Nearly 13,000 species of arthropods are currently classified in the Myriapoda. Although their name suggests they have countless legs, myriapods range from having over 750 legs (Illacme plenipes) to having fewer than ten legs. Their size ranges from microscopic to 30 cm in length. All of them are terrestrial.
There are four groups of myriapods, how they are related to each other is not yet well understood. Two of them, the symphyla and pauropoda, consist of tiny arthropods living in leaf litter and soil, both superficially resemble centipedes. The chilopoda includes the true centipedes which have only one pair of legs per body segment. They are predators; the first pair of appendages on the trunk are modified into a pair of claws with poison glands, which centipedes use to capture prey (usually other arthropods). The bite of large centipedes can cause humans some pain and discomfort, although there are no authenticated cases of human fatalities from centipede bites.
The diplopoda include the millipedes. Millipede segments are formed in early development by fusion of two adjacent embryonic segments; thus, each adult segment of a millipede bears two pairs of legs. Unlike the predatory chilopoda, most millipedes feed on decaying vegetation, although some are carnivorous.
ZooKeys has just published a conference volume on the 16th International Congress of Myriapodology held last year in Olomouc,Czech Republic. The congress organised by the Centre International de Myriapodologie brought together scientists, students and enthusiastic amateurs with specific interest in millipedes, centipedes, symphylans and pauropods, as well as velvet worms. This conference volume contains lots of very interesting articles and I am happy to report that quite a few use DNA Barcoding in their studies. Here they are including hyperlinks:
- Introduction for Proceedings volume of 16th International Congress of Myriapodology
- Type specimens of centipedes (Myriapoda, Chilopoda) in the National Museum, Prague (Czech Republic)
- First results of the German Barcode of Life (GBOL) – Myriapoda project: Cryptic lineages in German Stenotaenia linearis (Koch, 1835) (Chilopoda, Geophilomorpha)
- Molecular-based estimate of species number, phylogenetic relationships and divergence times for the genus Stenotaenia (Chilopoda, Geophilomorpha) in the Italian region
- Steps towards a phylogeny of the pill millipedes: non-monophyly of the family Protoglomeridae, with an integrative redescription of Eupeyerimhoffia archimedis (Diplopoda, Glomerida)
- Species limits and phylogeography of Newportia (Scolopendromorpha) and implications for widespread morphospecies
- Cave Diplopoda of southern China with reference to millipede diversity in Southeast Asia
- At the end of the rope: Geophilus hadesi sp. n. – the world’s deepest cave-dwelling centipede (Chilopoda, Geophilomorpha, Geophilidae)
- Millipedes faced with drought: the life cycle of a Mediterranean population of Ommatoiulus sabulosus (Linnaeus) (Diplopoda, Julida, Julidae)
- Centipede (Chilopoda) richness and diversity in the Bug River valley (Eastern Poland)
- Distribution of millipedes along an altitudinal gradient in the south of Lake Teletskoye, Altai Mts, Russia (Diplopoda)
- Centipede assemblages along an urbanization gradient in the city of Heraklion, Crete (Greece)
- Distribution of millipedes (Myriapoda, Diplopoda) along a forest interior – forest edge – grassland habitat complex
- Hay-bait traps are a useful tool for sampling of soil dwelling millipedes and centipedes
- New records of Lophoproctus coecus Pocock, 1894 (Diplopoda, Polyxenida, Lophoproctidae) extend the range of the genus Lophoproctus
- The current knowledge on centipedes (Chilopoda) in Slovenia: faunistic and ecological records from a national database
- Interaction of the tracheal tubules of Scutigera coleoptrata (Chilopoda, Notostigmophora) with glandular structures of the pericardial septum
- Tentorial mobility in centipedes (Chilopoda) revisited: 3D reconstruction of the mandibulo-tentorial musculature of Geophilomorpha
- On the function of the ultimate legs of some Scolopendridae (Chilopoda, Scolopendromorpha)