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Open Access A key and annotated list of the Scolopendra species of the Old World with a reappraisal of Arthrorhabdus (Chilopoda: Scolopendromorpha: Scolopendridae)

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A key and annotated list of the Scolopendra species of the Old World with a reappraisal of Arthrorhabdus (Chilopoda: Scolopendromorpha: Scolopendridae)

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In order to avoid any confusion with species of Scolopendra, the genus Arthrorhabdus is reviewed. For the Old World species at least, the length of the coxosternal tooth plates is the most useful distinguishing feature. Arthrorhabdus somalus Manfredi, 1933 is transferred to Scolopendra becoming S. somala (Manfredi, 1933). A. jonesii Verhoeff, 1938 is removed from that genus as a species of uncertain status. A key to the species of Arthrorhabdus is provided. A diagnosis of Scolopendra and key to the 42 species and 7 subspecies of the Old World are provided together with an annotated list of species. Scolopendra gastroforeata Muralewič, 1913 is a junior subjective synonym of S. s. subspinipes Leach, 1815 and Scolopendra nuda (Jangi & Dass, 1980) is a junior subjective synonym of S. mirabilis (Porat, 1876). Scolopendra teretipes (Porat, 1893) is removed from synonymy under S. mirabilis (Porat, 1876) and returned to full specific status. It is suggested that S. attemsi Lewis, Minelli & Shelley, 2006, and S. jangii Khanna & Yadav 1997, may be specimens of S. morsitans L., 1758, and S. andhrensis Jangi & Dass, 1984 may be S. s. subspinipes. Scolopendra subspinipes punensis Jangi & Dass, 1984 may be an immature S. s. dehaani Brandt, 1840. The presence of S. gigantea L., 1758 in India is considered improbable. Several Scolopendra species are very similar and require further investigation; thus male S. canidens Newport, 1844 and S. cretica Attems, 1902 are indistinguishable. Scolopendra arenicola (Lawrence, 1975) and S. monticola (Lawrence, 1975) may be conspecific, S. pinguis Pocock, 1891 and S. gracillima Attems, 1898 are also very similar. The relationship between S. cingulata Latreille, 1829 and S. subspinipes cingulatoides Attems, 1938 should be examined as should S. valida balfouri Pocock, 1896 currently synonymised under S. valida. Scolopendra langi (Attems, 1928) exhibits some unusual characters and should be reassessed. Scolopendra madagascariensis Attems, 1910 is known only from a single inadequately described specimen. Also discussed is S. amazonica Bücherl, 1946 currently regarded as a junior synonym of S. morsitans, as are the characters separating S. morsitans and S. laeta Haase, 1887. Non Australian records of S. laeta may be disregarded.


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