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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 27(5)

Phylogenetics of scolopendromorph centipedes: can denser taxon sampling improve an artificial classification?

Varpu Vahtera A B E, Gregory D. Edgecombe C and Gonzalo Giribet D

A Finnish Museum of Natural History, Zoology Unit, PO Box 17, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
B Zoological Museum, Department of Biology, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland.
C Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.
D Museum of Comparative Zoology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
E Corresponding author. Email: varpu.vahtera@utu.fi

Invertebrate Systematics 27(5) 578-602 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/IS13035
Submitted: 13 July 2013  Accepted: 16 September 2013   Published: 31 October 2013

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Previous phylogenetic analyses of the centipede order Scolopendromorpha indicated a fundamental division into blind and ocellate clades. These analyses corroborated the monophyly of most families and tribes but suggested that several species-rich, cosmopolitan genera in traditional and current classifications are polyphyletic. Denser taxon sampling is applied to a dataset of 122 morphological characters and sequences for four nuclear and mitochondrial loci. Phylogenetic analyses including 98 species and subspecies of Scolopendromorpha employ parsimony under dynamic and static homology schemes as well as maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference of multiple sequence alignments. The monotypic Australian genera Notiasemus and Kanparka nest within Cormocephalus and Scolopendra, respectively, and the New Caledonian Campylostigmus is likewise a clade within Cormocephalus. New World Scolopendra are more closely related to Hemiscolopendra and Arthrorhabdus than to Scolopendra s.s., which is instead closely allied to Asanada; the tribe Asanadini nests within Scolopendrini for molecular and combined datasets. The generic classification of Otostigmini has a poor fit to phylogenetic relationships, although nodal support within this tribe is weak. New synonymies are proposed for Ectonocryptopinae Shelley & Mercurio, 2005 (= Newportiinae Pocock, 1896), Asanadini Verhoeff, 1907 (= Scolopendrini Leach, 1814), and Kanparka Waldock & Edgecombe, 2012 (= Scolopendra Linnaeus, 1758). Scolopendrid systematics largely depicts incongruence between phylogeny and classification rather than between morphology and molecules.

Additional keywords: Chilopoda, molecules, morphology, phylogeny, Scolopendromorpha.


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