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Type: Article
Published: 2007-12-21
Page range: 327–341
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Centipede systematics: progress and problems*

Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
Acari Chilopoda phylogeny taxonomy


Breakthroughs in centipede systematics over the past 25 years have included: a stable morphology-based cladogram for ordinal interrelationships that is largely congruent with well-sampled nuclear ribosomal genes; the discovery of mid Palaeozoic crown-group fossils, including Silurian-Devonian stem-group Scutigeromorpha and an extinct order in the Middle Devonian; and, a web-based catalogue of all centipede species globally. Challenges include species delimitation in several groups, conflict between different kinds of molecular data (nuclear coding genes versus ribosomal genes), the inter-familial relationships and classification of the Geophilomorpha in particular, and effecting a synthesis between microanatomical studies of selected ‘model’ species and dense taxonomic sampling in numerical phylogenetic analyses.


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