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Pseudoscorpions of Israel: Two new family records discovered

Pseudoscorpions of Israel: Two new family records discovered
Pseudoscorpion from Israel: Lasiochernes turcicus (Chernetidae). Credit: J. A. Ballesteros

A new study on the pseudoscorpion fauna of Israel has been unveiled in a comprehensive publication titled "Pseudoscorpions of Israel: Annotated Checklist and Key, with New Records of Two Families." The research, conducted by Dr. Sharon Warburg, Dr. Efrat Gavish-Regev from the National Natural History Collections of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and team, provides a crucial update to the understanding of the pseudoscorpion species in Israel.

Situated at the crossroads of three continents, Israel boasts a distinctive fauna influenced by both Palearctic and Afrotropical zoogeographic origins. Over the past sixty years, systematic revisions and the discovery of new have rendered the existing key to pseudoscorpions in Israel outdated. This newly released checklist offers a contemporary perspective on the pseudoscorpion species in the region, complete with distribution maps and a groundbreaking illustrated identification key based on morphological characters.

Before this study, the pseudoscorpion fauna of Israel was believed to consist of twelve families, 26 genera, and 52 species, including several "subspecies." However, the current research expands this catalog to include 61 pseudoscorpion species belonging to 28 genera and fourteen families. Most of these species exhibit Palearctic and Mediterranean distributions, with only a few displaying Afrotropical origin.

An exciting revelation from this study is the discovery of two families previously unreported in Israel: Syarinidae and Cheiridiidae. Both families are cosmopolitan and have representatives in the Mediterranean region. The researchers note that the putative new species discovered during this study are presented at the genus level and will be further described in subsequent publications.

  • Pseudoscorpions of Israel: Two new family records discovered
    Pseudoscorpion from Israel: Hysterochelifer sp (Cheliferidae). Credit: Shlomi Aharon
  • Pseudoscorpions of Israel: Two new family records discovered
    Pseudoscorpion from Israel: Olpium pallipes balcanicum (Olpidae). Credit: Shlomi Aharon
  • Pseudoscorpions of Israel: Two new family records discovered
    Pseudoscorpion from Israel: Neobisium validum (Neobisiidae). Credit: Shlomi Aharon

The significance of this research extends beyond the academic realm, offering valuable insights into the biodiversity of the region and providing a foundation for future studies in ecology, taxonomy, and conservation. The annotated checklist and key, with their meticulous documentation and visual aids, are expected to become essential resources for researchers, students, conservation organizations, and enthusiasts interested in pseudoscorpion taxonomy.

The work is published in the journal Taxonomy.

More information: Sharon Warburg et al, Pseudoscorpions of Israel: Annotated Checklist and Key, with New Records of Two Families (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones), Taxonomy (2023). DOI: 10.3390/taxonomy3040027

Citation: Pseudoscorpions of Israel: Two new family records discovered (2023, November 15) retrieved 29 February 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-11-pseudoscorpions-israel-family.html
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