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The European centipedes hitherto referred to Eurygeophilus , Mesogeophilus , and Chalandea (Chilopoda, Geophilomorpha): taxonomy, distribution, and geographical variation in segment number

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We have carried out a comprehensive revision of the European centipede species currently assigned to Eurygeophilus , Mesogeophilus , and Chalandea . This was based on comparative morphological study of specimens from throughout the range of the group and representative of the different nominal taxa, as well as a critical evaluation of all relevant literature. We consider this group to be represented by a single genus Eurygeophilus Verhoeff, 1899 [ =  Geophilus ( Mesogeophilus ) Verhoeff, 1901, n. syn.;  =  Chalandea Brölemann, 1909, n. syn.] including two morphologically clearly distinguished species, Eurygeophilus multistiliger (Verhoeff, 1899) [ =  Eurygeophilus multistiliger velmanyensis Brolemann, 1926, n. syn.] and Eurygeophilus pinguis (Brölemann, 1898) [ =  Geophilus ( Mesogeophilus ) baldensis Verhoeff, 1901, n. syn.;  =  Chalandea cottiana Verhoeff, 1938;  =  Chalandea cottiana var. castrensis Manfredi, 1948;  =  Chalandea scheerpeltzi Attems, 1952, n. syn.]. On the basis of analysis of both published and new records these two species appear to be geographically vicariant: E. multistiliger occurs mainly in Mediterranean woodlands of southern regions (the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, eastern Pyrenees and Sardinia), whereas E. pinguis occurs mainly in temperate deciduous woodlands in montane and more northern regions (a limited area in Great Britain, the Cantabrian Mountains, most of the western and central Pyrenees, Corsica and the entire Alps). Despite morphological uniformity throughout its range, E. pinguis shows a consistent geographical pattern in variation of the number of segments, the modal values being different between the three major areas: (1) Pyrenees, Cantabrian Mountains and Great Britain, (2) western and central Alps, and (3) eastern Alps.
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Keywords: Chalandea; Chilopoda; Eurygeophilus; Mesogeophilus; geographical distribution; segment number; taxonomy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy 2: College of St Mark & St John, Derriford, Plymouth, UK

Publication date: 01 January 2006

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