Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Millipede family added to Australian fauna

Date:
August 30, 2012
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
An entire group of millipedes previously unknown in Australia has been discovered by a specialist – on museum shelves. Hundreds of tiny specimens of the widespread tropical family Pyrgodesmidae have been found among bulk samples in two museums, showing that native pyrgodesmids are not only widespread in Australia's tropical and subtropical forests, but are also abundant and diverse. The study has been published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

This image shows a Nephopyrgodesmus eungella male, one of the newly found species.
Credit: Robert Mesibov / Creative Commons license

An entire group of millipedes previously unknown in Australia has been discovered by a specialist -- on museum shelves. Hundreds of tiny specimens of the widespread tropical family Pyrgodesmidae have been found among bulk samples in two museums, showing that native pyrgodesmids are not only widespread in Australia's tropical and subtropical forests, but are also abundant and diverse. The study has been published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Related Articles


"Most pyrgodesmid species are so small they could be easily overlooked," explained millipede specialist Dr Robert Mesibov, of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, Tasmania. "What's interesting is how thoroughly overlooked they've been. We now know there are dozens of native species of these millipedes in our warm, wet forests, stretching over more than 2000 km on Australia's east coast."

Six new species and three new genera of the colorful, curiously sculptured millipedes have now been described from Australia, all from the state of Queensland.

"It's a great example of the value of museum collections," said Dr Mesibov. "Scientists from the Queensland Museum and CSIRO Entomology collected bagfuls of leaf litter in hundreds of places over many years. They extracted bugs in bulk from the fresh litter and took out just the ones they were studying, usually beetles. The remaining bugs are in 'residues' stored in the Queensland Museum and the Australian National Insect Collection."

Dr Mesibov said it's not generally appreciated that zoological specialists find most of their new species in museums. "Sure, biological expeditions to previously unexplored places turn up exciting new species. But there are plenty of surprises waiting when you go rummaging through the residues on museum shelves. In this case, it was a whole family of animals not known from Australia."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Mesibov. The first native Pyrgodesmidae (Diplopoda, Polydesmida) from Australia. ZooKeys, 2012; 217 (0): 63 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.217.3809

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Millipede family added to Australian fauna." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120830130000.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2012, August 30). Millipede family added to Australian fauna. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120830130000.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Millipede family added to Australian fauna." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120830130000.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins