Saturday, April 17, 2021

[Chilopoda • 2021] Scolopendra alcyona • A New Amphibious Species of the Genus Scolopendra Linnaeus, 1758 (Scolopendromorpha, Scolopendridae) from the Ryukyu Archipelago and Taiwan

Scolopendra alcyona Tsukamoto & Shimano 

in Tsukamoto, Hiruta, Eguchi, Liao & Shimano, 2021. 
Halcyon Giant Centipede | 琉神大百足 ||
In Japan and Taiwan, five valid species of the genus Scolopendra Linnaeus, 1758 have been described: S. morsitans Linnaeus, 1758, S. subspinipes Leach, 1816, S. mutilans Koch, 1878, S. japonica Koch, 1878, and S. multidens Newport, 1844. Recently, an undetermined species was found in the Ryukyu Archipelago and Taiwan. Using molecular phylogenetic analyses with mitochondrial COI and 16S rRNA and nuclear 28S rRNA and 18S rRNA genes as well as conventional morphological examination, we successfully discriminated this sixth species as an independent lineage from S. subspinipes, S. mutilans, and other named congeners from East and Southeast Asia. Therefore, the species was described as Scolopendra alcyona Tsukamoto & Shimano, sp. nov. Several situational evidences suggest that this species prefers streamside environments and exhibits amphibious behavior.

Keywords: Myriapoda, Chilopoda, molecular phylogeny, morphology, semi-aquatic

Scolopendra alcyona Tsukamoto & Shimano, sp. nov., found underwater at the upper reach of ... River, Kume-jima Island (by H. Sato; specimen not collected).


Scolopendra alcyona Tsukamoto & Shimano, sp. nov.

[New Japanese name: Ryûjin-ômukade (琉神大百足); 
new English name: Halcyon Giant Centipede]

Etymology. This epithet “alcyona” derived from the name of a Greek mythological figure, “Alcyone”. In one version of the story, Alcyone was turned into a common kingfisher (halcyon bird) by Zeus ( Gresseth 1964). This epithet is a metaphor for halcyon bird-like jade green legs seen in the Okinawa-jima Island population, and its amphibious behavior.

 Habitat of Scolopendra alcyona Tsukamoto & Shimano, sp. nov. in Kume-jima Island

Sho Tsukamoto, Shimpei F. Hiruta, Katsuyuki Eguchi, Jhih-Rong Liao and Satoshi Shimano. 2021. A New Amphibious Species of the Genus Scolopendra Linnaeus, 1758 (Scolopendromorpha, Scolopendridae) from the Ryukyu Archipelago and Taiwan. Zootaxa. 4952(3); 465–494. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4952.3.3