Clinopodes escherichii (Verhoeff, 1896)

Chipman, Ariel D., Dor, Neta & Bonato, Lucio, 2013, Diversity and biogeography of Israeli geophilomorph centipedes (Chilopoda: Geophilomorpha), Zootaxa 3652 (2), pp. 232-248: 236

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Clinopodes escherichii (Verhoeff, 1896)


Clinopodes escherichii (Verhoeff, 1896) 

Published records: “Chuldah bei Jaffa” [Hulda, near Jaffa] (Verhoeff 1925, sub Geophilus flavidus noduliger  ); “’Ein Hemed (Aqua Bella)”, “’Ein Ya’el”, ”Nes Harim” (Zapparoli 1995, sub C. flavidus  ).

New records: Hermon, Emek Bol’an (6 specimens 2012); Hermon, Emek HaMan (1 specimen 2012); Khirbet Saida (1 specimen 1964); Mt. Qadarim (1 specimen 2011); Nahal Oren (1 specimen 2011).

Distribution in Israel: most specimens are from cool high altitude Mediterranean sites such as the upper Galilee, Hermon and Jerusalem mountains, with average temperatures in the range 16–22 ˚C and annual precipitation between 450–1250 mm. The only exception is a published record from Hulda (Verhoeff 1925) ( Figure 3View FIGURE 3 A).

Global distribution: the species is widespread from the Carpathians and the Balkan Peninsula, through regions around the Black Sea, to Anatolia and Israel.

Taxonomic and nomenclatural notes. According to the preliminary reassessment of the entire genus Clinopodes Koch, 1847  by Bonato et al. (2011), the specimens examined by us agree in morphology with C. escherichii  and not with C. verhoeffi Bonato, Iorio & Minelli, 2011  , which was described from Israel (see below). The two species differ mainly in the extent of the sternal pore-fields on the posterior leg-bearing segments and the pattern of the coxal pores. Geophilus flavidus noduliger Verhoeff, 1925  is recognized here as a junior synonym of Clinopodes escherichii Verhoeff 1896  (new syn.). After examining the holotype of G. flavidus noduliger  from Hulda (preserved in the Zoologische Staatsammlung München) and comparing it with specimens of C. escherichii  from Israel and Turkey (Bonato et al. 2011), we found that G. flavidus noduliger  matches fully with C. escherichii  even in the characters that are considered of diagnostic value between species in the genus Clinopodes  (including the relative size of the marginal denticles on the forcipular coxosternite, the extent of chitin-lines, the number of legs, the relative extent of the pore-fields on the most posterior trunk segments, the arrangement of the coxal organs). Published records of C. flavidus  from Israel (Zapparoli 1995) are reinterpreted as most probably referring to C. escherichii  instead of C. verhoeffi  , on the basis of the number of trunk segments.