Polydesmida: Noteremus, Paredrodesmus and Procophorella

I think these three H+19 genera form a natural group. They all have the unusual ozopore formula 5, 7-18 and they share peculiarities in gonopod structure and spacing of the spinnerets (specialised setae under the 'tail', only visible at high magnification). Noteremus and Procophorella appear to be endemic to Tasmania, but an undescribed Paredrodesmus species is found in Victoria.

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Noteremus infimus (left) and N. summus (right)

Mesibov (2009)

Tasmania mapinfimus       gonopodsinfimus

N. infimus Mesibov, 2009
Males ca 12 mm long, pale
Cave-dwelling in the Junee-Florentine karst, abundant there

Tasmania mapsummus       gonopodssummus

N. summus Mesibov, 2009
Males to ca 22 mm, reddish (not quite so red as in the image above)
So far known only from the summit of Mt Weld 



Paredrodesmus are ca 10-12 mm long. Most are tan in body colour, but P. purpureus is reddish-purple. The genus was formerly coded as 'genus C'. The ozopores are large and clearly visible on all rings which have them (5 and 7-18). Positive identifications can only be made by examination of the male gonopods, especially with the western species, which have overlapping ranges. However, both males and females of P. bicalcar are recognisable by their forked 'tails' (image below).


Top views of 'tails' of P. taurulus (left) and P. bicalcar (right)

Paredrodesmus species are shallow-burrowing millipedes with a preference for richly organic soils. They are gregarious, and a small patch of forest humus can yield hundreds of individuals. P. taurulus can be abundant in Pinus radiata plantations and P. purpureus is abundant in eucalypt regrowth arising from clearfall-and-burn silviculture.

Bonham et al. (2002), Mesibov (1997b, 1999, 2003d)

Tasmania mapaceriodendron       gonopodsaceriodendron

P. aceriodendron Mesibov, 2003
Sometimes locally abundant in dry eucalypt forest in the southern portion of the East Coast, including Maria Island

Tasmania mapaustralis       gonopodsaustralis

P. australis Mesibov, 2003
Uncommon in wet eucalypt forest and rainforest in south central Tasmania

Tasmania mapbicalcar       gonopodsbicalcar

P. bicalcar Mesibov, 2003
Mainly in wet eucalypt forest and rainforest in western Tasmania

Tasmania mapmonticolus       gonopodsmonticolus

P. monticolus Mesibov, 2003
Uncommon in wet eucalypt forest and rainforest in central Tasmania

Tasmania mappurpureus       gonopodspurpureus

P. purpureus Mesibov, 2003
Fairly common in wet eucalypt forest and rainforest in SE Tasmania, including Bruny Island

Tasmania maptaurulus       gonopodstaurulus

P. taurulus Mesibov, 2003
Locally abundant in northern and northwestern Tasmania, mainly in wet eucalypt forest. The one Flinders Island record (see map) is a very odd disjunction and needs to be investigated. 



Procophorella are 10-12 mm long as adults and were formerly referred to as 'genus D'. They are easily recognised by the appearance of the ozopore, which is near the posterior end of the much-reduced paranotum on most posterior rings (image above at right). The ozopore rim refracts light strongly and the side of the body seems to be adorned with a string of tiny dewdrops. Both Procophorella species are uncommon, with a strong preference for fairly wet forest litter. P. innupta also occurs in Pinus radiata plantations. Although males are rare in most populations, the two species meet but don't overlap (see maps) at the biogeographical divide known as the Mersey Break. It's fairly safe to identify a NW Procophorella as P. innupta and a NE one as P. bashfordi.

Bonham et al. (2002), Mesibov (1999, 2003d)

Tasmania mapbashfordi       gonopodsbashfordi

P. bashfordi Mesibov, 2003

Tasmania mapinnupta       gonopodsinnupta

P. innupta Mesibov, 2003