Remysymphyla Aubry & Masson, 1952a

Camacho, Miguel Domínguez & Vandenspiegel, Didier, 2012, Scolopendrellidae (Myriapoda, Symphyla) from the Afrotropics with descriptions of seven new species, European Journal of Taxonomy 32, pp. 1-28 : 17-19

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Remysymphyla Aubry & Masson, 1952a


Genus Remysymphyla Aubry & Masson, 1952a

Type species

Remysymphyla maura Aubry & Masson, 1952a , described from Morocco.


First pair of legs very short, jointed, with terminal setae instead of claws ( Figs 8B, C, D View Fig , 9H View Fig ).

15-21 tergites, first tergite rudimentary, posterior tergites of tergal areas (fide Domínguez Camacho 2009: 108, fig. 4) 2-14 with paired, triangular posterior processes. The presence of 15 tergites was defined as one of the main autapomorphies of this genus in the literature ( Aubry & Masson 1952a; Edwards 1959). However, the observation of type material of Remysymphyla hova Aubry & Masson, 1952b (MNHN K002) using SEM has shown that it really presents 21 tergites. It means that the tergites of the tergal areas 6, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 15 (fide Domínguez Camacho 2009: 108, fig. 4) are subdivided into two subtergites each ( Figs 8A, E View Fig , 10A View Fig ), as occurs in many scolopendrellid genera.

Tergites of the tergal areas 3-14 (fide Domínguez Camacho 2009: 108, fig. 4) partially sclerotized; only both exterior parts of these tergites are completely sclerotized ( Fig. 8A, E View Fig ). This diagnostic character has to be verified carefully, since it has been observed only in two species. In Remysymphyla spinosa sp. nov. the second tergite is partially sclerotized ( Fig. 9A, E View Fig ).

Last tergite subelliptical, with posterior margin convex ( Figs 8E, F View Fig , 10B View Fig ). In addition, the size of the last tergite is smaller than in Symphylella and its shape resembles Ribautiella .

Terminal area of cerci smaller than in Symphylella , with diagonal striae rather than transversal, pointing back- and inwards ( Fig. 8F View Fig , 10B View Fig ). Basis of terminal area also diagonal back- and inwards rather than transversal – as in Symphylella . Apical seta also pointing inwards ( Fig. 10B, C View Fig ). The shape of the terminal area of cerci also resembles in some aspects Ribautiella . This character has to be observed carefully since it has been inferred from diagrams in the literature ( Aubry & Masson 1952a, 1952b; Scheller 1971) and directly observed only in two species.

Species included

The genus Remysymphyla contains only 3 species:

1. Remysymphyla maura Aubry & Masson, 1952a , described from Morocco and afterwards reported from the Spanish island of Minorca ( Juberthie-Jupeau 1961).

2. Remysymphyla hova Aubry & Masson, 1952b , described from Madagascar and then reported again from Madagascar ( Rochaix 1956) and from Réunion ( Jupeau, 1954)

3. Remysymphyla hebetocornuta Scheller, 1971 , described from Ceylon.


In addition to the low number of described species of this genus, the material studied and cited in the literature is also very scant. Therefore, the gross incongruence detected between the studied material in this work and the descriptions in the literature – specifically regarding Remysymphyla hova – leads the authors to think that the presence of only 15 tergites is a dubious autapomorphy. It was cited for the first time in the definition for the genus ( Aubry & Masson 1952a) but it was not accompanied by diagrams or detailed descriptions of this feature, neither in further works on other species. For this reason, the authors draw attention to this feature for future studies on this genus, since the number of tergites has a major role in the systematics and phylogeny of the scolopendrellid symphylans ( Edwards 1959; Domínguez Camacho 2009).