Scientists working in Turkey have discovered a new species of scorpion, which has been described as "mysterious" by media outlets. The species was found living in the region known as "Ancient Lycia," which is located in the southwestern section of the country.
The scorpion's official name is Euscorpius lycius and brings the total known species of scorpions found in Turkey up to five.
Characteristics of Euscorpius lycius
Euscorpius lycius is not very large, only being between 2 and 2.5 centimeters long in size, which is on the small side when compared to some of its cousins. The scorpion is also brown and reddish in color with its claws displaying a darker shade of color.
Scientists, led by researcher Ersen Aydın Yağmur, who was also lead author of the study, said they studied 26 specimens of this new species. It appears these species were different from their cousins, which made experts realize they had found something previously undiscovered.
According to a press release issued by Pensoft Publishers, the recently discovered scorpion, much like most other scorpion species, do not pose a risk to humans. The scientists indicated the scorpion's effects are not too harmful, being likened to feeling a sting from an ordinary mosquito bite.
Prefers a humid and cool environment
According to the group of researchers studying the scorpion, the Euscorpius lycius is a type of small wood-scorpion that is commonly found in all other continents, excluding Antarctica.
This particular type of scorpion appears to prefer pine forests, and has a penchant for humid and cool locations. The small critters were found underneath rocks, on stone walls and seems to also have a preference for moss. In addition, the University Herald reported these scorpions can be primarily observed at night.
What's in a name?
The newly dubbed Euscorpius lycius gets its name from the historical region it was found living in. Ancient Lycia is firmly rooted in Egyptian and Ancient Greek mythology. According to a Live Science report on the finding, the region is best known for its ancient rock-cut tombs and legacies of being a part of the first known democratic federation in the world.
Today, this region in Turkey is known as the Muğla and Antalya Provinces. Although, reportedly not much is known about the scorpions that currently dwell in the area. While the genus has been extensively studied in other locations in which it lives across the globe, very few specimens have been studied in Turkey.
The Arachnida class
According to the Live Science report, to date there are over 1,700 known species of scorpions. Scorpions are a part of the Arachnida class, which also includes other commonly known critters, such as spiders, ticks and mites. For the most part, only a small percentage of Arachnida have venom that is potent enough to harm humans.
Scientists indicated there are further plans of study planned in order to learn more about the genus Euscorpius.
The full report, dated Nov. 8, 2013, can be viewed in the open access journal ZooKeys.