Misinterpreted artefacts and morphological variations are two possible sources of taxonomic synonymies. We have recognized these two in the case of the geophilomorph Schendyla furcidens Kaczmarek, 1962, described from Poland and subsequently reported from Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The species was described based on some differences in the structure of the labrum, maxilla, mandible and last legs as compared to Scherulyla nemarensis (C. L. Koch, 1837). While studying Hungarian and Polish Schendyla specimens we found that the furcate shape of the labral teeth, putatively diagnostic for S. furcidens, was an artefact visible under light microscope caused by the forward-turned position of the labrum. Similarly, differential characters in mandibles and maxillae were found to be artefacts emerging during slide preparation, while characters of the legs can be considered as intraspecific variability. Thus, we can conclude that S. furcidens is a junior subjected synonym of S. nemorensis (syn. nov.). Line drawings and SEM micrographs are given to illustrate all the main taxonomic characters and their alterations.
Bonato, L., Dányi, L. and A. Minelli. 2010. Morphology and phylogeny of Dicellophilus, a centipede genus with a highly disjunct distribution (Chilopoda: Mecistocephalidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 158: 501-532.
Bonato, L. and A. Minelli. 2008. Stenotaenia Koch, 1847: a hitherto unrecognized lineage of western Palaearctic centipedes with unusual diversity in body size and segment number (Chilopoda: Geophilidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 153: 253-286.
Bonato, L. and M. Zapparoli. 2011. Chilopoda. Geographical distribution, pp. 327-337. In: A. Minelli (ed.). Treatise on Zoology. Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology. The Myriapoda, Volume 1. Brill, Leiden-Boston.
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