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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 503-514

Effect of climate change on spatial distribution of scorpions of significant public health importance in Iran


1 Department of Medical Entomology & Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Medical Entomology & Vector Control, School of Public Health; Infectious & Tropical Diseases Research Center, Hormozgan Health Institute, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran
3 Razi Reference Laboratory of Scorpion Research, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran
4 Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Ahmad Ali Hanafi-Bojd
Department of Medical Entomology & Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: This project was financially supported by the Deputy of research, Tehran University of Medical sciences (No. 33493), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.295361

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Objective: To establish a spatial geo-database for scorpions in Iran, and to identify the suitable ecological niches for the most dangerous scorpion species under different climate change scenarios. Methods: The spatial distribution of six poisonous scorpion species of Iran were modeled: Hemiscorpius lepturus, Androctonus crassicauda, Mesobuthus eupeus, Hottentotta saulcyi, Hottentotta zagrosensis, and Odontobuthus (O.) doriae, under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 climate change scenarios. The MaxEnt ecological niche model was used to predict climate suitability for these scorpion species in the 2030s and 2050s, and the data were compared with environmental suitability under the current bioclimatic data. Results: A total of 73 species and subspecies of scorpions belonging to 19 genera in Iran were recorded. Khuzestan Province has the highest species diversity with 34 species and subspecies. The most poisonous scorpion species of Iran are scattered in the semi-arid climates, at an altitudinal range between 11 m and 2 954 m above sea level. It is projected that O. doriae, Androctonus crassicauda and Mesobuthus eupeus species would be widely distributed in most parts of the country, whereas the most suitable ecological niches for the other species would be limited to the west and/or southwestern part of Iran. Conclusions: Although the environmental suitability for all the species would change under the two climate change scenarios, the change would be more significant for O. doriae under RCP8.5 in the 2050s. These findings can be used as basis for future studies in the areas with the highest environmental suitability for the most dangerous scorpion species to fill the gaps in the ecology of scorpion species in these areas.


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