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Open Access At the end of the rope: Geophilus hadesi sp. n. – the world’s deepest cave-dwelling centipede (Chilopoda, Geophilomorpha, Geophilidae)

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A new geophilomorph centipede, Geophilus hadesi sp. n., is described from caves in the Velebit Mountain, central Croatia. Together with Geophilus persephones Foddai & Minelli, 1999, described from Pierre Saint-Martin cave in France, they are the only two remarkably troglomorphic geophilomorphs hitherto known. The new species apparently belongs to a group of Geophilus species inhabiting mainly Western and Southern Europe, with a uniquely modified pretarsus in the second maxillae. G. hadesi sp. n. shows unusual traits, some of which commonly found in troglobitic arthropods, including exceptionally elongated antennae, trunk segments and leg claws. The species is described upon specimens found in two caves at a depth below -250 m. Another two specimens apparently belonging to the same species have been recorded in another deep vertical cave at -980 m and -1100 m. The latter represents the world’s deepest record of Chilopoda as a whole.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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