Taxonomy

Morphology

Ventral view of the head of Scolopendropsis duplicata

Ventral view of the head of showing the maxillipede coxosternum.The specimen is the holotype, deposited in the Museu Nacional, Universidade do Rio de Janeiro

Compared to other Scolopendrini, distinctive features of Scolopendropsis and the closely related South American genus Rhoda include the following:

  • a relatively small cephalic plate that bears a posterior median suture
  • a marked distal taper of the antenna
  • the first tarsal article of the locomotory legs being half the length of the second article
  • flattened dorsal and medial faces of the prefemora and femora of the ultimate legs
  • the ultimate pretarsus strongly falcate with its ventral surface bearing a sharply serrated ridge
  • elongation of the ultimate body segment to about one and a half times the length of the penultimate
  • margination (i.e., presence of a marginal ridge on the tergites) confined to the ultimate tergite
  • strongly thickened, forcipulate ultimate legs
Ultimate trunk tergite and ultimate leg pair of Scolopendropsis duplicata

Ultimate trunk tergite and ultimate leg pair of Scolopendropsis duplicata. © Amazonas Chagas, Jr

 

Evolution

The close similarity between Scolopendropsis duplicata and S. bahiensis, and the geographic distribution of the former at the periphery of the range of the more widespread S. bahiensis, are consistent with the possibility of direct descent of S. duplicata from S. bahiensis.

Minelli et al. (2009) suggested that the N (21-23) and 2N (39-43) gap in trunk segment numbers between the two species may have involved a duplicative process of segmentation.