Skip to main content Accessibility help

Scorpions from the Viséan of East Kirkton, West Lothian, Scotland, with a revision of the infraorder Mesoscorpionina

  • Andrew J. Jeram (a1)

Scorpions from East Kirkton Quarry are represented by abundant cuticle fragments and rarer articulated specimens. Cuticles isolated from their matrix are exquisitely preserved, permitting this fauna to be described in more detail than other Carboniferous scorpion faunas. Most of the material is attributed to Pulmonoscorpius kirktonensis n. gen. n. sp. Specimens possibly indicating the presence of two additional Pulmonoscorpius species are referred to under open nomenclature. Rare fragments of an aquatic ‘archaeoctonoid’, and an orthostern scorpion, also occur. Most specimens of Pulmonoscorpius are juveniles. The range of taphonomic effects observed in these and larger individuals suggests that, as a consequence of poor preservation, the morphology of some Upper Palaeozoic scorpions has been misinterpreted by previous workers. Within the infraorder Mesoscorpionina two groups are recognised. These are distinguished by the position of the posterior pair of coxae. Pulmonoscorpius n. gen. belongs to group A, in which the posterior coxae abut the sternum. This group includes the known Lower Carboniferous mesoscorpions and ranges from the Upper Devonian to the Upper Carboniferous. All group-A mesoscorpions are reviewed here. In group-B mesoscorpions the posterior pair of coxae apparently abut the genital opercula, but confirmation of this derived character and formal taxonomic recognition of these groupings must await a restudy of the group-B mesoscorpions, which are known from the Upper Carboniferous and Triassic.

Hide All
Bartram, K. M., Jeram, A. J. & Selden, P. A. 1987. Arthropod cuticles in coal. J GEOL SOC LONDON 144, 313–7.
Brauckmann, C. 1988. Hagen-Vorhalle, a new important Namurian Insecta-bearing locality (Upper Carboniferous: FR Germany). ENTOMOL GENERALIS 14, 73–9.
Couzijn, H. W. C. 1976. Functional anatomy of the walking-legs of Scorpionida, with remarks on terminology and homologization of leg segments. NETHERL J ZOOL 26, 453501.
Dunlop, R. 1898. A fossil scorpion from Airdrie, with historical note. ANN KILMARNOCK GLENFIELD RAMBLERS 2, 60–1.
Filshie, B. K. & Hadley, N. F. 1979. Fine structure of the cuticle of the desert scorpion, Hadrurus arizonensis. TISSUE CELL 11, 249–62.
Jeram, A. J. 1989. Terrestrial arthropod Lagerstätten: the significance of cuticle preservation. ABSTR 28TH INT GEOL CONGR 2, 121.
Jeram, A. J. 1990. Book-lungs in a Lower Carboniferous scorpion. NATURE 343, 360–1.
Kjellesvig-Waering, E. N. 1972. Brontoscorpio anglicus: a gigantic Lower Palaeozoic scorpion from central England. J PALAEONTOL 46, 3942.
Kjellesvig-Waering, E. N. 1986. A restudy of the fossil Scorpionida of the World. PALAEONTOGR AM 55, 1287.
Moore, J. I. 1923. A review of the present knowledge of fossil scorpions, with the description of a new species from the Pottsville Formation of Clay County, Indiana. PROC INDIANA ACAD SCI 38, 125–34.
Peach, B. N. 1881. On some new species of fossil scorpions from the Carboniferous rocks of Scotland and the English Borders. TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH 30, 397412.
Petrunkevitch, A. 1953. Palaeozoic and Mesozoic Arachnids of Europe. MEM GEOL SOC AM 53, 1128.
Petrunkevitch, A. 1955. Arachnida. In Moore, R. C. (Ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. P. Arthropoda 2, 42162. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas & Geological Society of America.
Pocock, R. I. 1911. A monograph of the terrestrial Carboniferous Arachnida of Great Britain. PALAEONTOGR SOC MONOGR 64, 184.
Polis, G. A. 1990. Ecology. In Polis, G. A. (Ed.) The Biology of Scorpions, 247–93. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Rolfe, W. D. I. 1988. Early life on land—the East Kirkton discoveries. EARTH SCI CONSERV 25, 22–8.
Rolfe, W. D. I. & Beckett, C. M. 1984. Autecology of Silurian Xiphosurida, Scorpionida, and Phyllocarida. SPEC PAP PALAEONT 32, 2737.
Rolfe, W. D. I., Durant, G. P., Baird, W. J., Chaplin, C., Paton, R. L. & Reekie, R. J. 1994. The East Kirkton Limestone, Viséan, West Lothian, Scotland: introduction and stratigraphy. TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH: EARTH SCI 84, 177188.
Root, T. M. 1990. Neurobiology. In Polis, G. A. (Ed.) The biology of scorpions, 341413. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Selden, P. A. & Jeram, A. J. 1989. Palaeophysiology of terrestrialisation in the Chelicerata. TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH: EARTH SCI 80, 303–10.
Shear, W. A. & Kukalová-Peck, J. 1990. The ecology of Palaeozoic terrestrial arthropods: the fossil evidence. CANAD J ZOOL 68, 1807–34.
Stahnke, H. L. 1970. Scorpion nomenclature and mensuration. ENTOMOL NEWS 81, 279316.
Stockwell, S. A. 1989. Revision of the phylogeny and higher classification of the scorpions (Chelicerata). PhD Thesis, University of California, Berkley. Published by University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan (available in printed form from publisher).
Størmer, L. 1963. Gigantoscorpio willsi, a new scorpion from the Lower Carboniferous of Scotland and its associated preying microorganisms. SKR NOR VIDENSK-AKAD MATNATURVIDENSK KL 8, 1171.
Thorell, T. & Lindström, G. 1885. On a Silurian scorpion from Gotland. K SVENSK VETENSK-AKAD HANDL 21, 133.
Vachon, M. 1973. Étude des caractères utilisés pour classer les families et les genres de Scorpions (Arachnides). 1. La trichobothriotaxie en Arachnologie. Sigles trichobothriaux et types de trichobothriotaxie chez les scorpions. BULL MUS NAT HIST NATUR PARIS 3e sér 140, 857958.
Walossek, D., Li, C.-S. & Brauckmann, C. 1990. A scorpion from the Upper Devonian of Hubei Province, China (Arachnida, Scorpionida). N JB GEOL PALAEONT MH 1990(3), 169–80.
Waterston, C. D. 1985. Chelicerata from the Dinantian of Foulden, Berwickshire, Scotland. TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH: EARTH SCI 76, 2533.
Wills, L. J. 1947. A monograph of the British Triassic scorpions. PALAEONTOGR SOC MONOGR 100, 101 pp.
Wills, L. J. 1960. The ventral anatomy of some Carboniferous ‘scorpions’. Part 2. PALAEONTOLOGY 3, 276332.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • ISSN: 1755-6910
  • EISSN: 1755-6929
  • URL: /core/journals/earth-and-environmental-science-transactions-of-royal-society-of-edinburgh
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed