Antichiropus `DIP014` dorsal and lateral view

Antichiropus `DIP014`

This species is an undescribed member of the very diverse genus, Antichiropus. Members of this genus are only found in Western Australia, with most species inhabiting tiny distributions of less than 10,000km2. These "short range endemics" are particularly susceptible to local impacts on their environment. There are approx. 170 Antichiropus species in total in WA, of which at least 40 (all undescribed) occur only in the Pilbara.

Morphology

This species may be distinguished from all others by the structure of its male gonopods. Females and juveniles on their own cannot be used for identification.

Evolution

The genus Antichiropus belongs to the family Paradoxosomatidae. The genus exhibits a distinctive gonopod (specialised structure used for reproduction), which is the basis for morphological identification. The genus is very species rich, and due to the unique behaviour of the species, specimens that are collected are rarely adequate for molecular work. Adults emerge from the ground after rain, and as such are rarely caught live. Instead, specimens are mostly caught in pitfall traps filled with a preservative substance that degrades DNA. Some of the species of this genus have had their DNA sequenced, showing that morphological species are distinct at cytochrome oxidase I. Sequencing also reveals distinct lineages, for which no adult male specimens have been collected.

Behaviour

Live most of their life underground in soil and only emerge to mate after heavy rain.

Method of reproduction

Sexual

Habitat

Terrestrial

Found on rocky slopes.

Distribution

This species is a short range endemic (range less than 10,000km2) found in the Pilbara, 8 km W of Newman.

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Myriapoda
Class: Diplopoda
Order: Polydesmida
Family: Paradoxosomatidae
Genus: Antichiropus
Species: `DIP014`
Rank: species
Commercial Impact: 

None

Conservation Assessment: Least Concern

Phylogenetic Tree: 

Phylogenetic tree

Net Conservation Benefits Fund

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Western Australian Museum Collections http://museum.wa.gov.au/online-collections/names/antichiropus-dip014
Accessed 7 Dec 2019

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