The phylogenetic relationships of the chilopod orders are discussed on the basis of cladistic principles. The autapomorphies of the five orders (Scutigeromorpha, Lithobiomorpha, Craterostigmomorpha, Scolopendromorpha, and Geophilomorpha) are summarized. The monophyly of the Epimorpha is established. Craterostigmus is tentatively regarded as belonging to the epimorph branch. The Lithobiomorpha are united with the Epimorpha on the ground of a great number of common characters which must be classified as synapomorphies. A detailed phylogenetic tree is proposed. The probable characteristics of the chilopod ancestor are worked out.