Geophilomorph centipedes and the littoral habitat

in Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews
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Abstract

More than 40 species from at least 20 genera in 6 or more families of the Geophilomorpha (Chilopoda) are recorded from marine littoral habitats in various parts of the world. Although there is little recent work on their physiology it seems that they have the capacity to tolerate the osmotic and respiratory regime that is involved and their anatomical adaptations to a burrowing habit and, at least in some cases, their behaviour makes them a fairly constant component of sea-shore ecosystems where they sometimes occur in surprisingly large numbers. It is suggested that the richness of the food source in these habitats, along with other factors such as shelter, microclimate and possibly absence of parasites and/or predators would be the main reason why these now terrestrial animals have re-invaded the seashore so many times since their first appearance in the Palaeozoic. Their tolerance of seawater and occurrence on coasts could lead to passive distribution by rafting and the occurrence of isolated populations could result in genetic differences.

Geophilomorph centipedes and the littoral habitat

in Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews

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