||KEY TO THE SPECIES OF
Euscorpius [THIS KEY IS NOW OUTDATED!].
This key is based on the keys in Kovarík (1999) and
Scherabon et al. (2000). See below for full references. Please
note that the number of trichobothria and their distribution may vary
within the species.
A lot of research are being done on Euscorpius
taxonomy at the moment. The use of DNA-technology has made it easier to
uncover some of the difficulties with this complex genus. New species have
been described, and new one is comming. I will try to update this page and
the key as soon as I get more information about the changes.
NEW INFORMATION: In a paper in October 2002, Fet & Soleglad have
published several important changes for the "Euscorpius carpathicus species complex". E. carpathicus is
now limited to Romania only, E. tergestinus is confirmed as a valid species, and two new species (E. hadzii and E. koschewnikowi) are
described. In 2003 another species was split from the "E. carpathicus complex": E. sicanus. A new species (E. naupliensis) from Greece was split from E. italicus in December.
I will try to include these changes into the identification key as soon as possible.
Thanks to Professor Victor Fet for reviewing the key, and for giving
important information and suggestions!
Too see the characteristics used in this key, it is
neccessary to use a stereoscope/powerful magnifier. Too see the
characteristics in this key which are located ventrally, turn the scorpion
on its back. To investigate a live scorpion: put the specimen in a clear
plastic box. Put soft paper above it so it is fixed against the bottom of
the box. Put the lid on, and turn the box around under the stereoscope.
The underside of the scorpion can now be investigated without
NB! Live scorpions
should not be exposed for more that a few minutes to stereoscope light
(specially in the underside of the scorpion), as this light is a very
dangerous heat source for the scorpion. A longer exposure will always
damage the scorpion and may easily kill it by overheating and
The chela manus is called tibia by some authors. Black
dots indicate trichobothria.
Trichobothria are small sensory hairs that are located on
the pedipalps of the scorpions. They look like this (small hairs arising
from a cup-shaped depression in the cuticula):
Key to the species of Euscorpius:
|- Four trichobothria
ventrally on the chela manus (figure):
Go to .. 2
|- Five or more trichobothria
ventrally on the chela manus:
Go to .. 5
|- Usually 7 or more
trichobothria on the ventral aspect of the pedipalp patella
(figure), and 23-29 on its external aspect. Ventral side of 5 th.
metasomal segment bears central granules that usually form a
carpathicus species group:
E. balearicus (Balearic Islands - see below)
E. carpathicus (Romania)
E. carpathicus candiota (Crete (Greece) - final status not resolved)
E. concinnus (Italy, Southeastern France)
E. hadzii (Bulgaria, Greece and the Balkans)
E. koschewnikowi (Greece)
E. sicanus (Italy, Malta, Greece and Northern Africa)
E. tauricus (Ukraina)
E. tergestinus (France, Italy and parts of the Balkans)
There are probably a few more species in this species group not yet resolved.
Some of these species can be identified based on the collection site. Generally, the identification of the species in
this species group is for experts, but I will try to make an key for this group later. More information about
all these species here
|- The same as above, but the scorpion
orginates from one of the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Cabrera, Ibiza or Formentera).
Coloration light brownish tan with little contrasting patterns. Metasoma
reduced propotionally, pedipals unusual large:
balearicus Caporiacco, 1950
|- Usually 5-6 trichobothria
on the ventral aspect of the pedipalp patella (figure), and 20-22
trichobothria on its external aspect. Ventral side of 5 th.
metasomal segment smooth and rounded or has traces of central
granules but do not form a conspicuous keel:
Go to ..
|- Ventral side of 5 th.
metasomal segment smooth and rounded. Adults usually not longer than
Go to .. 4
|- Ventral side of 5 th.
metasomal with traces of central granules. Almost always 6
trichobothria on the ventral aspect of the pedipalp patella. Adult
size avaerage 38 mm. Darker color:
mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874)
|- Ventral side of 5 th.
metasomal with traces of central granules. Almost always 5 (rarely
6) trichobothria on the ventral aspect of the pedipalp patella.
Adult size avaerage 32 mm. Lighter color:
gamma Caporiacco, 1950*
|* Several types of
Euscorpius are known from Balkan. These are all included into
what is known as "mingrelicus complex". Both E.
mingrelicus and E. gamma belongs to this group. A third
species, E. beroni Fet, 2000, was recently described from
this species complex. This species is not included in this key. This
species is very closly related to E. gamma, and at the moment
only professional taxonomists can tell them apart. There is being
done research on the "mingrelicus complex", and time will
show wether this species complex harbors other new species.
|- Always 5 trichobothria on
the ventral aspect of the pedipalp patella. Scorpion collected from
other places than northern Italy, west of the river Adige
.. E. germanus (C. L. Koch,
|- Five or 6 trichobothria on
the ventral aspect of the pedipalp patella. Scorpion collected in
northern Italy, west of the river Adige (Etsch): |
alpha Caporiacco, 1950
|- Five to six trichobothria
ventrally on the chela manus (figure). Usually 10-13 trichobothria
on the ventral aspect of the pedipalp patella, and 26-29 on its
external aspect. Legs usually light (yellow) colored:
flavicaudis (DeGeer, 1778)
|- Eight to 11 trichobothria
ventrally on the chela manus (figure). Usually 11-13 trichobothria
on the ventral aspect of the pedipalp patella, and 26-45 on its
external aspect. Legs usually dark colored. Largest Euscorpius
with size up to 50 mm:
Go to ..
- Trichobothrium et on the chelal fixed finger ("the pincers" - see figure xx) is situated
either midpoint between outer denticles 4 and 5 or closer to 4. Numbers of trichobothria on the external aspect of pedipalp patella serie
esba 5 - 13. Large Euscorpius, generally dark brown to almost black in overall coloration:
italicus (Herbst, 1800)
- Trichobothrium et on the chelal fixed finger ("the pincers" - see figure xx) is more proximal, situated
close to outer denticle 5. Numbers of trichobothria on the external aspect of pedipalp patella serie
esba 0 -2 . Medium to large Euscorpius, generally brown to dark brown in overall coloration. Distribution restricted to
Greece (Peloponnese and Zakynthos Island (including nearby Pelouzo Island):
naupliensis (C. L. Koch, 1837)
Kovarík, F. (1999).
Review of European scorpions,
with a key to species.
Serket, 6 (2), pp. 38-44.
Scherabon, B., B. Gantenbein, V. Fet, M. Barker, M.
Kunter, C. Kropf & D. Huber (2000).
A new species of scorpion
from Austria, Slovenia and Croatia: Euscorpius gamma
Caporiacco, 1950, stat. nov. (Scorpiones:
Ekologia (Bratislava), 19 (suppl. 3), pp.
Gantenbein, B, V. Fet, M. Barker & A. Scholl
Nuclear and mitochondrial markers reveal the existence of
two parapatric scorpion species in the Alps: Euscorpius
germanus (C. L. Koch, 1837) and E. alpha Caporiacco,
1950, stat. nov. (Euscorpiidae).
Revue Suisse de Zoologie, 107
(4), pp. 843-869.
Fet, V. (2000).
Scorpions (Aarchnida, Scorpiones) from the
Balkan Penisula in the collection of the National Museum of Natural
History, Sofia. Historia Naturalis Bulgarica, vol. 11, pp.