Cryptops (Cryptops) punicus Silvestri, 1896

Akkari, Nesrine, Stoev, Pavel & Lewis, John, 2008, The scolopendromorph centipedes (Chilopoda, Scolopendromorpha) of Tunisia: taxonomy, distribution and habitats, ZooKeys 3 (3), pp. 77-102 : 94-96

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Cryptops (Cryptops) punicus Silvestri, 1896


Cryptops (Cryptops) punicus Silvestri, 1896

Figs 28-30 View Figs 28-31

Cryptops anomalans Newport, v. n. punicus Silvestri, 1896 , Naturalista Siciliano, An. I (Nuova Serie), 8: 151.

Cryptops anomalans punicus: Brolemann 1921 , Bulletin de Société des Sciences Naturelles du Maroc, I (3-6): 104.

Trigonocryptops punicus: Brolemann 1928 , Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse, 57: 257, figs 10-18.

Trigonocryptops punicus: Brolemann 1932 , Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle d’Afrique du Nord, 23 (2): 48-49.

Material examined. TUNISIA: 3 ex., Nabeul Distr., Soliman, N 36°42.54 / E10°21.15, alt. 98 m, 12.11.2006 GoogleMaps ; 2 ex., Ariana Distr., Sidi Thabet, N36°55.05 / E10°04.54, alt. 70 m, 20.11.2003 GoogleMaps ; 1 ex. Mahdia Distr., Chebba, 20.3.2004 ; 1 ex., Le Kef, N36°11.44 / E08°44.39, alt. 623 m, 24.10.2003 GoogleMaps ; 5 ex., Bizerta Distr., La Grotte Beach, N37°19.56 / E09°51.30, alt. 39 m, 12.2.2004 GoogleMaps ; 1 ex., Sousse Distr., Bou Ficha, N36°17.55 / E10°27.30, alt. 6 m, 22.3.2005 GoogleMaps ; 4 ex., Zaghouan Distr., Jebel Zaghouan, N36°23.269 / E10°08.157, alt. 352 m, 25.2.2007 GoogleMaps ; 1 ex., Gabes Distr., Chenini Oasis , 22.3.2006 ; 1 ex., Ariana Distr., Sidi Thabet, 17.3.2004 ; 1 ex., Kasserine Distr., Chambi N.P., surrounding of the park’s guest house, N35°10.139 / E08°40.486, alt. 950-1000 m, Pinus halepensis , Stipa tenacissima , Thuya , under stones, logs and leaf litter of Pinus halepensis , 8.3.2008 GoogleMaps ; 2 ex., Gabes Distr., Matmata, N33°32.450 / E09°59.054, alt. 384 m, arid biotope, shrubs and stones, under stones, 12.3.2008 GoogleMaps ; 2 ex., Mahdia Distr., Mahdia City, Touristic area , N35°32.796 / E11°01.662, alt. 0 m, scattered palm trees and shrubs close to the road, polluted area not far from agricultural land, under stones, 16.3.2008 GoogleMaps ; 2 ex., Zaghouan Distr., Jebel Zaghouan, surroundings of the Gouffre du Courant d’Air (small limestone cave), N36°21.980 / E10°05.513, alt. 561 m, Quercus ilex , Pistacia lentiscus , Jasminum fruticans , under stones and leaf litter, 17.3.2008 GoogleMaps ; 1 ex., same mountain, surroundings of the marabout Sidi Bou Gabrine, N36°22.423 / E10°06.328, alt. 642 m, meadows, scattered trees, under stones and leaf litter, 17.3.2008; 1 ex., Jendouba Distr., Tabarka, the Genoese fort and surroundings, N36°57.838 / E08°44.680, alt. 7 m, sea shore, 10- 40 m from the water line, logs, grass, under stones, 22.3.2008 GoogleMaps ; 1 ex., Nabeul Distr., Cap Bon Peninsula, Kelibia, the fort and surroundings, N36°50.337 / E11°06.841, alt. 10- 40 m, slope, Eucalyptus, Mimosa , shrubs, under stones, 25.3.2008 GoogleMaps ; 3 ex., same area, 7 km of Menzel Bou Zelfa, N36°40.268 / E10°40.677, alt. 236 m, Pinus , Quercus , shrubs, under stones, 25.3.2008; 1 ex., Siliana Distr., Jebel Bargou, 5 km of Bargou (road Bargou – Oueslatia), N36°05.775 / E09°37.347, alt. 571 m, Quercus , Olea , shrubs, under stones, 28.3.2008 GoogleMaps ; 5 ex., Zaghouan Distr., Jebel Mansour, close to Sidi Aouidet Village , N36°12.307 / E09°45.588, alt. 514 m, Pine forest , Rosmarinus , under stones and leaf litter, 28.3.2008 GoogleMaps . LIBYA: 1 ex., Tripoli, 0-20 m, 28- 30.11.1999, P. Beron leg.

Description. Light brown to tawny with dense punctuation, and extensive setation. Maximal length: 22-28 mm. Head as long as broad, with 2 short paramedian longitudinal sutures on the anterior and posterior borders of head plate. Antenna composed of 17 articles. Coxosternum rounded and slightly prominent (Fig. 29). Labrum with a single tooth (Fig. 30). First tergite with a complete curved anterior transverse suture only (Fig. 28). Paramedian sutures incomplete on the second tergite, becoming complete from the third. Lateral crescentic sulci starting on the 3rd or 4th tergite. From third leg-pair onwards tarsus 1 and tarsus 2 faintly separated. Ultimate pair of legs: coxopleura with pore field extending to but not touching the posterior margin of coxa. Many scattered setae among the pores and a tuft of 7-8 posterior to the pore field. Tibial saw with 11-13 sharp teeth. Tarsal saw with 5-7 teeth (Fig. 31).

General distribution. Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Italy: Sicily, Sardinia, Tuscan Archipelago ( Matic 1962, Minelli 1982, Zapparoli 1995).

Distribution in Tunisia ( Map 6 View Map 6 ). One of the most common scolopendromorphs in Tunisia found in all bioclimatic zones. Originally described from Tunis ( Silvestri 1896), it is currently known also from the littoral of Kroumirie (Tabarka), from the Gulf of Tunis area and along the eastern part of the Tunisian Ridge up to the Cap Bon Peninsula (Soliman, Mensel Bou Zelfa). Towards the centre, it is present in the western mountains of the Ridge (Chambi N.P.) and along the eastern coast of the Sahel (Sousse, Mahdia, Chebba) down to the plain of Jeffara in the southeast (Matmata, Gabes).

Altitudinal range in Tunisia. Known from sea level up to 1000 m in the mountains (Jebel Chambi).

Habitats. Forests dominated by Q. coccifera or Pinus halepensis , mixed woods of Q. ilex and P. halepensis or Q. coccifera and P. halepensis , mountain meadows, suburban areas, oases, arid rocky terrains with scattered shrubs.

Remarks. Silvestri (1896) described Cryptops punicus from Kroumirie as a variety of C. punctatus (now anomalans ). It was synonymised with C. anomalans by Kraepelin (1903) and later revived by Brolemann (1928). Besides raising punicus to full species rank, Brolemann also transferred it to the genus Trigonocryptops , which is currently considered a subgenus of Cryptops Leach, 1815 . Trigonocryptops is characterised by trigonal sutures in front of the endosternite, a transverse ridge on the sternites between the coxae, generally bipartite tarsi, head overlying tergite 1, a transverse suture on tergite 1, a divided katopleure and mostly yellow or brown colour. Other characters shared by members of Trigonocryptops are an anterior setose area on the clypeus delimited by sutures, paired spinose process on the ultimate leg, slit-like spiracles, etc. ( Edgecombe 2005). C. punicus shows some of the characters typical for Trigonocryptops , e.g. subdivided tarsi (very faint in most specimens), yellowish colouration, head overlying tergite 1, transverse suture on tergite 1 but these are shared with some species of the subgenus Cryptops . Instead of trigonal sutures at the base of endosternite there is just a curved transverse suture (see Brolemann 1928, fig. 14). With this possible exception C. punicus lacks the characters unique to the subgenus Trigonocryptops viz. the clypeus is devoid of sutures, and ultimate leg is devoid of processes. The spiracles are ovoid-shaped and the katopleure is single. For the above reasons, we prefer to place C. punicus in the subgenus Cryptops rather than in Trigonocryptops as suggested by Brolemann (1928). Nevertheless, until combined morphological and molecular phylogenetic analysis is undertaken in the genus Cryptops , the real position of C. punicus remains uncertain. The specimen from Tripoli represents the first formal record of the species from Libya.














Cryptops (Cryptops) punicus Silvestri, 1896

Akkari, Nesrine, Stoev, Pavel & Lewis, John 2008

Cryptops anomalans

Silvestri, 1896

Cryptops anomalans punicus: Brolemann 1921

Brolemann 1921

Trigonocryptops punicus:

Brolemann 1928

Trigonocryptops punicus:

Brolemann 1932