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Temporal range: Wenlock–Pennsylvanian
Acantherpestes major.jpg
Reconstruction of Acantherpestes major
Scientific classification

Scudder, 1882



Macrosterni Fritsch, 1899
Palaeocoxopleura Verhoeff, 1928

Cross-section (left) and side view (right) of a Euphoberiid archipolypodan body segment showing prominent tergal spines and two pair of legs.

Archipolypoda is an extinct group of millipedes known from fossils in Europe and North America and containing the earliest known land animals.[1] The Archipolypoda was erected by Scudder (1882)[2] but redefined in 2005 with the description of several new species from Scotland.[3] Distinguishing characteristics include relatively large eyes with densely packed ocelli (sometimes interpreted as compound eyes), and modified leg pairs on the 8th body ring.[3][4] Some species had prominent spines while others had a flattened appearance.[3][5]


The Archipolypoda as currently recognized consists of four orders,[6] many with monotypic families and genera, as well as five species of uncertain placement (incertae sedis).[3][7]

Archidesmida Wilson & Anderson 2004

Cowiedesmida Wilson & Anderson 2004

Euphoberiida Hoffman, 1969

Palaeosomatida Hannibal & Krzeminski, 2005. Carboniferous, UK and Poland[8]

Order incertae sedis

See also


  1. ^ Selden, Paul; Helen Read (2008). "The Oldest Land Animals: Silurian Millipedes from Scotland" (PDF). Bulletin of the British Myriapod & Isopod Group. 23: 36–37.
  2. ^ Scudder, Samuel H. (1882). "Archipolypoda, a Subordinal Type of Spined Myriapods from the Carboniferous Formation". Memoirs of the Boston Society of Natural History. 3 (5): 143.
  3. ^ a b c d Wilson, Heather M.; Anderson, Lyall I. (2004). "Morphology and taxonomy of Paleozoic millipedes (Diplopoda: Chilognatha: Archipolypoda) from Scotland". Journal of Paleontology. 78 (1): 169–184. doi:10.1666/0022-3360(2004)078<0169:MATOPM>2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 4094847.
  4. ^ Sierwald, Petra; Bond, Jason E. (2007). "Current Status of the Myriapod Class Diplopoda (Millipedes): Taxonomic Diversity and Phylogeny". Annual Review of Entomology. 52 (1): 401–420. doi:10.1146/annurev.ento.52.111805.090210. PMID 17163800.
  5. ^ Wilson, Heather M.; Daeschler, Edward B.; Desbiens, Sylvain (2005). "New Flat-Backed Archipolypodan Millipedes from the Upper Devonian of North America". Journal of Paleontology. 79 (4): 738–744. doi:10.1666/0022-3360(2005)079[0738:NFAMFT]2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 4095046.
  6. ^ Shear, William A.; Edgecombe, Gregory D. (2010). "The geological record and phylogeny of the Myriapoda". Arthropod Structure & Development. 39 (2–3): 174–190. doi:10.1016/j.asd.2009.11.002. PMID 19944188.
  7. ^ Wilson, Heather M. (2005). "A new genus of Archipolypodan millipede from the Coseley Lagerstatte, Upper Carboniferous, UK". Palaeontology. 48 (5): 1097–1100. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2005.00496.x.
  8. ^ Hannibal, Joseph T.; Krzeminski, Wieslaw (2005). "A palaeosomatid millipede (Archipolypoda: palaeosomatida) from the Carboniferous (Namurian A) of Silesia, Poland". Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne. 74 (3): 205–217.

External links