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Monophyly of Lithobiomorpha (Chilopoda): New characters from the pretarsal claws

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

The pretarsus displays details of the main claw, accessory claws, and posteroventral spine that provide new characters for the systematics of lithobiomorph centipedes and the question of the monophyly or non-monophyly of the Lithobiomorpha. By outgroup comparison with Craterostigmus (order Craterostigmomorpha) and Cryptops (order Scolopendromorpha), three modifications of the accessory claws shared by the two lithobiomorph families, Lithobiidae and Henicopidae, are synapomorphic. The posterior accessory claw has a ventrally expanded base; the ornament of the accessory claws shows an abrupt transition between a pitted proximal part and a striated/ridged distal part; the main claw has groups of rimmed pores concentrated beneath the accessory claws. Claw characters are congruent with other morphological and molecular evidence for monophyly of the Lithobiomorpha.


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