ZooKeys 3: 77-102, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.3.51
The scolopendromorph centipedes (Chilopoda, Scolopendromorpha) of Tunisia: taxonomy, distribution and habitats
Nesrine Akkari, Pavel Stoev, John Lewis
Abstract The present paper provides a review of the composition, distribution and habitat preferences of the scolopendromorph centipedes of Tunisia. Five (sub-)genera and 8 (sub-)species have hitherto been reported from the country, of which two are of uncertain status. After a study of significant amount of new material collected in the period 2003-2008, 6 species, namely Scolopendra canidens Newport, 1844, S. morsitans Linnaeus, 1758, Cormocephalus gervaisianus (C.L. Koch, 1841), Otostigmus spinicaudus (Newport, 1844), Cryptops punicus Silvestri, 1896 and C. trisulcatus Brölemann, 1902, were found in the country. New illustrations and, where appropriate, brief descriptions of the species are given, along with an identification key for the Tunisian scolopendromorphs. Cryptops anomalans Newport 1844, Scolopendra oraniensis Lucas, 1846 and S. cingulata Latreille, 1829 are excluded from the country’s list since all previous records are most likely based on misidentifications. Cryptops trisulcatus and C. punicus are recorded for the first time from Tunisia and Libya, respectively. The taxonomic position of C. punicus is discussed and the species is transferred from the subgenus Trigonocryptops to Cryptops. Scolopendra morsitans scopoliana is synonymised under S. morsitans. S. canidens, O. spinicaudus and C. punicus are well adapted to arid and semidesert biotopes and have much wider ranges compared to the other three species which are restricted to the northern, more humid parts of the country. S. canidens is the only myriapod in Tunisia found in a pure sandy desert.