Seasonal Variations in Scorpions (Arachnida: Scorpions) from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan | IJB 2021
Scorpions are the members of phylum arthropods, Class Arachnida and Order Scorpiones. The collection was made from March 2017 to October 2020. Scorpions were collected from diverse localities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan through Pitfall traps, Battery-operated portable ultraviolet lamps, and Stone turning methods. The specimens which were collected belonged to three families Buthidae, Scorpiopidae, and Scorpionidae. The collection of Scorpions was high in August and July and less in October and March. The populations Hottentotta, Androctonus, Orthochirus, Fetilinia, Compsobuthus, Buthacus, Mesobuthusand Odontobuthus of the family Buthidae were increased from March to August with an increase in temperature and their numbers were decreased from September to October with a decrease in temperature. The numbers of the specimens belonging to the genus Scorpiopsof the subfamily Scorpiopidae was high in August and less in October. The members of the genus Deccanometrus were increases up to August and then decreases from September to October with a decrease in Temperature.
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Materials and methods Study area The present work was conducted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The specimens were collected from different localities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is bounded by Afghanistan to the West and North, Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas (the Pakistani- administered area of the Kashmir region) to the East and Northeast, Punjab province to the Southeast, and Baluchistan province to the Southwest. On the western boundary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, along the Afghan border, are the federally administered tribal areas, a series of semiautonomous areas that are ethnically homogeneous with the province but not politically connected to it. The terrain consists of mountain ranges, undulating sub mountain areas, rivers, forests, barren areas, and plains surrounded by hills. Specimens’ collection The collection was made from March 2017 to October 2020. Pitfall traps, Battery-operated portable ultraviolet lamps and Stone turning methods were used for scorpion collections. Pitfall traps were used for collecting scorpions from open fields as well as from sandy and semi-sandy habitats. Glass jars (5 cm diameter and 10 cm length) were used as pitfall traps. Pitfall jars were buried in the soil up to their mouth while the rim of each jar will be ground level. Battery-operated portable ultraviolet lamps were used for detecting scorpion at night in all types of habitats. When a scorpion was sighted, it was picked up with the help of a 12 inch long forceps, transferred to a plastic container. Stone turning method was used for specimens’ collection at day time in rocky areas. Stones were turned over with the help of an iron rod and the scorpion under the stone was collected with the help of forceps. Specimens data During each sampling trip, information regarding date and time of sampling, habitat type, temperature and humidity level was recorded. Preservation of the specimens The killed Specimens were washed with absolute alcohol in the laboratory to remove sand, soil particles and other impurities. The washed scorpions were store in special plastic bags containing absolute alcohol. After sealing the plastic bags, they were stored in a refrigerator at -40º C in the laboratory. Specimens Identification The collected Scorpions were observed and identified up to genus level with the help of taxonomic keys and catalogues (Kovarik and Ahmed, 2009; Tikader and Bastawade, 1983).