Euscorpius Lycius — New Species Of Scorpion Found In Vicinity Of Ancient Lycia

A new species of scorpion, Euscorpius lycius, has just been discovered in the general area of the Muğla and Antalya Provinces in Southwestern Turkey — which was once the site of the ancient geopolitical region known as Lycia. The new discovery raises the number of species in the region that are from the Euscorpius genus to five.

Scorpions of the Euscorpius genus — commonly referred to as small wood-scorpions — are relatively small scorpions with very mild venom — being stung by one feels similar to receiving a mosquito bite. Species from the genus are found throughout North Africa and Europe.

Euscorpius Lycius

The press release provides more:

The new species is named after the historical region of Ancient Lycia, which is referenced in Egyptian and Ancient Greek myths. Like the history of the region the new species is rather secretive and can be found mainly in pine at night hidden away in pine forests, crawling on rocks or sitting on stone garden walls. All localities where the species was found were humid and cool, with calcareous stones covered with moss.

The new scorpion is a relatively small representative, reaching a size ranging between two and two and a half centimeters. The color of the adult representatives is pale, between brown and reddish, with pedipalps, or claws, usually darker than the rest of the body.

“A total of 26 specimens belonging to the new species were collected from Antalya and Muğla Province, in the south-west of Turkey,” states Dr. Yağmur, the lead author of the study. “Further studies are in progress to understand the quantity and distribution of the different species and populations of the genus Euscorpius in Turkey and their relationship with the Greek populations.”

The new findings were just published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Ancient Lycia tombs

This image shows a female Euscorpius lycius.
Image Credit: Ersen Aydın Yağmur; CC-BY 3.0; Lycian rock-cut tombs

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