Thursday, January 9, 2014

[Paleontology / Invertebrate • 2013] Kachinophilus pereirai • Geophilomorph Centipedes from the Cretaceous Amber of Myanmar (Burma)

Figure 1. Kachinophilus pereirai gen. nov. sp. nov.
A–B, holotype AMNH Bu-Ba41a, male, complete body, dorsal (A) and ventral (B) views.
C, paratype AMNH Bu-Ba50a, sex unknown, complete body, dorsal view.
D, paratype AMNH Bu-Ba63a, sex unknown, incomplete body (only anterior part), ventral view.
All scales 1 mm. Abbreviations: an, antenna; fo, forcipule; le-1, leg of the first pair;
le-u, leg of the ultimate pair. DOI:

The only previously known Mesozoic fossils of the chilopod order Geophilomorpha are two species from the Late Jurassic and Late Cretaceous, both known from single specimens that cannot be assigned with precision to a family. Four specimens from the Late Cretaceous (earliest Cenomanian) amber of Burma include three that can be identified as conspecific, described here as Kachinophilus pereirai gen. nov. sp. nov. These specimens preserve greater morphological detail in comparison with other fossil geophilomorphs: the form and fine features of the head, the maxillary complex, the trunk sternites with associated glandular pores and the ultimate pair of legs defend the assignment of the species to the extant family Geophilidae, and most probably to a derived subgroup including well-known extant genera such as Ribautia Brölemann, 1909. Confocal laser scanning microscopy supplements examination under incident and transmitted light to document details of high taxonomic relevance in the head and the forcipular segment. The modern appearance of this species and its membership among deeply nested extant clades are consistent with molecular estimates that most of the diversity of crown-group Geophilomorpha originated before the Late Cretaceous.

Keywords: Geophilidae; Cenomanian; Kachinophilus; evolutionarily conserved morphology

Order GEOPHILOMORPHA Pocock, 1895
Family GEOPHILIDAE Leach, 1815

Genus KACHINOPHILUS gen. nov.
Type species: Kachinophilus pereirai sp. nov.

Derivation of name: Compounding the geographical source of the fossils (Kachin, Burma) and the frequent geophilomorph generic termination – philus.
pereirai -- for our colleague Luis A. Pereira (Museo de La Plata, Argentina), in recognition of his exemplary systematic work on Geophilomorpha.

Lucio Bonato, Gregory D. Edgecombe, Alessandro Minelli. 2013. Geophilomorph Centipedes from the Cretaceous amber of Burma. Palaeontology. DOI: