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Systematics and bionomics of the scorpions of South West Africa (Arachnida, Scorpionida)

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All the taxa of scorpions previously described from South West Africa are revised and a monographic account presented with phylogenetic and biogeographic discussions and conclusions derived in terms of current concepts in systematic zoology which include cladistics and historical biogeography. South West Africa is treated as a subregion of the Afrotropical region and the limits of this subregion coincide broadly with the political borders. All the characters used are defined and illustrated. Many characters previously unstudied for the fauna are investigated. These include comparative studies of trichobothria distributions and detailed structures of the hemispermatophore. Disc electrophoresis of the haemolymph of a few species was carried out and the results discussed. Ecological factors are extensively described and discussed. The nature of the substratum, taken in its broadest possible definition, was found to be the most important single factor determining species distribution. 70 subgeneric taxa were revised, 45 of which are retained as valid, while 11 new species are described bringing the number of known species to 56. These are distributed among seven genera as follows: Buthotus, two species; Karasbergia, one species; Parabuthus, 14 species; Urop1ectes, 10 species; Hadogenes, three species; Lisposoma, two species; Opisthophthalmus, 24 species. Determination keys are provided for all levels of taxa occurring in South West Africa.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 1978.


Scorpions--Namibia., Theses--Zoology.