Newportia azteca Humbert & Saussure, 1869

Junior, Amazonas Chagas & Shelley, Rowland M., 2003, The centipede genus Newportia Gervais, 1847, in Mexico: description of a new troglomorphic species; redescription of N. sabina Chamberlin, 1942; revival of N. azteca Humbert & Saussure, 1869; and a summary of the fauna (Scolopendromorpha: Scolopocryptopidae: Newportiinae), Zootaxa 379, pp. 1-20 : 13

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.379.1.1


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Newportia azteca Humbert & Saussure, 1869


Newportia azteca Humbert & Saussure, 1869

Newportia azteca Humbert & Saussure, 1869:158 ; 1872:137, pl. 6, figs. 20, 20d, v, w. Pocock, 1896:32–33. Attems, 1930:275, 284.

Type locality. Veracruz, Córdoba (type not examined). In the original account, the only locality Humbert & Saussure (1969) gave was eastern Mexico in general (“ Mexico orientalis”); Córdoba was specified in the second publication ( Humbert & Saussure, 1872). As Pocock (1896) and Attems (1930, in both accounts, on pages 275 and 284) cited Córdoba, it is considered the type locality.

Published records. None.

New records. None

Remarks. Newportia azteca was proposed in a standard description at that time, though without a specific locality or illustrations; three years later, Humbert & Saussure (1872) provided a lengthier description with illustrations and cited Córdoba. Pocock (1896) recognized N. azteca but stated that it might be “the same” as N. spinipes , which he described in the next account. However, Pocock also countered this statement by noting that if the spinulation of the caudal legs in Humbert & Saussure’s illustration (1872, fig. 20w) was accurate, N. azteca differed from the other species then known and was valid. Kraepelin (1903) considered N. azteca to be a questionable synonym of N. spinipes , and Attems (1930) cited N. azteca twice, the second time stating that it was probably the same as N. spinipes . Schileyko and Minelli (1999) did not recognize N. azteca as either a valid species or a synonym of N. spinipes , stating in the narrative that they considered its true identity to be doubtful. However, the fact remains that N. azteca is the third oldest name in Newportia (behind N. longitarsis and mexicana ) and holds priority by 27 years over N. spinipes , so the latter is potentially a synonym of N. azteca , not the reverse. We compared Pocock’s (1896) analysis of the ultimate leg spinulation against Humbert & Saussure’s drawing, and while seeing what he refers to, do not think that any conclusion can be reached from this small published figure. The type of Scolopendrides mexicana Saussure is not at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Geneva, Switzerland, where most of Saussures types are deposited, and seemingly is lost, but two syntypes of N. azteca are there that were apparently preserved in a dry state and later transferred to alcohol, so they may not be in good condition (P. Schwendinger, pers. com.). These syntypes must be examined and compared with the type of N. spinipes (probably at the Natural History Museum, London, if it exists), and collecting is needed at Córdoba to gather a topotype of S. mexicana and determine whether one or two species occur there. Until then, N. mexicana , azteca , and spinipes must be recognized.














Newportia azteca Humbert & Saussure, 1869

Junior, Amazonas Chagas & Shelley, Rowland M. 2003

Newportia azteca

Attems, C. 1930: 275
Pocock, R. I. & Chilopoda and Diplopoda & Biologia Centrali-Americana 1896: 32
Humbert, A. & Saussure, H. 1872: 137
Humbert, A. & Saussure, H. 1869: 158