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.
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.
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.
Live most of their life underground in soil and only emerge to mate after heavy rain
Method of reproduction
This species is a short range endemic (range less than 10,000km2) found in the Pilbara, 24 km SE of Paraburdoo.
|Conservation Assessment:||Critically Endangered|
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Western Australian Museum Collections http://museum.wa.gov.au/online-collections/names/antichiropus-dip039
Accessed 24 Aug 2019
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