=5). Variation also existed for female Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. in the number of pectinal teeth 11/11 (n=2), 11/12 (n=3), 12/11 (n=1), 12/12 (n=2) with a mean of 11.5 for females, and 13/14 for the paratype male (n=1). In addition, there was variation in the number of middle lamellae 5/5 (n=1), 6/6 (n=5), 7/6 (n=1), 7/7 (n=1) and for the paratype male 8/9 (n=1). The right hemispermatophore was extracted from the paratype male. The right hemispermatophore is 3.10 mm in total length, and its lamina is 1.20 mm in length and 0.39 mm in width. The hemispermatophore is lightly sclerotized near the dorsal trough, and possesses a subtle distal crest on the inner distal aspect of the lamina. The lamellar hook is strong and widely bifurcated, and emanates from the dorsal trough. A medium, defined truncal flexure is visible on the external aspect of the trunk/lamina juncture. The male paratype also posseses an area of reduced pigmentation (white patch) on the posterior ¼ of the third sternal plate. (Graham and Bryson 2010).
(mm).Female holotype: total length 27.5; carapace length 3.75; mesosoma length 8.13; metasoma length 15.63. Metasoma: segment I length/width/depth 1.81/1.94/1.38; segment II length/width/depth 2.00/1.94/1.25; segment III length/width/depth 2.06/1.75/1.31; segment IV length/width/depth 2.63/1.75/1.25; segment V length/width/depth 3.63/1.56/1.25. Telson: length 3.50; vesicle length/width/depth 2.25/1.25/1.06; aculeus length 1.25. Pedipalps: total length 10.44; femur length/width 2.69/1.00; patella length/width 2.75/1.06; chela length 5.00; palm length/width/depth 2.44/1.25/1.13; movable finger length 2.69; fixed finger length 2.56. Male paratype: total length 21.1; carapace length 2.75; mesosoma length 5.25; metasoma length 13.1; Metasoma: segment I length/width/depth 1.44/1.81/1.25; segment II length/width/depth 1.56/1.88/1.13; segment III length/width/depth 1.75/1.63/1.19; segment IV length/width/depth 2.38/1.63/1.19; segment V length/width/depth 3.25/2.26/1.13. Telson: length 2.69; vesicle length/width/depth 1.81/1.00/1.00; aculeus length 0.88. Pedipalps: total length 9.5; femur length/width 2.44/0.81; patella length/width 2.63/0.88; chela length 4.44; palm length/width/depth 1.88/1.06/1.06; movable finger length 2.69; fixed finger length 2.56.
Distribution and natural history
Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. is known only from the type locality above Molino Basin on the Catalina Highway near the Seven Cataracts Vista, Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, USA. The type localities of the 12 described species in the vorhiesi group from Arizona and western New Mexico are shown in Figure 13. Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. is widely allopatric with Vaejovis halli, Vaejovis vorhiesi, Vaejovis cashi, Vaejovis feti, and Vaejovis electrum (Fig. 13). Vaejovis brysoni sp. n. and Vaejovis deboerae both occur within the Santa Catalina Mountains, and their ranges may overlap, perhaps along the mid-elevation pine-oak woodlands between 1800–1900 m.
The type specimens were found at night using a UV flashlight alongside the Catalina Highway. This area lies within open oak woodland and the transition zone from drier desert grassland to pine-oak woodland (Whittaker and Niering 1965). Several Pseudouroctonus apacheanus (Gertsch & Soleglad, 1972) and Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, 1928 were also observed. In August of 2012, three captive female Vaejovis brysoni were observed with first instar juveniles (Fig. 3). The mean juvenile count was 23.67. The 1st instar orientation on the mother’s back was non-random, as is seen with many other species of Vaejovis (Hjelle 1974). They were facing anteriorly with the prosoma down and the metasoma raised over the prosoma of the juvenile immediately posterior to them.
|Vaejovis brysoni Ratio Comparisons|
|Vaejovis spp.||Vaejovis brysoni (8)||Vaejovis bandido (5)||Vaejovis halli (3)||Vaejovis deboerae (3)||Vaejovis vorhiesi (3)||Vaejovis cashi (3)||Vaejovis feti (3)||Vaejovis electrum (3)||Vaejovis tenuipalpus (3)|
|Total length Carapace length Ca L/MetV L||22.88–27.50 2.88–3.75 0.88–1.03||24.65–27.75 3.12–3.38 0.97–0.98||21.87–23.43 2.90–3.18 0.98–0.99||29.64–33.14 3.79–4.38 0.89–0.97||24.62–26.55 3.21–3.39 0.98–1.06||20.90–22.10 2.86–3.11 0.96–1.14||22.00–23.46 3.01–3.19 0.96–1.05||24.48–25.38 3.48–3.60 1.02–1.13||28.38–31.24 3.52–3.71 0.93–0.98|
|Segment I length/width||0.93–1.00||0.73–0.78||0.70–0.77||0.72–0.79||0.68–0.73||0.61–0.66||0.69–0.73||0.65–0.68||0.90–0.94|
|Segment II length/width||0.90–1.03||0.88–0.94||0.79–0.87||0.98–1.03||0.85–0.92||0.74–0.80||0.69–0.73||0.68–0.89||1.09–1.18|
|Segment III length/width||1.00–1.09||0.96–1.04||0.94–1.00||1.02–1.14||0.96–0.98||0.89–0.92||0.93–1.13||0.93–0.98||1.29–1.36|
|Segment IV length/width||1.34–1.61||1.35–1.44||1.27–1.50||1.48–1.60||1.39–1.62||1.28–1.39||1.35–1.60||1.33–1.46||1.74–1.83|
|Segment V length/width||2.15–2.82||2.02–2.16||1.79–2.11||2.10–2.32||2.08–2.22||2.05–2.15||2.07–2.24||1.81–1.91||2.49–2.52|
|Chela length/width Ff L/Ca L Ff L/Ch L||3.71–4.55 0.68–0.83 0.51–0.56||4.09–4.48 0.65–0.69 0.48–0.49||4.33–4.79 0.67–0.77 0.46–0.53||4.17–4.53 0.71–0.77 0.48–0.52||4.57–5.30 0.72–0.81 0.47–0.54||3.84–4.52 0.68–0.73 0.47–0.49||3.59–3.91 0.69–0.80 0.48–0.50||3.74–4.19 0.68–0.69 0.47–0.51||5.05–5.43 0.83–0.87 0.50–0.51|
|Pectinal Teeth||11–12 11.5(16)||11–12 11.1(10)||11–13 11.94(16)||12–13 12.17(6)||12–13 12.87(339)*||10–12 10.98(337)*||10 10.00(6)||11–12 11.75(96)*||11–12 11.15(26)**|
- Ayrey, R; Webber, M; 2013: A new Vaejovis C.L. Koch, 1836, the second known vorhiesi group species from the Santa Catalina Mountains of Arizona (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae) ZooKeys, 270: 21-35. doi
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- Graham M, Bryson R (2010) Vaejovis montanus (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae), a new species from the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. Journal of Arachnology 38: 285-293. doi: 10.1636/Ha09-90.1
- Whittaker R, Niering W (1965) Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona: A gradient analysis of the south slope. Ecology 46: 429-452. doi: 10.2307/1934875
- Hjelle J (1974) Observations on the birth and post-birth behavior of Syntropis macrura Kraepelin (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Journal of Arachnology 1: 221-227.
- Hughes G (2011) Morphological analysis of montane scorpions of the genus Vaejovis (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae) in Arizona, with revised diagnoses and description of a new species. The Journal of Arachnology 39: 420-438. doi: 10.1636/Ha11-07.1
- Sissom W, Hughes G, Bryson J, Prendini L (2012) The vorhiesi group of Vaejovis C. L. Koch, 1836 (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae), in Arizona, with description of a new species from the Hualapai Mountains. American Museum Novitates 3742: 1-19. doi: 10.1206/3742.2