Paruroctonus boreus (Girard 1854)
Scorpio (Telegonus) boreus
Girard, 1854: 267-269, zool. plt. xvii, figs. 5-7 (part; not Eagle Pass, Texas record).
101 (synonymized by Sissom &
Francke, 1981: 94).
Buthus boreus: Wood, 1863a: 110; Wood, 1863b: 368.
Vejovis boreus: Marx, 1888 (1890) 91; Banks, 1900a: 424; Banks, 1910:
187, 189; Comstock, 1912: 31; Webster, 1923: 248; Chamberlin, 1924: 64;
Werner, 1934: 282; Comstock, 1940: 31; Stahnke, 1940: 101; Gertsch,
1958: 6 (part); Bücherl, 1971: 329; Knowlton, 1972: 2.
Unidentified scorpion: Robinson, 1924: 64.
Vaejovis boreus: Ewing, 1928: 10, 12; Kurata, 1930: 28; Hjelle,
1972: 6, 22-23, fig. 46, 51.
Vejovis aquilonalis Stahnke, 1940:
Vejovis (Paruroctonus) boreus: Gertsch & Allred, 1965:
9 (part); Gertsch & Soleglad, 1966: 6, 7-14, fig. 1-3, 6, 8, 10, 11,
16-17, 24-25, 31, 46-48, 57.
Vejovis (Paruroctonus) aquilonalis: Gertsch & Allred,
1965: 9, fig. 8, 20; Gertsch & Soleglad, 1966: 7, 42-44, fig. 20, 23
(part; see Sissom & Francke, 1981: 94); Williams, 1968b: 313.
Vejovis (Paruroctonus) auratus ►Gertsch & Soleglad,
1966: 7, 34, 44-47, fig. 55, 58 (part; holotype only) (synonymized by
Haradon, 1985: 25); Williams, 1968b: 313.
Paruroctonus aquilonalis: Williams, 1972: 3; Soleglad, 1972: 74;
Soleglad, 1973b: 355; Stahnke, 1974: 138; Sissom & Francke, 1981: 94.
Paruroctonus auratus: Williams, 1972: 3; Soleglad, 1972: 75 (part);
Soleglad, 1973b: 355 (part); Stahnke, 1974: 138; Williams, 1976: 2;
Williams, 1980: 47; Sissom & Francke, 1981: 96 (part).
Paruroctonus boreus: Williams, 1972: 3; Soleglad, 1972a: 74;
Soleglad, 1973b: 355; Allred, 1973: 251–254; Stahnke, 1974a: 138;
Tourtlotte, 1974: 167-179; Anderson, 1975: 7–13, fig. 2, 7, 9–10, 12,
tab. 1; Williams, 1976: 2; Allred & Gertsch, 1976: 93–96; Sissom &
Francke, 1981: 93-94, 96; ►Haradon, 1985: 24-27, 41, fig. 1-2; Williams,
1987b: 329; Sissom, 1997: 13; Kovarík, 1998: 143; Sissom & Jackman,
1997: 151; Sissom, 2000:507-508; Soleglad & Fet, 2003a: 8, 150, 161,
figs. 75, B-1, B-2.
of Scorpio (Telegonus)
boreus Girard 1854: Female (adult) from the "Valley of the Great
Salt Lake of Utah", collected by "Capt. Howard Stansbury". Depository:
United States National Museum.
of Vejovis aquilonalis Stahnke 1940: Holotype male (adult) from U
.S.A., Arizona, (Coconino County), 30 mi. S Grand Canyon on Hwy. 64;
locality corrected by Sissom and Francke (1981: 94). Depository: California
Academy of Sciences.
(Paruroctonus) auratus Gertsch & Soleglad 1966:
Holotype female (adult) from U.S.A., California, San Bernardino County
(Death Valley Natl. Mon.), Saratoga Springs. Depository : American Museum of
Natural History .
Gertsch and Soleglad 1966
"DIAGNOSIS: Medium-sized, with conventional yellow base
color of group that is marked with black pattern. V-shaped black marking
centered on median eyes and, in many, dusky side streaks on thoracic
portion of carapace. Tergites of preabdomen bearing dusky transverse
bands except for a narrow, yellow band along margins. Median eyes
average in size, set on two connate tubercles forming a low, oval
eminence. Width of diad of median eye at most one-fourth of width of
carapace at that point. Setae on ventral aspect of cauda relatively few,
2-3-3-4 pairs on segments I-IV. Chelae very heavy, with heavily
granulated carinae in both sexes. Habitus of male and female shown in
figures 2 and 3.
COLORATION: Base color pale yellow to orange-brown in alcoholic
specimens of both sexes and with more or less developed dusky or black
pattern on carapace and preabdomen as shown in figures 6 and 8. Eyes and
eye tubercles black. Carapace with dark, V-shaped patch at median eyes
and with dusky bands running to side eyes. Anterior portion of
interocular triangle usually pale. Rest of carapace either pale or with
few radiating dusky lines and side patches. Immature specimens,
especially young males, often strongly marked with black, approaching
pattern of silvestrii. Specimens from Oregon (fig. 57) and Washington
with much darker pattern than those from Great Basin Region and Rocky
Mountain states (figs. 2, 3). Tergites I-VI of preabdomen with
transverse dusky bands as shown in figure 8, each enclosing pair of
yellow ovoid spots near middle and irregular series of yellow spots
running to side margins; behind dark bands of these tergites a
transverse pale stripe along hind margins. Tergite VII paler than
others, with more variable markings. Under side of carapace and
sternites of preabdomen usually clear yellow to orange-brown. Cauda with
yellow base color, usually unmarked above but below with series of four
dusky lines (fig. 17) running from first to fourth segment and marking
positions of obsolete carinae; these markings variable, more distinct in
younger specimens, in some scarcely visible. Legs and pectines pale
yellow. Sting red.
STRUCTURE: Typical of subgenus and similar in both sexes except as
indicated. Male smaller than female, with somewhat thinner cauda.
Measurements given in table 1. Carapace: Shape of carapace of female
from Green River, Utah, as shown in figure 6. Anterior margin
essentially straight, set with six suberect bristles, rather sharply
angled around side eyes; sides essentially straight, broadly rounded at
posterior corners; breadth behind nearly equal to length. Median eyes of
average size, set on low tubercle; width of median diad about one-fourth
of width of carapace at that point (23 /100). Three eyes in each side
group, of which hind one smallest. Interocular tubercle smooth, but rest
of carapace finely to coarsely granulose over much of surface.
Interocular triangle quite smooth, but with heavier granules on
pigmented areas. Median groove distinct from median eyes to posterior
margins, with flanking elevations liberally set with coarse granules.
Carapace of male with heavier, more conspicuous granules than that of
female. Preabdomen: Traces of weakly granulated median keel on tergites
I-VII still persistent. Tergites appearing quite smooth in both sexes
but under low magnification seen to be finely granulose throughout;
lateral and posterior margins lined with rounded granules; tergite VII
with more numerous larger granules and additional heavily granulated
lateral keel flanking indistinct median one. All sternites smooth.
Stigmata short, elongated slits. Cauda: Dorsal and ventral surfaces of
segments I-IV as shown in figures 16 and 17. Dorsal and superior lateral
keels prominent, surmounted with rows of serrate to rounded granules of
quite regular size, withoutnoticeable development of granules at end of
each series. Inferior median keels essentially obsolete on segments
I-III, but indicated by presence of diffuse, brown bands; these keels
feebly represented on segment IV, but largely smooth. Inferior lateral
keels weak and smooth on segments I-IV, also dusted to form bands.
Inferior lateral keels of segment V serrate to granulate; single median
keel with double line of granules; intercarinal spaces with numerous
granules. Segment V somewhat longer than carapace in females,
considerably longer in males. All segments with scattered setae, but
those on ventral surface in regular rows on or near carinae; segments
I-IV with 2-3-3-4 pairs of setae on obsolete, inferior median keels.
Telson: See figure 31. Sting moderately curved, two-thirds as long as
vesicle. Subaculear nodule inconspicuous. Vesicle about as wide as
segment V of cauda. Pectines: Those of female (fig. 10) of average size,
three times as long as breadth of much broader than long median piece;
middle lamellae consisting of 15-20 small, round or ovoid pieces and
second indistinct series of five to 10 in basal area; fulcra small,
subtriangular or rounded pieces, one fewer than pectinal teeth; pectinal
teeth of medium length and stoutness, 18-23 in number. Those of male
(fig. 11) much larger; median piece as broad as long; middle lamellae
consisting of about 30 small pieces in single row and additional ones in
basal area; pectinal teeth varying from 25 to 31, about twice as long as
those of female. Genital operculum: In female (fig. 10) consisting of
two sclerotized, rounded valves separated by deep fissure but free only
in posterior fourth. In male (fig. 11) valves narrower, more pointed
behind, free for most of length; genital papillae two fleshy fingers,
usually somewhat exposed. Chelicerae: Similar in both sexes, as
illustrated in figures 46 to 48. Basal segment of median size, with thin
brush of hairs on inner side near front edge above. Fixed finger with
four stout teeth on upper margin of which basal pair forms compound
tooth; lower margin essentially obsolete, usually bearing traces of two
weak, dusky nodules or teeth. Movable finger with five strong teeth on
upper (external) margin; lower margin with stout distal tooth, bearing
distinct keel, with edge rarely smooth, usually variously dissected to
form pale crenulations or more distinct, rounded, dark teeth. Distal
teeth of both margins (fig. 47) subequal in size and length. Pedipalps:
In both sexes short, with heavy hands and short fingers as shown in
figures 24 and 25. Femur in lateral view two and one-half times as long
as wide, with strongly angled carinae coarsely granulated. Tibia about
twice as long as broad, inflated behind middle and produced below to
sharp angle bearing two setae on heavy granules; all carinae well
developed and coarsely granulated. Chela greatly incrassated, with
following well-developed carinae: inner and outer carinae strongly
developed and set with several rows of coarse granules; superior and
inner accessory carinae of dorsal surface rounded and coarsely
granulated but outer accessory carina shorter and less distinctly
granulated; corresponding carinae of ventral surface all strongly
developed and coarsely granulated. Inner keel of fixed finger scalloped
as shown in figures, typically more so in male. Small granules on inner
keel of fixed finger forming a quite regular, little-curved line, broken
into six files by five large teeth and with six supernumerary teeth
adjacent to them. Inner keel of movable finger similarly armed with six
large teeth in file series and seven adjacent to them. Walking legs: All
segments with few scattered setae. Protarsi with somewhat irregular
series of long setae on dorsal surfaces."
"Diagnosis .—A species of subgenus Paruroctonus, boreus infragroup (cheliceral fixed digit with inferior
carina extending proximally to level of bicusp; pectinal teeth 24-35 in
males, 18-23 in females, pedipalp primary denticles, excluding proximal row,
37-52 on fixed finger, 44-68 on movable finger), and boreus microgroup
(carapace length/cheliceral fixed digit length ratio 7 .0-9 .0; basitarsus
II with mrs seta), differentiated by combination of: (1) pedipalp fingers in
adult male deeply scalloped proximally, closed fingers form wide gap, in
adult female weakly scalloped, closed fingers form a narrow proximal gap
(see Gertsch and Soleglad 1966 :figs. 24, 25) ; (2) fuscous markings
generally absent in interocular triangle and do not extend to posterior
margin on tergites II-VI (see Gertsch and Soleglad 1966 :figs . 6, 8) ; (3)
ventrolateral metasomal setae on IV 3, on V 6; (4) ventral metasomal setae
I-IV 3,3,3,4; (5) dorsal metasomal setae I-IV 0,1,1,2; (6) ventrolateral
metasomal carinae I-III smooth with few posterior crenulations; (7) ventral
metasomal carinae I-III obsolete to smooth; (8) brachium with four long
internal macro-setae (Fig. 2); (9) chelal palm macrosetae include two on
internal carina (both long) and two on ventrointernal carina (proximal long,
distal short) (Fig. 1)."
AMERICA. Canada (Alberta, British Colombia, Saskatchewan), USA
(Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North
Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming).
1985 Western North America, from southern Canada to northern Arizona
and to coastal mountains of southern California, essentially excluding
northwest coastal region and the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts .
RECORDS: British Columbia:
Keremeos, Okanagan District (Anderson, 1901); Vaseau Lake, Oliver, May 19,
1959 (R. E. Leech), female; Oliver, August 22 (E. R. Buckell), four
specimens; May 20, 1953 (J. R. McGillis), male; Summerland, July 3-24, 1928
(T. B. Kurata, E. B. S. Logier), many specimens; west slope of Richter Pass,
March 29, 1941 (H. B. Leech), female. Alberta: Medicine Hat (Chamberlin,
1924), June 6, 1936 (O. Bryant), female; June, 1923 J. M. Gouldie), one
specimen; July 16, 1956 (O. Peck), two females; (J. M. Gouldie), three
specimens (Kurata, 1930). Turner Valley, 35 miles southwest of Calgary, 1925
(G. Hume) (Kurata, 1930). Cypress Hills (R. Leech). Lethbridge (R. Leech).
Little Sandhill, Red Deer (C. M. Sternberg), one specimen (Kurata, 1930).
Near Iddlesleigh, Red Deer River, August 25, 1919 (V. R. Summerhayes), one
specimen (Kurata, 1930). Washington: Kittitas County; Whiskey Dick Canyon, 5
miles north of Vantage, June, July, 1953 (R. Crabtree), two females. Oregon:
Jefferson County: Willowdale, June 14, 1946 (B. Malkin, M. S. Sargent),
immature male; 10 miles north of Hay Creek, June 15, 1946 (B. Malkin),
female; Gateway, July 13, 1938 (Schuh and Gray), two females. Jackson
County: Gold Hill (Webster. 1923). Baker County: Highway 86, 13 miles east
of Baker, June 27, 1952 (B. Malkin), female; Sumpter, June 24, 1935 (D.
Mote). Klamath County: Sprague River, near Bly, June 22, 1952 (B. Malkin),
female. Lake County: Paisley, June 28-29, 1951 (B. Malkin), female; Fort
Rock, July 9, 1953 (R. Lauderdale), female; Albert Lake; June 16, 1938 (Schuh
and Gray), eight females, male, June 23, 1952 (B. Malkin), three females;
Lakeview, June 27-28, 1951 (B. Malkin), female; Hart Mountain, June 17, 1938
(Schuh and Gray), female. Harney County: Harney Lake, Hot Springs, May 28,
1957 (B. Malkin), female. Malheur County: Harper, June 22, 1947 (B. Malkin),
immature male. California: Siskiyou County: West side of Tule Lake, 9 miles
southwest of Tulelake, August 15, 1965 (J. and W. Ivie), two females. Tulare
County: Cedar Grove, King's Canyon National Park, July 5, 1956 (W. J.
Gertsch, V. Roth), male. Contra Costa County: Mt. Diablo, May 7, 1945 (G.
Linsley, R. F. Smith), male, two females. Idaho: Butte County: Craters of
the Moon National Monument, July 2, 1952 (B. Malkin), female. Camas County:
Soldier (Webster, 1923). Payette County: Payette, June 20, 1953 (W. Ivie),
female. Montana: Carbon County: Como Tit, August 4, 1965 (P. Parks), male,
female; Square Butte, March 7, 1922 (D. M. Thomas), female. Toole County: T.
35 N., R. 1 W., April, 1922, three specimens. Stillwater County: Sect. 21,
T. 2 S., R. 20 E., 1 mile west of Columbus, (E. G. Robinson), one specimen.
North Dakota: McKenzie County; Alexander (P. C. Arildson), December, 1921
(Webster, 1923), three specimens. Dunn County: Oakdale, spring, 1922
(Webster, 1923), one specimen. Golden Valley County: Trotters, November,
1922 (Webster, 1923), one specimen. Nevada: Nye County: Nevada test site,
north of Mercury (Gertsch and Allred, 1965), many males and females; near
Tonopah, 3000 feet, July 29, 1961 (F. E. Russell), male. Washoe County:
Galena Creek, June 25, 1955 (M. A. Cazier), female; Reno, October 4, 1941
(I. La Rivers), male, four females. Mineral County: Thirteen miles east
along Highway 31, from California-Nevada state line, August 19, 1959 (R. E.
Graham), males, females; 15 miles northeast of Mina, June 11, 1960 (E. S.
Ross), two immature females. Colorado: Mesa County: Palisade (L. Anderson),
male, female. Montezuma County: Mesa Verde National Park, August 20, 1952
(B. Malkin), two males; Mesa Verde, July 23, 1941 (C. and M. Goodnight),
male. Utah: Salt Lake County: Salt Lake (Webster, 1923), June 2, 1930 (J.
Rowe), male, two females. Emery County: Green River, April 7, 1946 (G. F.
Knowlton), two females; May 7, 1946 (G. F. Knowlton), female; 3 miles south
of Green River, September 6, 1943 (H. E. Vokes), male, five females, Cache
County: Blacksmith Fork Canyon, between Logan, Utah, and Preston, Idaho,
July 9, 1935 (J. A. Rowe and C. F. Smith), female; Logan, August 26, 1936
(F. Harmston), female. Tooele County: Skull Valley, April 19, 1939 (G. F.
Knowlton), female; Desert Range Research Station, September 9, 1950 (D. E.
Beck), two females. Utah County: Four miles east of Provo. Uintah County:
Ouray, female. Carbon County: Price, June 7, 1951 (D. E. Beck). Millard
County: Scipio, April 16, 1935, female. Sevier County: Richfield, June 19,
1947 (D. E. Beck), female, May 15, 1940 (W. J. Gertsch), male, five females.
Sevier Canyon, July 19, 1940 (W. J. Gertsch), female; 2 miles east of
Glenwood, June 30, 1940 (W. J. Gertsch, L. Hook), immature female; Fish
Lake, June 22, 1930 (W. J. Gertsch), male. Grand County: Arches National
Monument, May 12, 1948 (D. Allred), female. Wayne County: Fruita, July 17,
1931 (W. J. Gertsch), two females. Wyoming: Sweetwater County: Green River,
6100 feet, July 2, 1920, male. Carbon County: Fort Steeb (Webster, 1923).
Arizona: Coconino County: Grand Canyon (rim), 7000 feet, May 25, 1905 (W. M.
Wheeler); Williams, May 25, July 9-15; Bright Angel, August 10; Wupatki
National Monument, 7000 feet. Navajo County: Winslow, July 31. Yavapai
County: Prescott, June 20, 1901.
Girard (1854) based his description of P. boreus on a single specimen, which was last reported to have been
examined by Marx (1888). The 18 pectinal teeth reported by Girard (1854:
267, 268, fig . 6) indicate the original specimen to be a female.
P. silvestrii has (1) weakly scalloped pedipalp fingers
in adult males and essentially unscalloped fingers in adult females ; P.
silvestrii and P. arnaudi have (2 ) extensive fuscous markings in
interocular triangle and extending to posterior margin on tergites II-VI
(see Gertsch and Soleglad 1966: figs. 7, 9), (3) ventrolateral metasomal
setae on IV 4, on V 7, and (4) ventral metasomal setae I-IV 3,4,4,5; P.
bantai (see below) differs primarily in characters 5-9.
Remarks .—Paruroctonus boreus is the most widely mentioned
Paruroctonus species in the technical and popular literature (often
combined with Vaejovis or Vejovis), and the above synonymy includes only the
first citation of each name, major taxonomic accounts, new synonyms and
misidentifications . The bibliographic data given herein for Girard (1854),
a report contained in a rare volume, corrects a recurring error that began
with Wood (1863b :369).
The above diagnosis of P. boreus is based primarily on specimens from
the Great Basin, including the Great Salt Lake Desert. The inter- and
intrapopulation variability of many other characters in P. boreus is
considerable, and still being studied. Examination of the holotype of the
nominal species Paruroctonus auratus revealed no significant
differences between it and the Great Salt Lake Desert (topotypic) population
of P. boreus. The subtle differences in metasomal and telson
proportions between P. auratus and P. boreus reported by
Gertsch and Soleglad (1966: 45) were found to be insignificant using large
samples of the latter species . As in certain other congeners (see Remarks
to gracilior infragroup above), many arenicolous populations of P. boreus,
including the topotypic populations of P. boreus and P. auratus, have
essentially lost the basic fuscous pattern characteristic of this species
(see Gertsch and Soleglad 1966 :figs . 6, 8), and simply represent
pigmentation variants .