Th e polydesmoid family Haplodesmidae Cook, 1895 is reviewed and shown to be a senior subjective synonym of the family Doratodesmidae Cook, 1896, syn. n. Th e Haplodesmidae therefore encompasses six genera and 30 recognizable species, all keyed here, including the following six new species: Eutrichodesmus basalis sp. n. and E. armatocaudatus sp. n. from Vietnam; E. communicans sp. n. from Vanuatu, Melanesia; and E. latus sp. n., E. similis sp. n. and E. incisus sp. n. from China. Th e following new synonymies are proposed:
An updated review of the diplopod fauna of the Crimea is given. At present the fauna comprises 14 species from 11 genera, seven families and six orders, including Eurygyrus ochraceus C.L. Koch, 1847, an apparent introduction, Trachysphaera costata (Waga, 1857) (= T. rotundata (Lignau, 1911), syn. n.), represented by an obvious troglophilic, bisexual, relict population, and Amblyiulus kovali sp. n., likely a troglobitic endemic. Not only these species, but also their respective genera and, in the two former cases, their families and orders are new to the Crimean list.
The large genus Orthomorpha is rediagnosed and is shown to currently comprise 51 identifiable species ranging from northern Myanmar and Thailand in the Northwest to Lombok Island, Indonesia in the Southeast. Of them, 20 species have been revised and/or abundantly illustrated, based on a restudy of mostly type material; further 12 species are described as new: Orthomorpha atypica sp. n., Orthomorpha communis sp. n., Orthomorpha isarankurai sp. n., Orthomorpha picturata sp. n., Orthomorpha similanensis sp. n., Orthomorpha suberecta sp. n., Orthomorpha tuberculifera sp. n.,Orthomorpha subtuberculifera sp. n. and Orthomorpha latiterga sp. n., all from Thailand, as well as Orthomorpha elevata sp. n.,Orthomorpha spiniformis sp. n. and Orthomorpha subelevata sp. n., from northern Malaysia. The type-species Orthomorpha beaumontii (Le Guillou, 1841) is redescribed in due detail from male material as well, actually being a senior subjective synonym of Orthomorpha spinala (Attems, 1932), syn. n. Two additional new synonymies are proposed: Orthomorpha rotundicollis (Attems, 1937) = Orthomorpha tuberculata (Attems, 1937), syn. n., and Orthomorpha butteli Carl, 1922 = Orthomorpha consocius Chamberlin, 1945, syn. n., the valid names to the left. All species have been keyed and all new and some especially widespread species have been mapped. Further six species, including two revised from type material, are still to be considered dubious, mostly because their paraterga appear to be too narrow to represent Orthomorpha species. A new genus, Orthomorphoides gen. n., diagnosed versus Orthomorpha through only moderately well developed paraterga, coupled with a poorly bi- or trifid gonopod tip, with at least some of its apical prongs being short spines, is erected for two species: Orthomorpha setosus (Attems, 1937), the type-species, which is also revised from type material, and Orthomorpha exaratus (Attems, 1953), both comb. n. ex Orthomorpha.
The family Polydesmidae is represented in the Caucasus by two genera and 11 species: Polydesmus abchasius Attems, 1898, P. lignaui Lohmander, 1936, P. muralewiczi Lohmander, 1936 and P. mediterraneus Daday, 1889 (all confined to the NW and W Caucasus, but of which only the former three are endemic to the region, whereas the latter species is an introduction), as well as Brachydesmus assimilis Lohmander, 1936 (endemic to most of the region, except Hyrcania), B. pigmentatus Attems, 1951 (= B. pereliae Golovatch, 1976, syn. n.) (subendemic to Hyrcania), B. superus Latzel, 1884 (a cosmopolitan introduction), B. furcatus Lohmander, 1936 (= B. furcatus exiguus Strasser, 1970, syn. n.) (endemic to the NW Caucasus), B. kalischewskyi Lignau, 1915 (= B. karawajewi Lohmander, 1928, = B. ferrugineus Lohmander, 1936, = B. talyschanus Lohmander, 1936, = B. bidentatus Golovatch, 1976, all syn. n.) (a highly polymorphous and widespread species, apparently in a stage of active speciation, subendemic to the entire region), B. kvavadzei sp. n., from Ajaria, Georgia, and B. simplex sp. n., from Abkhazia and Sochi, Krasnodar Province, Russia. All known Caucasian species of Polydesmidae are described in due detail, abundantly illustrated and keyed, and their distributions mapped.
Animal life in caves has fascinated researchers and the public alike because of the unusual and sometimes bizarre morphological adaptations observed in numerous troglobitic species. Despite their worldwide diversity, the adaptations of cave millipedes (Diplopoda) to a troglobitic lifestyle have rarely been examined. In this study, morphological characters were analyzed in species belonging to four different orders (Glomerida, Polydesmida, Chordeumatida, and Spirostreptida) and six different families (Glomeridae, Paradoxosomatidae, Polydesmidae, Haplodesmidae, Megalotylidae, and Cambalopsidae) that represent the taxonomic diversity of class Diplopoda. We focused on the recently discovered millipede fauna of caves in southern China. Thirty different characters were used to compare cave troglobites and epigean species within the same genera. A character matrix was created to analyze convergent evolution of cave adaptations. Males and females were analyzed independently to examine sex differences in cave adaptations. While 10 characters only occurred in a few phylogenetic groups, 20 characters were scored for in all families. Of these, four characters were discovered to have evolved convergently in all troglobitic millipedes. The characters that represented potential morphological cave adaptations in troglobitic species were: (1) a longer body; (2) a lighter body color; (3) elongation of the femora; and (4) elongation of the tarsi of walking legs. Surprisingly, female, but not male, antennae were more elongated in troglobites than in epigean species. Our study clearly shows that morphological adaptations have evolved convergently in different, unrelated millipede orders and families, most likely as a direct adaptation to cave life.
The diversity of Diplopoda in caves of southern China is remarkably high, often 5–6 species per cave, consisting mostly of local endemics and presumed troglobionts. These are evidently biased to just a few lineages, mainly members of the orders Chordeumatida and Callipodida, the families Cambalopsidae (Spirostreptida) and Haplodesmidae (Polydesmida) or the genera Pacidesmus, Epanerchodus and Glenniea (all Polydesmida, Polydesmidae), Trichopeltis (Polydesmida, Cryptodesmidae), Dexmoxytes (Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae) and Hyleoglomeris (Glomerida, Glomeridae). All these taxa, especially the Paradoxosomatidae and Cambalopsidae (usually amounting to about 60% and 10% of the total species diversity in the Oriental fauna, respectively), are moderately to highly speciose across Southeast Asia, being largely epigean. However, the epigean Diplopoda of southern China are yet badly understudied, since much of the collecting and taxonomic exploration efforts still focus on cavernicoles. The Oriental Region is the only biogeographic realm globally that harbours all 16 orders of Diplopoda, of which 14 have already been encountered in China and/or the immediately adjacent parts of Indochina. Thus, China may actually prove to support no less than 1,000 millipede species of various origins, mainly Oriental and Palaearctic.
The hitherto monotypic genus Caucasodesmus is new to the Ukrainian list due to the discovery of Caucasodesmus tauricus sp. n. in a cave in the Crimea. The new species is easily distinguished from Caucasodesmus inexpectatus Golovatch, 1985, the type, and only other, known species of this genus, in the abundantly setose collum and following metaterga, and more elaborate gonopods. The status of Caucasodesmus, which shows in the superfamily Trichopolydesmoidea where it definitely belongs such evident generic-level apomorphies as the absence of bacilliform sensilla on antennomeres 5 and 7, of a cannula on the gonocoxite, and of a seminal groove on a biramous gononod telopodite (apparently, both latter characters are functionally correlated to each other), is refined by formally reassigning it to the family Trichopolydesmidae.
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