Pincushion millipede Phryssonotus sp., copyright Steve & Alison.

Belongs within: Myriapoda.
Contains: Leptodesmidae, Vanhoeffeniidae, Polyxenoidea, Helminthomorpha, Pentazonia.

The Diplopoda, millipedes, are a diverse group of mostly detritivorous terrestrial arthropods with undifferentiated body segments mostly bearing two pairs of legs each. The Polyxenida, pincushion millipedes, are small soft-bodied animals with an extensive covering of tufts of barbed bristles. The remaining millipedes, in the clade Chilognatha, are characterised by a mineralised cuticle.

Characters (from Hoffman 1990): Antennae simple, eight-segmented; whole-limb mandibles present; embryonic maxillary appendages coalesced into gnathochilarium; trunk segments (diplosomites) undifferentiated, derived from fusion of two embryonic somites, generally bearing two pairs of legs; segmentation teloblastic, with proliferation zone located just anterior to last segment; trachea diffusely branched, anastomosing, opening through stigmata at lateral ends of sterna.

    |--Polyxenida [Ancyrotricha, Polyxenida, Polyxenoidea, Pselaphognatha, Schizocephala] W05
    |    |--Polyxenoidea CND-J08
    |    `--Synxenidae [Synxenoidea] CND-J08
    |         |--Phryssonotus Scudder 1885 (see below for synonymy) CS13
    |         |    |--*P. hystrix (Menge 1854) [=*Lophonotus hystrix] CS13
    |         |    |--P. capensis (Silvestri 1923) CND-J08
    |         |    |--P. chilensis (Silvestri 1948) CND-J08
    |         |    |--P. cubanus (Silvestri 1948) CND-J08
    |         |    |--P. novaehollandiae (Silvestri 1923) [=Synxenus novaehollandiae] CS13
    |         |    |--P. orientalis (Silvestri 1900) [=Synxenus orientalis] CND-J08
    |         |    `--P. platycephalus (Lucas 1846) [=Polyxenus platycephalus] CND-J08
    |         `--Condexenus Nguyen Duy-Jacquemin 2006 CND-J08
    `--Chilognatha W05
         |--Helminthomorpha W05
         `--+--Pentazonia W05
            `--Zosterogrammidae [Zosterogrammida] W05
                 |--Zosterogrammus Wilson 2005 W05
                 |    `--*Z. stichostethus Wilson 2005 W05
                 |--Casiogrammus Wilson 2005 W05
                 |    `--*C. ichthyeros Wilson 2005 W05
                 `--Purkynia Fritsch 1899 W05
                      `--*P. lata Fritsch 1899 W05

Diplopoda incertae sedis:
  Schopfia Janssen 1940 LH02
    `--S. calceola LH02
  Leptodesmidae K55
  Vanhoeffeniidae K55
  Oniscodesmidae K55
    |--*Oncodesmus granosus (Gervais & Goudot 1844) K54a
    |--Cyrtodesmus tomentosus Silvestri 1898 K55
    |--Cyliocyrtus Cook 1898 [Oniscodesminae] K55
    |    `--C. ramosus Kraus 1955 K55
    `--Oncodesmoides Kraus 1954 K54a
         |--*O. rectus Kraus 1954 K54a
         `--O. uncinatus Kraus 1954 K54a
  Cryptodesmidae K54b
    |--Tidopterus K54b
    |--Corypherepsis K54b
    `--Apomus (Parapomus Kraus 1954) K54b
         `--A. (*P.) zilchi Kraus 1954 K54b
  ‘Curimagua’ Hoffmann 1982 non Forster & Platnick 1977 KA-Z11
  Brachydesmus superus KAA-W00
  Archispirostreptus gigas SK14

Phryssonotus Scudder 1885 [=Lophonotus Menge 1854 non Stephens 1829; incl. Koubanus Attems 1928, Kubanus Attens 1926, Schindalmonotus Attems 1926, Synxenus Silvestri 1900] CS13

*Type species of generic name indicated


[CS13] Car, C. A., M. Short, C. Huynh & M. S. Harvey. 2013. The millipedes of Barrow Island, Western Australia (Diplopoda). Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 83: 209–219.

[CND-J08] Condé, B. & M. Nguyen Duy-Jacquemin. 2008. Classification actuelle des diplopodes pénicillates (myriapodes) avec nouvelles définitions des taxa. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 133 (4): 291–302.

Hoffman, R. L. 1990. Diplopoda. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 835–860. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[KAA-W00] Kheirallah, A.-M., A.-N. H. Aly & N. Y. Abdel-Wahed. 2000. Anamorphosis and life-history of the millipede Nopoiulus kochii (Gervais, 1847), new for Egypt. Zoology in the Middle East 21: 159–168.

[K54a] Kraus, O. 1954a. Myriapoden aus Peru, II. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35: 17–55.

[K54b] Kraus, O. 1954b. Myriapoden aus El Salvador. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35 (5–6): 293–349.

[K55] Kraus, O. 1955. Myriapoden aus Peru, III. Senckenbergiana Biologica 36 (3–4): 173–200.

[KA-Z11] Kury, A. B., & M. A. Alonso-Zarazaga. 2011. Addenda and corrigenda to the "Annotated catalogue of the Laniatores of the New World (Arachnida, Opiliones)". Zootaxa 3034: 47–68.

[LH02] Lemay, S., & J. T. Hannibal. 2002. Trigonocarpus excrescens Janssen, 1940, a supposed seed from the Pennsylvanian of Illinois, is a milliped (Diplopoda: Euphoberiidae). Kirtlandia 53: 37–40.

[SK14] Sharma, P. P., S. T. Kaluziak, A. R. Pérez-Porro, V. L. González, G. Hormiga, W. C. Wheeler & G. Giribet. 2014. Phylogenomic interrogation of Arachnida reveals systemic conflicts in phylogenetic signal. Molecular Biology and Evolution 31 (11): 2963–2984.

[W05] Wilson, H. M. 2005. Zosterogrammida, a new order of millipedes from the Middle Silurian of Scotland and the Upper Carboniferous of Euramerica. Palaeontology 48 (5): 1101–1110.

Last updated: 5 November 2017.

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