Mecistocephalus guildingii, copyright British Myriapod and Isopod Group.

Belongs within: Geophilomorpha.

The Mecistocephalinae is a pantropical group of centipedes, most diverse in southeast Asia.The majority of species are included in the genus Mecistocephalus, united by, among other features, the presence of a short pillow-like posterior process on the sternum of the last leg-bearing segment, and a proximal tooth on the trochanteropraefemur of the forcipular segment (Bonato et al. 2003).

Characters (from Bonato et al. 2003): Body evidently tapering backwards. Leg-bearing trunk often provided with dark patches. Cephalic plate evidently longer than wide. Clypeal plagula/ae covering more than posterior half of clypeus. Clypeal setae usually a few, limited to a short transverse band and to anterolateral corners. Posterior alae without longitudinal stripes. Posterior margin of labrum sinuous. Coxosternum of first maxillae divided, nonareolate. Coxosternum of second maxillae undivided, medial part areolate; groove from metameric pore and foraminal process reaching lateral margin. Telopodites of second maxillae well developed, over-reaching those of first maxillae; terminal article usually covered with setae, mainly on internal side, and bearing a reduced claw. Forcipular tergum slightly wider than long, with a mid-longitudinal sulcus. Forcipular trochanteropraefemur usually elongate, sometimes provided with a proximal tooth. Sternal mid-longitudinal sulci either furcate or not. Number of pairs of legs 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 57, 59, 63 or 65; in only one species, odd numbers between 93 and 101. Sternum of last leg-bearing segment often with a pillowlike process. Legs of last pair usually provided with an apical spine.

    |  i. s.: Fusichila Chamberlin 1953 BFM03
    |           `--*F. waipaheenas Chamberlin 1953 BFM03
    |         Megalacrus Attems 1953 BFM03
    |           `--*M. obscuratus Attems 1953 BFM03
    |--Tygarrup Chamberlin 1914 [incl. Brahmaputrus Verhoeff 1942] BFM03
    |    |  i. s.: T. intermedius Chamberlin 1914 BFM03
    |    |         T. poriger BFM03
    |    |--T. quelpartensis BFM03
    |    |--T. takarazimensis Miyosi 1957 BFM03
    |    `--+--T. muminabadicus Titova 1965 BFM03
    |       `--+--T. anepipe Verhoeff 1939 BFM03
    |          `--T. javanicus Attems 1929 BFM03
    `--+--Krateraspis Lignau 1929 BFM03
       |    |--*K. meinerti (Sseliwanoff 1881) BFM03
       |    `--K. sselivanovi Titova 1975 BFM03
       `--+--Takashimaia Miyosi 1955 BFM03
          |    `--*T. ramungula Miyosi 1955 BFM03
          `--Mecistocephalus Newport 1843 (Mecistocephalus) [incl. Lamnonyx Cook 1896, Megethmus Cook 1896] BFM03
               |  i. s.: M. (Ectoptyx Chamberlin 1920) BFM03
               |         M. indecorus Attems 1901 A01
               |         M. satumensis Takakuwa 1938 BFM03
               |         M. smithii BFM03
               |--+--M. (M.) nannocornis Chamberlin 1920 BFM03
               |  `--M. (M.) spissus Wood 1862 BFM03
               `--+--+--M. (M.) angusticeps (Ribaut 1914) BFM03
                  |  `--M. (M.) tahitiensis Wood 1862 BFM03
                  `--+--M. (Formosocephalus Verhoeff 1937) BFM03
                     |    `--M. (F.) longichilatus Takakuwa 1936 BFM03
                     `--+--M. (M.) modestus (Silvestri 1919) BFM03
                        `--+--M. (M.) conspicuus Attems 1938 BFM03
                           `--+--+--M. (M.) guildingii Newport 1843 BFM03
                              |  `--+--M. longiceps Lawrence 1960 BFM03
                              |     `--+--M. (M.) itayai Takakuwa 1939 BFM03
                              |        `--+--M. (M.) diversisternus (Silvestri 1919) BFM03
                              |           `--+--M. (M.) takakuwai Verhoeff 1934 BFM03
                              |              `--+--M. japonicus Meinert 1886 BFM03
                              |                 `--M. (Brachyptyx Chamberlin 1920) BFM03
                              |                      `--M. (B.) mirandus Pocock 1895 BFM03
                              `--+--M. (M.) lifuensis Pocock 1899 BFM03
                                 `--+--M. benoiti Dobroruka 1958 BFM03
                                    `--+--+--M. microporus Haase 1887 [=*Megethmus microporus] BFM03
                                       |  `--M. (M.) multidentatus Takakuwa 1936 BFM03
                                       `--+--*M. (M.) punctifrons Newport 1843 BFM03
                                          `--+--M. (M.) mikado Attems 1928 BFM03
                                             `--+--M. (Dasyptyx Chamberlin 1920) BFM03
                                                |    `--M. (D.) subgigas (Silvestri 1919) BFM03
                                                `--M. (Pauroptyx Chamberlin 1920) BFM03
                                                     `--M. (P.) superior (Silvestri 1919) BFM03

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A01] Attems, C. Graf. 1901. Myriopodák [Myriopoden]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 275–310. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[BFM03] Bonato, L., D. Foddai & A. Minelli. 2003. Evolutionary trends and patterns in centipede segment number based on a cladistic analysis of Mecistocephalidae (Chilopoda: Geophilomorpha). Systematic Entomology 28: 539–579.

Last updated: 5 November 2017.

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