Family: Wupedeviridae


Jens H. Kuhn, Scott Adkins, Katherine Brown, Juan Carlos de la Torre, Michele Digiaro, Holly R. Hughes, Sandra Junglen, Amy J. Lambert, Piet Maes, Marco Marklewitz, Gustavo Palacios, Takahide Sasaya (笹谷孝英), Massimo Turina, and Yong-Zhen Zhang (张永振)

The citation for this ICTV Report chapter is the summary published as: 

Kuhn et al., (2023) ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Wupedeviridae 2023, Journal of General Virology (2023), 104, 001932

Corresponding author: Yong-Zhen Zhang (张永振) (
Edited by: Jens H. Kuhn and Stuart G. Siddell
Posted: November 2023, updated June 2024


Wupedeviridae is a family of negative-sense RNA viruses with genomes of about 20.5 kb (Table 1 Wupedeviridae). These viruses have been found in myriapods. The family includes a single genus with one species for one virus. The wupedevirid genome consists of three monocistronic RNA segments with open reading frames (ORFs) that encode a nucleoprotein (NP), a glycoprotein (GP), and a large (L) protein containing an RNA-directed RNA polymerase (RdRP) domain.

Table 1 Wupedeviridae. Characteristics of members of the family Wupedeviridae

ExampleWǔhàn millipede virus 2 (S: KM817757; M: KX650645; L: KM817696), species Wumivirus millepedae, genus Wumivirus
GenomeAbout 20.5 kb of tri-segmented negative-sense RNA
Host rangePolydesmid myriapods (millipedes)
TaxonomyRealm Riboviria, kingdom Orthornavirae, phylum Negarnaviricota, class Bunyaviricetes, order Hareavirales; the family includes one genus and one species




Nucleic acid

Wupedevirids have a genome comprising three RNA segments (small [S], medium [M], and large L) of linear negative-sense RNA with a total length of about 20.5 kb (S segment: about 1.9 kb; M segment: about 7.0 kb; and L segment: about 11.6 kb) (Li et al., 2015).

Genome organization and replication

Viruses of the family Wupedeviridae have a tri-segmented genome, each segment with an ORF that encodes an NP, a GP, an L protein containing an RdRP domain (Li et al., 2015) (Figure 1 Wupedeviridae).

Wupedeviridae genome
Figure 1 Wupedeviridae. Genome organization of Wǔhàn millipede virus 2. ORFs are colored according to the predicted protein function (GP, glycoprotein gene; L, large protein gene; NP, nucleoprotein gene).


The only classified wupedevirid, Wǔhàn millipede virus 2 ((WhMV2)), was detected in unspecified polydesmid myriapods (millipedes) in China (Li et al., 2015).

Derivation of names

millepedae: from millipede

Wumivirus: from hàn millipede virus 2

Wupedeviridae: from hàn millipede virus 2.

Genus demarcation criteria

Not applicable (the family includes only a single genus).

Species demarcation criteria

Not applicable (the only genus includes only a single species).

Relationships within the family

Not applicable (the only genus includes only a single species).

Relationships with other taxa

Viruses in the family Wupedeviridae are most closely related to bunyaviral arenavirids, discoviridae, leishbuvirids, mypovirids, nairovirids, and phenuivirids (Herath et al., 2020) (Figure 2 Wupedeviridae).

Wupededivirdae phylogeny
Figure 2 Wupedeviridae. Phylogenetic relationships of Wǔhàn millipede virus 2. L protein sequences were aligned using MUSCLE and a maximum likelihood tree was produced using FastTree with default settings. Family branches have been collapsed. Numbers at nodes indicate bootstrap support >70%.