Cryptops basilewskyi Matic & Darabantu, 1977

Lewis, John G. E., 2011, A review of the species in the genus Cryptops Leach, 1815 from the Old World related to Cryptops (Cryptops) hortensis (Donovan, 1810) (Chilopoda, Scolopendromorpha, International Journal of Myriapodology 4, pp. 11-50: 13-15

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Cryptops basilewskyi Matic & Darabantu, 1977


Cryptops basilewskyi Matic & Darabantu, 1977  Figs 1-6

Cryptops basilewskyi  Matic & Darabantu, 1977. La Faune Terrestre de l’ile de Sainte-Helene. Quatrième Partie, 2. Chilopoda: 345-359, fig. 142 (a-f).

Material examined.

BMNH. 891/V P. and M. Ashmole, St Helena, September to December 2003 (18 mm); 6269/V Prosperous Bay 21.ii.06, P. Ashmole (17 mm).

P. Ashmole’s collection. 1756/V (14 mm); 67/V (16 mm); 452/V (18 mm); 1615/V (18 mm); P and M. Ashmole, St Helena, September to December 2003.

Preliminary remarks.

The type material of Cryptops basilewskyi  was described from Prosperous Bay, St Helena by Matic and Darabantu (1977). A further 6 specimens from the island clearly conspecific with that putative species are here described. They necessitate a slight widening of the characters of the “species”. Where relevant Matic and Darabantu’s (1977) data are in parentheses.


Maximum length 18 mm (14 mm). Colour: cephalic plate light orange, trunk light yellow with dark grey or black pigment on either side of heart and a narrow lateral strip on tergites 3-20, very little on 2 and 21. Pigmented areas also ventrally on 2-6 (Matic & Darabantu, fig.142 a, b, c).

Two basal articles of antenna with long and medium setae changing through 3 and 4 to dense short setae with basal whorl of medium setae on 5. Cephalic plate almost circular the posterior margin covered by tergite 1 (Fig. 1) (not covered by T1). Two very short anterior oblique sutures and short posterior paramedian sutures seen in one specimen only (anterior and posterior sutures present). Clypeus with 2 post-antennal setae, 3 in mid region except for 1615/V where there are 4. Prelabral setae 6. Specimen 6269/V with 2 post-antennal and 5 intermediate setae (Fig. 2).

Forcipular coxosternite very slightly curved on each side with 2 or 3 long to moderate setae (3+3), the innermost slightly further from the edge, and several small setae just behind anterior margin on each side (Fig. 3). Poison gland calyx subspherical situated in anterior region of trochanteroprefemur.

Tergite 1 without sulci, T2 with weak paramedian sulci occupying posterior third to half of tergite, complete 3 or 4 to 20. Lateral crescentic sulci on 3 to 19 or 20. Paramedian sutures could not be seen clearly in cleared specimens. Sternites with median longitudinal sulcus from 2 to 19. Weak transverse sulci 2 to 19 or 20 (only a slightly curved transverse sulcus). Sternite 21 wider than long, posterior margin curved (Fig. 4).

Pore field occupying anterior 54 to 57% of coxopleuron, with 12 or 13 pores (5 to 6 in each field). Three to 6 minute setae in pore field in the 2 largest specimens (no setae), 5 to 6 posterior to the pore field and 5 to 8 on the posterior edge (Figs 4, 5).

Ultimate legs with fine setae except ventrally and posteriorly on the prefemur and ventrally on the femur where they are thicker. Without tubercles or spinous processes. Tibial saw teeth 6 or 8, tarsal 3 (6+4). Tarsal claw without pretarsal accessory spurs.

Legs 1 to 19 with fine setae and tarsus very weakly divided or not (uniarticulate in holotype, biarticulate in paratypes). With a single accessory spur about half length of claw (Fig. 6).


Cryptops basilewskyi  has only been recorded from St Helena. It is very similar to Cryptops nigropictus  Takakuwa, 1936 from Taiwan and the Ryuku Islands apart from the apparently the faint central longitudinal sulcus on tergites 1 and 2 in the latter. This I regard as trivial character and consider Cryptops basilewskyi  to be a junior subjective synonym of Cryptops nigropictus  (see p. 35).