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Anadolu Doğa Bilimleri Dergisi 2(1):
Anadolu Doğa Bilimleri Dergisi 3(1): 15-22, 2012
(Journal of Anatolian Natural Sciences)
Research Article
Scorpion Fauna of Hatila Valley National Park (Artvin,
Turkey)
Ersen Aydın Yağmur1*, Halil Koç2, Gioele Tropea3, Fatih Yeşilyurt4
1. Ege University, Science Faculty, Biology Department,Zoology Section, Bornova, İzmir, Turkey
2. Sinop University, Science and Art Faculty, Biology Department, Sinop, Turkey
3. Società Romana di Scienze Naturali, Rome, Italy
4. Kırıkkale University, Science and Art Faculty, Biology Department, Zoology Section, Kırıkkale, Turkey
*[email protected]
Abstract: During 2008-2011, we studied scorpion fauna of Hatila Valley National Park in Artvin Province. A total of 40 specimens
were collected from five different localities, and three species belong to three families were identified: Mesobuthus eupeus eupeus
(C. L. Koch, 1838) (Buthidae) Euscorpius mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874) (Euscorpiidae) and Calchas nordmanni Birula, 1899 (Iuridae).
This is the first study of the scorpion species of Hatila Valley.
Keywords: Scorpion, Fauna, Hatila Valley, Artvin, Turkey.
Hatila Vadisi Milli Parkı (Artvin, Türkiye) Akrep Faunası
Özet: 2008-2011 yılları arasında Hatila Vadisi Milli Parkı'nın akrep faunasını araştırdık. Toplam 5 lokaliteden toplam 40 örnek
toplanmış 40 örnek toplanmış ve üç familyaya ait üç tür tespit edilmiştir: Mesobuthus eupeus eupeus (C. L. Koch, 1838) (Buthidae)
Euscorpius mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874) (Euscorpiidae) ve Calchas nordmanni Birula, 1899 (Iuridae). Bu araştırma Hatila Vadisi’nin
akrep türlerini belirlemek amacıyla yapılmış ilk çalışmadır.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Akrep, Fauna, Hatila Vadisi, Artvin, Türkiye.
Introduction
th
Hatila Valley National Park is the 18 largest national park of Turkey and it is located on one of the main
branches of the Çoruh River. It is very rich in fauna and flora. Eminağaoğlu and Anşin (2003) stated that Hatila
Valley has 769 plant species. Kutrup (2001) listed two species of urodelans tailed amphibians, six species of
anurans, six lizard species and eight snake species from neighbouring area of Murgul (Artvin Province). Bear
(Ursus arctos), wild boar (Sus scrofa), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), wild goat (Capra
sp.), marten (Martes sp.), jackal (Canis aureus), sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla),
mountain roosters (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi) are most abundant mammal and bird species in this national park
(Anonymous, 2011).
Turkey has a rich scorpion fauna with 24 recorded species (Fet et al., 2000; Crucitti and Vignoli, 2002; Varol
et al., 2006; Fet et al., 2009; Yağmur et al., 2009; Kovařík et al., 2010, 2011; Yağmur, 2010). Following scorpion
species have been recorded from Eastern Black Sea Region: Calchas nordmanni Birula, 1899, Euscorpius
mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874), E. italicus (Herbst, 1800), Mesobuthus eupeus eupeus (C. L. Koch, 1838) (Birula,
1899, 1917a, 1917b; Fet et al., 2009; Karataş & Karataş, 2003; Kovařík et al., 2011). All records are based on
randomly collected specimens. There is no record of scorpions from Hatila Valley National Park, but C.
nordmanni, E. mingrelicus, E. italicus, M. eupeus eupeus were recorded from Artvin Province. Of these taxa, C.
nordmanni, E. mingrelicus and M. eupeus eupeus were determined in this study from Hatila Valley National
Park.
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Anadolu Doğa Bilimleri Dergisi 3(1): 15-22, 2012
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Material Method
Hatila Valley National Park is approximately 25 km long and 10 km far from Artvin. In 1994 Hatila Valley was
declared a national park, which covers 16.988 ha area (Figure 1). The rocks of Hatila Valley originated from
deep volcanic activity. It is V-typed, narrow-based, young valley. The national park is situated between 41°03'41°13' North and 41°31'- 41°48' East. The branch of Çoruh River in Valley is surrounded by Kurt Mountains
(3224 m), Alacadağ Mountains (2844 m), Keçi Mountains (2047 m) and Otluca Mountains (2887 m).
The materials of present study were collected during five field expeditions to Hatila Valley in June and July
of 2008-2011. 40 scorpion specimens were collected from five different localities.
Scorpions were collected from under the stones and rock cracks by hand in day time and by using UV lamp
at night. Samples were preserved in 70% ethanol. The specimens were identified according to Birula (1917a),
Fet et al. (2009) and Kovařík et al. (2011) and deposited in the Museum of Turkish Arachnology Society (MTAS)
and Zoology Museum of Sinop University.
Figure 1. Map of the study area (Hatila Valley National Park).
Results and Discussion
Family Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837
Mesobuthus eupeus eupeus (C. L. Koch, 1838)
Examined material
1. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park, Taşlıca Köyü, 41°13′40.7″N, 41°45′29.1″E, 912 m,
07.06.2008, 1 ♂, leg. A. Avcı & K. Olgun. 2. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park, 11.06.2009, 1
subadult ♀, leg. K.B. Kunt & A. Kızıltuğ. 3. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park, 41°09′41.4″N,
41°42′25.2″E, 563 m, 25.07.2011, 1♀, 2 ♂♂, leg. E.A. Yağmur & H. Koç.
Comments
Mesobuthus eupeus is widespread in the Palaearctic Region from Turkey to China. The subspecies M. e.
eupeus (Figure 2) is found in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Turkey, and Turkmenistan (Birula, 1896, 1905,
1911, 1917a; Fet et al., 2000; Kovařík et al., 2011). M. eupeus was first recorded from Artvin, Erzurum (Oltu)
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(Journal of Anatolian Natural Sciences)
and Kars Provinces by Birula (1917a) as Buthus eupeus eupeus. While many subspecies of Mesobuthus eupeus
were described in neighbouring countries of Turkey, some authors still refer to Birula (1917a) for Turkish M.
eupeus (Fet et al., 2000; Karataş & Karataş, 2001, 2003; Teruel, 2002). Recently, Kovařík et al. (2011) revised all
M. eupeus population in Turkey (including Artvin population) and presented data to consider two different
subspecies existing in Turkey. They examined the populations of Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia and Eastern
Black Sea Region (only Artvin Province) and determined that these populations belong to M. e. eupeus.
Ecological Notes
M. e. eupeus specimens were found in the roadside under stones; this area is dry and has very sparse
vegetation. M. e. eupeus generally prefers arid, sandy or steppe areas (Figure 3). Hatila Valley is a humid area
thus is not a suitable habitat for M. e. eupeus. Because of this unsuitable conditions, we came across a sparse
population in Hatila Valley. The climate of Eastern Black Sea Region is very humid so it could not be expected to
occur this region. However, judging from the locality records, Hatila Valley is northernmost limit of distribution
of M .e. eupeus in Turkey.
Figure 2. The general appearance of an adult male of Mesobuthus eupeus eupeus.
Figure 3. A general view of Mesobuthus eupeus eupeus habitat from the southern slopes of Hatila Valley.
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Anadolu Doğa Bilimleri Dergisi 3(1): 15-22, 2012
(Journal of Anatolian Natural Sciences)
Family Euscorpiidae Laurie, 1896
Euscorpius mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874)
Examined material
1. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park, Taşlıca Köyü, 41°13′40.7″N, 41°45′29.1″E, 912 m,
07.06.2008, 1 ♀, leg. A. Avcı & K. Olgun. 2. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park, Taşlıca Köyü,
41°07′42.1″N, 41°38′11.3″E, 1145 m, 07.06.2008, 3 ♀♀, 1 ♂, leg. A. Avcı & K. Olgun. 3. Artvin, Central District,
Hatila Valley National Park, Taşlıca Köyü, 41°09′01.0″N, 41°43′23.3″E, 1397 m, 08.06.2008, 3 ♀♀, leg. A. Avcı &
nd
K. Olgun. 4. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park, 32 km, 41°07′09.0″N, 41°37′51.5″E, 1320 m,
14.07.2010, 2 ♀♀, 1 ♂, leg. A. Avcı & K. Olgun. 5. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park,
41°09′41.4″N, 41°42′25.2″E, 563 m, 25.07.2011, 5 ♀♀, 2 ♂♂, 1 subadult ♀, leg. E.A. Yağmur & H. Koç.
Comments
E. mingrelicus was first reported from Turkey by Birula (1898, 1917a, 1917b). E. m. ciliensis was described
from Bolkar Mountain by Birula (1898) as E. ciliciensis and E. mingrelicus was recorded by Birula (1917a) as E.
mingrelicus mingrelicus. Although Vachon (1966), Capra (1939), Caporriacco (1950) and Kinzelbach (1975)
classified these taxa as subspecies of E. germanus, Bonacina (1980) considered these as subspecies of E.
mingrelicus and also described E. m. phrygius. Subsequently, Lacroix (1995) established three new subspecies
from Turkey: E. m. legrandi, E. m. ollivieri and E. m. uludagensis. Lacroix (1995) suggested that E. m. ollivieri was
distributed in the Central and in the Eastern Black Sea Region. In contrast with Birula (1917a, 1917b) and Fet
(1993), Lacroix (1995) regarded E. m. mingrelicus as existing only in the Caucasus.
E. mingrelicus (Figure 4) was reported from Artvin by Birula (1917a) as E. mingrelicus mingrelicus and then
Fet (1993) and Bonacina (1980) followed his record at species level. Fet (1993) examined a large number of E.
mingrelicus specimen from Caucasus (Georgia and Russia) also including some collected from Artvin and stated
that: “The entire Caucasian (including north-east Turkey) population is more or less uniform in trichobothrial
patterns of ventral (Tv) and external (Te) surfaces of pedipalp tibia [=patella]”. Lacroix (1995) suggested that
Artvin population of E. mingrelicus does not belong to the nominal subspecies; he also examined as the
subspecies E. m. ollivieri with the same trichobothrial number of subspecies E. m. mingrelicus. According to
Lacroix (1995) trichobothrial configuration of V1, V2 and V3 on chela forms the straight line ("ligne droite
oblique"), whereas in the nominal subspecies the line is discontinuous ("ligne brisée oblique") form. However,
Lacroix (1995) did not illustrate explanatory drawings or give additional diagnostic characters to justify the two
subspecies.
Because of the subspecific ambiguity in E. mingrelicus, we did not take into account the subspecies E. m.
ollivieri until further study that will clarify the true taxonomic situation of this subspecies, and we accepted the
Hatila Valley population at the species level.
Ecological Notes
E. mingrelicus were always found on the most humid places of valley (Figure 5). Specimens were collected
under the stones and rock cracks. E. mingrelicus requires higher humidity; therefore this scorpion species is
more abundant on sea shore of Black Sea Region. Southern part of Hatila Valley in Artvin is drier then northern
part, and Hatila Valley probably represents the southern distribution limit of E. mingrelicus.
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Anadolu Doğa Bilimleri Dergisi 3(1): 15-22, 2012
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Figure 4. The general appearance of an adult female of Euscorpius mingrelicus.
Figure 5. A view of the Hatila Valley habitat where Euscorpius mingrelicus was collected.
Family Iuridae Thorell, 1876
Calchas nordmanni Birula, 1899
Examined material
1. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park, Taşlıca Köyü, 41°13′40.7″N, 41°45′29.1″E, 912 m,
07.06.2008, 2 ♀♀, 1 juv., leg. A. Avcı & K. Olgun. 2. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park,
11.06.2009, 1 ♀, 4 ♂♂, 1 juv., leg. K.B. Kunt & A. Kızıltuğ. 3. Artvin, Central District, Hatila Valley National Park,
41°09′41.4″N, 41°42′25.2″E, 563 m, 25.07.2011, 1 ♀, 3 juv., leg. E.A. Yağmur & H. Koç.
Comments
The genus Calchas was described by Birula (1899) with the type species (by original designation) Calchas
nordmanni (Figure 6). The type species was described from Ardanuç (Artvin Province) in the northeast of
Turkey. After a long period of time, Kinzelbach (1980) recorded new localities from Oltu and Tortum (Erzurum
Province) and Yusufeli (Artvin Province). Most recently Fet et al. (2009) in their revisional work, revised
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Anadolu Doğa Bilimleri Dergisi 3(1): 15-22, 2012
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systematic position of Calchas genus and zoogeographic distribution of its three known species. Although
Rikhter (1945) and Vachon & Kinzelbach (1987) reported this species from Adjaria in Georgia, Fet et al. (2009)
stated that this species is known from only Erzurum and Artvin Provinces. Until now, there is no valid record
from Georgia. Kinzelbach (1980) and Fet et al. (2009) reported this species from valleys of Çoruh River and its
side branches. Hatila Valley is located close to Ardanuç (type locality of C. nordmanni). They can be found in the
side branches of Çoruh River, and appear to exist only in those places that can provide enough humidity. This
factor may explain the connection found between C. nordmanni and Çoruh River if we assume that river valleys
provide a suitable way for dispersal.
Ecological Notes
Although some C. nordmanni specimens were collected under the stones, most of them were found in rock
cracks (Figure 7). They were also collected from cracks at night. Our observations allow to assume that C.
nordmanni is most likely a rupicolous species. In addition, we observed that C. nordmanni prefers low
elevations with high humidity. Thus C. nordmanni seems to be isolated in the valleys of Çoruh River.
Figure 6. The general appearance of an adult female of Calchas nordmanni.
Figure 7. A habitat of Calchas nordmanni.
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Acknowledgments
We wish to thank Dr. Kurtuluş Olgun, Dr. Aziz Avcı, Mr. Kadir Buğaç Kunt and Mr. Altuğ Kızıltuğ for providing several specimens, Mr.
Mehmet Özkörük for his help in the field trip, Dr. Pierangelo Crucitti, Michiel Cozijn and Gerard Dupre for the availability. We also greatful
to Dr. Victor Fet for corrections on manuscript.
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