oa African Invertebrates - Monophyly of the Myriapoda? Reliability of current arguments

Volume 44 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1681-5556
  • E-ISSN: 2305-2562



Current support for myriapod monophyly is revised based on a comparative study of the head morphology in Tetramerocerata (Pauropoda) and Pselaphognatha (Diplopoda). New data on the cephalic endoskeleton permit a reconstruction of the common pattern of the myriapod 'tentorium'. (Pselaphognatha) shows no principle difference to the original state in the Chilognatha (Diplopoda). The state in sp. (Tetramerocerata) also corresponds to the common pattern employed in this study. The composite nature of the 'fulturae' is emphasised, which renders this term inappropriate for outgroup comparisons. The homology of the tentorial components in myriapods is confirmed. The mobility of the tentorium is specified to be mainly based on the presence of its 'transverse bar' serving as an attachment site for the muscles that effect the forward swing of the tentorium. The manner of how the tentorial swing is translated into movements of the primarily moveably separated gnathal lobe of the mandibles, differs in the Dignatha (Pauropoda + Diplopoda) from the state in the Symphyla and Chilopoda. Tentorial mobility seems to be maintained in the Tetramerocerata, despite the fact that the mandibular gnathal lobe is no longer moveably separated from the mandible base in this group. Available data tend to favour myriapod monophyly, not only under the Pancrustacea, but also under the Tracheata hypothesis. Reserve, however, is justified due to corresponding character states in Geophilomorpha (Chilopoda) and 'Entognatha' (Hexapoda). Collembola in particular indicate that the mandibular gnathal lobe in hexapods may be secondarily fused with the mandible base. Final decisions require clarification of the origin and homology of the mandibular and tentorial muscles.

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