Eumillipes persephone Marek, 2021

Marek, Paul E., Buzatto, Bruno A., Shear, William A., Means, Jackson C., Black, Dennis G., Harvey, Mark S. & Rodriguez, Juanita, 2021, The first true millipede- 1306 legs long, Scientific Reports 11 (23126), pp. 1-11 : 1-11

publication ID 10.1038/s41598-021-02447-0


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scientific name

Eumillipes persephone Marek

new species

Eumillipes persephone Marek , new species. 4D05-804B-D9AE1C7B3F47

Diagnosis. Adults of Eumillipes persephone canbedifferentiated fromother polyzoniidangenera andspecies (and commonly encountered millipedes co-occurring with E. persephone in Western Australia) based on the combination of the following characters. Body extremely long and thread-like (width: ♂ 0.92 mm; ♀ 0.95 mm; length: ♂ 54.7 mm; ♀ 95.7 mm). Exoskeleton uniformly pale, cream-colored ( Fig. 1A View Figure 1 , Supplementary figs. S6– S8)—with neither dark pigmentation nor longitudinal, nor transverse stripes as in surface-dwelling species (Supplementary Fig. S9). Adult millipedes with an exceptional number of rings and legs: ♀ up to 330 rings and 1,306 legs, and ♂ upto 208 rings and 818 legs (Supplementary tab. S1). Headcone-shaped andeyeless ( Fig. 1C View Figure 1 , Supplementary Fig. S1A–C View Figure 1 )—lacking eyes as are present in surface-dwelling species. Ninth and 10th leg pairs modified into gonopods ( Fig. 1C View Figure 1 , Supplementary figs. S4, S5). Anterior gonopods (9th leg pair) highly modified, not leg like, and distinctly bifurcated into two processes ( Fig. 1C View Figure 1 , Supplementary figs. S4, S5A). Medial process of the anterior gonopods saddle-shaped—not pointed and recurved as in Siphonotus flavomarginatus Attems , 191121. Lateral process sheath-like and cupping the medial process. Posterior gonopods (10th leg pair) stylet-like, and in repose threaded through the bifurcated anterior gonopods ( Fig. 1C View Figure 1 , Supplementary figs. S4, S5B). Sterna of gonopods with four long, slender, curved setae apically studded with spinules (Supplementary figs. S4B, S5A).

Material examined. Male holotype ( WAM T147101 ) GoogleMaps , two female and one male paratypes ( WAM T147100 , T 147124 , T 146684 ), and two juveniles ( WAM T147122 , T147123 ) from Western Australia, ca. 100 km WSW of Norseman, 32° 32′ 05.9" S, 120° 47′ 42.74" E, 27 May–4 August 2020, collected by A.J. Mittra and L.P. Masarei (Western Australian Museum). GoogleMaps

Variation. Males have fewer segments and legs; specimen T 147101 has 198 segments and 778 legs (Supplementary Fig. S7), and T 147100 has 208 segments and 818 legs (Supplementary Fig. S8). Female specimen T 147124 possesses 330 segments and 1,306 legs ( Fig. 1A View Figure 1 , Supplementary Fig. S6), and T 146684 has 253 segments and 998 legs.

Etymology. Te genus is named because it is the first true millipede with more than 1000 legs. Te name Eumillipes is a combination of the Greek eu-, meaning ‘true’; Latin mille, ‘thousand’; and Latin pes, ‘foot’. It is to be treated as a noun. Te species epithet is derived from the Greek mythological goddess of the underworld, Persephone, who was originally from the surface but was taken to the underworld by Hades.


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics