Abstract

As the most diverse animal phylum, Arthropoda expectedly has a complex nomenclatural history. Fossil stem groups scattering diagnostic traits of extant clades further complicate the matter. There have been some recent attempts at reorganizing higher-level arthropod taxonomy based on new fossil interpretations and phylogenetic results. However, I argue that this proposed terminology has introduced unnecessary confusion both for semantic reasons and because the core of these interpretations is being falsified. In this paper, I defend the rightful use of Arthropoda and Euarthropoda as key terms in organizing the major branches of the arthropod evolutionary tree and emend Euarthropoda based on the most recent findings in this field. To help with the description of the tree when dealing with euarthropods that belong outside of the main radiative clade including extant taxa, I propose the name Cenocondyla nom. nov., which represents the least inclusive group containing both Mandibulata and Chelicerata.

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