Connect to share and comment

New scorpion species discovered in Death Valley, Southern California

The new species of scorpion, named Wernerius inyoensis, was discovered by a University of Nevada doctoral student using ultraviolet light.

ScorpionEnlarge
A US Marine eats a scorpion as he participates in a jungle survive program as part of the annual combined military exercise Cobra Gold 2010 at a Navy base in the Pacific. (PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)

A new species of scorpion has been discovered in Death Valley National Park, Southern California, biologists say.

The LA Times reported that Matthew Graham, a doctoral student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, first spotted the specimen while using ultraviolet light during a night-time survey of the park.

Adult scorpions give off a glow in UV light. 

"When you come across a scorpion, they glow a bright green color, which is really easy to see in contrast to the surrounding darkness," Michael M. Webber, a University of Las Vegas Nevada Ph.D. candidate and co-author on a paper describing the scorpion, told OurAmazingPlanet.

The paper was published this week in the journal ZooKeys.

After verifying its features, the species — about half-an-inch long and possibly a subterranean dweller — was named Wernerius inyoensis. 

More from GlobalPost: The Argentine economy's fuzzy math problem

The graduate students named the scorpion after the Inyo Mountains where it was found in 2009.

It appears to be closely related to two other species found in the southwestern desert: The Wernerius spicatus, which lives in Joshua Tree National Park, and Wernerius mumai, which lives along the lower Colorado River near Parker, Arizona.

Scorpions, which according to the LATimes evolved around 400 million years ago, can be found across every continent.

Wernerius inyoensis is one of the smallest ever discovered in North America, OurAmazingPlanet wrote.

Death Valley National Park is reportedly home to many unique species of wildlife.

More from GlobalPost: Tough times for Australian billionaires
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/green/wildlife-news/120323/new-scorpion-species-discovered-death-valley-southern-california-arachnid-arachnophobia