ChiloBase 2.0

A World Catalogue of Centipedes (Chilopoda)

Scope and aims

'ChiloBase' is intended to be a catalogue of all known centipedes (Chilopoda) of the world. It is an electronic database, publicly and freely available through the World Wide Web ( Based on a nomenclator of all genus- and species-level names, it is intended to offer, as far as possible, a consistent, updated taxonomic system for the Chilopoda. In a searchable web-based format, it aims to be a user-friendly reference database for faunistic, ecological and medical research, as well as to stimulate further taxonomic research. This catalogue is the product of a project developed under the umbrella of GBIF.


The taxonomic information has been provided by:
  • Lucio Bonato (Università di Padova, Padova, Italy) [Geophilomorpha; database management]
  • Amazonas Chagas Junior (Museu Nacional/ UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) [Scolopendromorpha]
  • Gregory D. Edgecombe (Natural History Museum, London, UK) [Lithobiomorpha]
  • John G. E. Lewis (Natural History Museum, London, UK and Somerset County Museum, Taunton, UK) [Scolopendromorpha]
  • Alessandro Minelli (Università di Padova, Padova, Italy) [general project management; Geophilomorpha]
  • Luis A. Pereira (Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina) [Geophilomorpha]
  • Rowland M. Shelley (North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC, USA) [Scolopendromorpha]
  • Pavel Stoev (National Museum of Natural History, Sofia, Bulgaria) [Scutigeromorpha]
  • Marzio Zapparoli (Università della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy) [Lithobiomorpha]
The database infrastructure and website have been created by:
  • Rosario Dioguardi (Università di Padova, Padova, Italy)
  • Giuseppe Cortese (Università di Padova, Padova, Italy)

Analysis of taxonomic literature

'ChiloBase' was compiled after gathering, critically evaluating and integrating all taxonomic information published to date, starting with compiling a bibliographic database including > 5000 works.

Content of the catalogue

'ChiloBase 2.0' includes all genus-group (genus, subgenus) and species-group (species, subspecies) taxa described up to the end of 2015 and currently regarded as valid.

In its current release, the catalogue includes a total number of 5845 records, which are distributed as follows:

valid synonyms
genera 437 169
subgenera 108 41
species 3327 1177
subspecies 787 14

For each taxon, the following fundamental information is provided: scientific name; authorship (author(s) and year); bibliographic reference to the original description; order and family in which the taxon is currently included; original rank; recognised synonyms (with authorship and bibliographic reference to the earliest work where the synonymy was proposed); latest taxonomic scrutiny (i.e., bibliographic reference to the most recent work where the taxon is discussed or revised).

For genus-group taxa, we also give the type species in its original combination, the mode of designation (original designation, monotypy, subsequent designation, direct substitution), and the bibliographic reference for its designation if subsequent to the original description.

For species-group taxa, we also give the original combination and the type locality, together with the bibliographic reference to its designation if not given with the original description.

For valid species and subspecies, we also recorded the known geographical distribution.

Collation, compilation and validation

The database was compiled following a process encompassing three fundamental steps, each managed by different team members:

1) Collation of taxonomic information: all primary information was gathered though the perusal of the relevant literature, and eventually a taxonomic system of valid and synonymous names was compiled through the critical integration of the published information.

2) Digitisation of data in a common electronic format.

3) Validation of data: the database was checked for possible gaps in data, errors or inconsistencies in respect to the rules of zoological nomenclature, redundancy and inconsistencies among parts.

Unavailable names

A supplementary list is provided including names which have been applied to Chilopoda in printed works, but which remained unavailable in the meaning of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

Geographical distribution

Information on the geographical distribution was compiled for valid species and subspecies. For most taxa, the countries where the relevant taxon has been reliably recorded to date were listed in full. When the occurrence encompasses more than a dozen contiguous countries, or when the actual distribution is hard to be evaluated based on published records (because of frequent misidentifications or poorly detailed data), only continental or subcontinental areas were listed. For boundaries and names of states, we referred to the political situation as in 2015.

Maintenance and updating

The database is maintained at the Department of Biology in the University of Padova. It is planned to be updated on a yearly basis.

Last updated 1 January 2016