Polydesmida: Atrophotergum


There are six named species in this endemic H+19 genus, formerly coded 'genus A'. Atrophotergum species live in the upper layers of eucalypt forest litter, and adult lengths are in the range 6-14 mm. Male Atrophotergum are larger than females, which is the opposite of the norm in Tasmanian Polydesmida. All species tolerate considerable habitat disturbance, and the northwest species A. bonhami and A. silvaticum are found in Pinus radiata plantations. A. montanum is remarkable for its abundance in subalpine habitats on the Central Plateau.

The distributions of the six named Atrophotergum species form a tightly fitted geographical mosaic. The one northwest record for A. pastorale is from a eucalypt plantation and I suspect it's an introduction from eastern Tasmania.

Bonham et al. (2002), Mesibov (1999, 2004a)

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Tasmania mapbonhami      gonopodsbonhami

A. bonhami Mesibov, 2004
8-10 mm long

Tasmania mapmontanum      gonopodsmontanum

A. montanum Mesibov, 2004
12-14 mm long

Tasmania mappastorale      gonopodspastorale

A. pastorale Mesibov, 2004
8-10 mm long

Tasmania mapsilvaticum      gonopodssilvaticum

A. silvaticum Mesibov, 2004
8-9 mm long
(pictured at top of page)

Tasmania mapsodalis      gonopodssodalis

A. sodalis Mesibov, 2004
7-8 mm long

Tasmania mapwurrawurraense      gonopodswurrawurraense

A. wurrawurraense Mesibov, 2004
6-7 mm long