Scolopendra morsitans Linnaeus, 1758

Akkari, Nesrine, Stoev, Pavel & Lewis, John, 2008, The scolopendromorph centipedes (Chilopoda, Scolopendromorpha) of Tunisia: taxonomy, distribution and habitats, ZooKeys 3 (3), pp. 77-102: 83-86

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.3.51


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Scolopendra morsitans Linnaeus, 1758


Scolopendra morsitans Linnaeus, 1758  

Figs 8-13 View Figs 8-13

Scolopendra morsitans: Attems 1902   , Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Mathematisch-Naturwissenshaftliche Classe 111 (I): 561.

Scolopendra morsitans scopoliana: Kraepelin 1903   , Mitteilungen aus dem Naturhistorischen Museum in Hamburg, 20: 253.

Scolopendra morsitans   and S. morsitans scopoliana: Brölemann 1904   , Bulletin du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle 6: 320-321.

Scolopendra morsitans   and S. morsitans scopoliana: Brolemann 1921   , Bulletin de la Société des Sciences Naturelles du Maroc, I (3-6): 104.

Scolopendra morsitans   and S. morsitans scopoliana: Attems 1930   , Das Tierreich, 54: 23-25, figs 38-39.

Scolopendra morsitans   and S. morsitans scopoliana: Brolemann 1932   , Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle d’Afrique du Nord, 23 (2): 51-52.

Scolopendra morsitans: Dobroruka 1968   , Revue de Zoologie et de Botanique Africaines 78(3-4): 203.

Scolopendra amazonica: Lewis 1969   , Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society, 48 (1): 49-57.

Material examined. 2 ex., Nabeul Distr., Jebel Abderrahman, N36°41.31 / E10°40.20, alt. 168 m, garrigue with Cistus monspeliensis   , Pistacia lentiscus   , Lavandula   sp., 24- 28.11.2004 GoogleMaps   ; 1 ad., Siliana, N36°05.17 / E09°21.53, alt. 427 m, 7.6.2005 GoogleMaps   ; 1 ex., Zaghouan Distr., Jebel El Oust, N36°33.32 / E10°03.38, alt. 75 m, March 2006 GoogleMaps   ; 1 juv., Zaghouan Distr., Jebel El Fahs, N36°22.39 / E09°53.41, alt. 172 m, 20.3.2006 GoogleMaps   ; 1 ad., Cap Bon Peninsula , Nabeul Distr., El Haouaria, the ancient Roman quarry and surroundings, N37°03.448 / E10°59.869, alt. 51 m, slope facing the sea, under stones, 24.3.2008 GoogleMaps   .

General distribution. North America ( USA, Mexico); Caribbean Islands; South America; Atlantic Ocean Islands; Europe; Africa; Arabian Peninsula; Southeast Asia (incl. Indonesia, New Guinea, Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan); Indian Ocean Islands ( Comoro Islands, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands, Seychelles); India; Australia; New Zealand; Pacific Islands (for more detailed information, see Shelley et al. 2005).

Distribution in Tunisia ( Map 2 View Map 2 ). Known from the Subhumid and Semiarid bioclimatic zones. Comparatively rare species, found in northeastern Tunisia only – Cap Bon Peninsula, Jebel Zaghouan, Jebel El Fahs and near Siliana. The species has been reported also from Medjez-el-Bab ( Attems 1902), Tunis and its surroundings ( Brölemann 1904) and Jebel Serdj ( Dobroruka 1968).

Altitudinal range in Tunisia. Known from sea level up to approx. 600 m.

Habitats. Coniferous forests dominated by P. halepensis   , mixed woods of Q. coccifera   and Rosmarinus officinalis   ; garrigue with Cistus monspeliensis   , Pistacia lentiscus   , Lavandula   sp.; also found in open coastal areas.

Remarks. All the specimens examined have olive green-blackish colouration, which is characteristic for S. morsitans scopoliana C.L. Koch, 1841   . However, Lewis (1969, 1978) studied the variation of African scolopendrid centipedes, and particularly that of S. amazonica   and stated that the colouration show a considerable degree of variation, thus being an unreliable taxonomic character. Koch (1982) observed the same variability in S. laeta   in Australia, finding some correlation with the rainfall. The darkest forms of S. laeta   occur mainly in areas with high mean annual rainfall (more than 750 mm), although sometimes they are also found in regions with low rainfall (up to 250 mm). Other characters used to characterize S. m. scopoliana are tergal margination starting on tergite 17, and coxopleural process bearing 5 spines ( Brolemann 1932). As it has already been shown by Lewis (1969) these are also of little taxonomic value in S. morsitans   and for this reason S. morsitans scopoliana   is here considered a junior synonym of S. morsitans   .














Scolopendra morsitans Linnaeus, 1758

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

Scolopendra morsitans: Attems 1902

Attems 1902

Scolopendra morsitans scopoliana:

Kraepelin 1903

Scolopendra morsitans

Brölemann 1904

Scolopendra morsitans

Brolemann 1921

Scolopendra morsitans

Attems 1930

Scolopendra morsitans

Brolemann 1932

Scolopendra morsitans: Dobroruka 1968

Dobroruka 1968

Scolopendra amazonica: Lewis 1969

Lewis 1969