Yellow flat-backed millipede Cherokia georgiana, copyright Sheryl Pollock.

Belongs within: Polydesmida.

The Xystodesmoidea are a group of millipedes with usually prominent paraterga and bodies incapable of rolling into a ball.

Characters (from Enghoff et al. 2015): Length ca. 8 to more than 80 mm, exceptionally smaller. Body not capable of volvation, broad and robust, width/length ratio usually <18%, usually parallel-sided on rings 3–16. Antennae rarely with more than four apical cones, not arranged in dyads. Paraterga mostly prominent, lateral calluses normally evident; metaterga usually without setae. Gonopod coxa with cannula; telopodite with neither acccssory seminal chamber nor hairy pulvillus.

    |    |--EurymerodesmusH90
    |    `--ParesmusH90
    `--Xystodesmidae [Fontariidae]H90
         |  i. s.: XystocheirH90
         |         AmplocheirH90
         |         PaimokiaH90
         |         AnombrocheirH90
         |         WamokiaH90
         |         Motyxia [incl. Luminodesmus]S96
         |         HarpapheH90
         |         HybapheH90
         |         IsapheH90
         |         TubapheH90
         |         ChonapheH90
         |         MontapheH90
         |         MetaxycheirH90
         |         OropheH90
         |         StenodesmusH90
         |         GyalostethusH90
         |         CaralindaH90
         |         PachydesmusH90
         |         DicellariusH90
         |         NannariaH90
         |         OenomoeaH90
         |         Apheloria virginiensisH90, S96 [=Fontaria virginiensisS96]
         |         RudiloriaH90
         |         DixioriaH90
         |         SigmoriaH90
         |           |--S. aberransI92
         |           |--S. (Sigmoria) latiorS96
         |           `--S. (Sigiria) rubromarginata [=Fontaria rubromarginata]S96
         |         CleptoriaH90
         |         BrachoriaH90
         |         DynoriaH90
         |         LyrraneaH90
         |         DeltotariaH90
         |         StelgipusH90
         |         CheiropusH90
         |         CroataniaH90
         |         SemionellusH90
              |--Rhysodesmus Cook 1895H62
              |    `--R. violaceus (Brölemann 1900) [=Fontaria violacea]K54
              |--Erdelyia Hoffman 1962H62
              |    `--*E. saucra Hoffman 1962H62
              |--Cruzodesmus Chamberlin 1943H62
              |--Acentronus Chamberlin 1943H62
              |--Boraria Chamberlin 1943H62
              |--Howellaria Hoffman 1950H62
              |--Cherokia Chamberlin 1949H62
              |    `--C. georgianaMG06
              `--Pleuroloma Rafinesque 1820H62
                   `--P. flavipesS96

*Type species of generic name indicated


Enghoff, H., S. Golovatch, M. Short, P. Stoev & T. Wesener. 2015. Diplopoda—taxonomic overview. In: Minelli, A. (ed.) Treatise on Zoology—Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology. The Myriapoda vol. 2 pp. 363–454. Brill: Leiden.

[H62] Hoffman, R. L. 1962. A new genus and species in the diplopod family Xystodesmidae (Polydesmida). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 75: 181–188.

[H90] Hoffman, R. L. 1990. Diplopoda. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 835–860. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[I92] Imes, R. 1992. The Practical Entomologist. Aurum Press: London.

[K54] Kraus, O. 1954. Myriapoden aus El Salvador. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35 (5–6): 293–349.

[MG06] Mallatt, J., & G. Giribet. 2006. Further use of nearly complete 28S and 18S rRNA genes to classify Ecdysozoa: 37 more arthropods and a kinorhynch. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40: 772–794.

[S96] Shelley, R. M. 1996. Book Review: The Biology of Millipedes. Stephen P. Hopkin and Helen J. Read. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 98 (1): 169–172.

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