Tasmaniosoma cacofonix, Mesibov, 2010

Mesibov, Robert, 2010, The millipede genus Tasmaniosoma Verhoeff, 1936 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Dalodesmidae) from Tasmania, Australia, with descriptions of 18 new species, ZooKeys 41 (4), pp. 31-80: 50-51

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.3897/zookeys.41.420

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scientific name

Tasmaniosoma cacofonix

sp. n.

Tasmaniosoma cacofonix   sp. n.


Figs 4C View Figure 4 , 12; map Fig. 26 View Figure 26

Holotype. Male, Australia, Tasmania, Glennons Road area , 41°03'41"S 147°34'17"E ( EQ 479541 View Materials ) ± 100 m, 130 m, 6 January 1994, R. Mesibov, QVM 23 View Materials :51661. GoogleMaps  

Paratypes. 8 males, 2 females, Eddystone Point , Tas, 40°59'44"S 148°19'29"E ( FQ 113607 View Materials ) ± 100 m, 10 m, pitfall emptied 22 April 1987, T. Churchill, QVM 23 View Materials :46776 GoogleMaps   ; 1 male, 1 female, same details but 18 November 1987, QVM 23 View Materials :46777   ; 7 males, Old Chum Dam , Tas, 41°02'59"S 148°02'46"E ( EQ 878550 View Materials ) ± 100 m, 140 m, pitfall 7/2 emptied February 2000, R. Bashford, QVM 23 View Materials :46748 GoogleMaps   ; 1 male, Sapphire Creek , Mt Cameron, Tas, 40°59'02"S 147°56'30"E ( EQ 791624 View Materials ) ± 50 m, 360 m, 14 November 2009, K. Bonham & A. Th rossell, QVM 23 View Materials :51660 GoogleMaps   .

Other material examined. 79 males and 1 female from 40 other sites (see Appendix).

Diagnosis. Metatergites without tubercles, gonopod telopodite with five processes, the largest and longest terminating in thorn-like extension.

Description. Male/female approximate measurements: length 14/ 13 mm, ring 12 paranota width 1.6/ 1.4 mm. Live colour pale greenish-yellow, with darker yellowishbrown patches on sides and (variably) along dorsal midline, and with fine red speckling on paranota posteriorly and on head. In alcohol, specimens often completely decoloured or with reddish patches dorsally.

Most non-gonopod details as for T. armatum   , but antennomere 3 longest, relative widths tergite 6>5>head>(4,2)>3>collum, ring 12 paranota 1.4 × as wide as prozonite, male midbody metatergites ca 1.8 × as wide as long. Ring 2 pit ( Fig. 4C View Figure 4 ) deep, wide, rim well-defined except posteriorly. Ring 6 sternite with short leg 6 and 7 tabs each bearing short, linear brush of fine setae; legs 6 closer together than legs 7; sternite with anterior portion elevated on either side, creating triangular depression with apex at anterior margin.

Gonopod telopodite (Fig. 12) somewhat flattened anteroposteriorly, almost fusiform in lateral or medial view but with slight longitudinal concavity on posterior surface. Divided at ca 2/3 telopodite height into tight cluster of five processes, described here from longest to shortest: (a) large central process, appearing to be continuation of telopodite body, tapering distally, curving slightly medially and terminating in distally curving, thorn-like structure set off by slight constriction; (b) subcylindrical, acute process arising lateral and slightly posterior to central process, curving slightly anteriorly; (c) and (d) pair of closely pressed, mediolaterally flattened processes, medial to central process, the outer the solenomere; (e) lateral to solenomere and arising slightly basal to it, a rod-like, acute process directed posterodistally. Small patch of short, fine setae on posterior surface at ca mid-height; sparse, fine setae running anterodistally from base on posterior surface and terminating at ca 1/3 telopodite height; small linear group of fine setae midlaterally on slight longitudinal thickening. Prostatic groove curving posterodistally on medial surface, turning distally just posterior to process (e) base before entering solenomere base.

Figure |2. Tasmaniosoma cacofonix   sp. n., paratype male ex QVM 23:46748. A Anterior view of gonopods in situ B medial and C posterolateral views of left gonopod telopodite. Setation only shown in C, dashed line marks course of prostatic groove. Scale bars = 0.2 mm.

Female somewhat smaller than male, not with long midbody metatergites; posterior margin of epigynum produced as short, wide trapezoid.

Distribution. Common and sometimes locally abundant in eucalypt forest and coastal heath and scrub over ca 3000 km 2 in northeast Tasmania, from sea level to at least 370 m elevation ( Fig. 26 View Figure 26 ). Known from the north coast south almost to Mathinna, and from the east coast west to the neighbourhood of Bridport. Sympatric with T. decussatum   sp. n. in various parts of its range, and possibly parapatric with T. clarksonorum   sp. n., T. gerdiorivum   sp. n. and T. orientale   sp. n.

Etymology. Noun in apposition, honouring the village bard Cacofonix in the English version of the much-loved series of graphic novels The Adventures of Asterix. In anterior or posterior view, the paired central processes on the gonopod telopodite (Fig. 12A) remind me of the frame of a lyre, as played so memorably by Cacofonix.

Remarks. T. cacofonix   is abundant in eucalypt forest near Old Chum Dam, ca 10 km south-southeast from Gladstone in northeast Tasmania. Pitfall-trapping in this area in 1989/90 yielded 40 males, but many of these are partly macerated. As Old Chum Dam paratypes I selected five males that were trapped in 2000 and are in much better condition. Old Chum Dam is also the type locality of Atrophotergum sodalis Mesibov, 2004   (see Introduction).


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics