Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A new millipede: Paracortina zhangi

Millipedes are often found under mulch, piles of dead leaves, or under piles of grass clipping. They thrive in places where the soil stays damp. There they eat dead leaves and decaying wood particles that they find.

In the fall, millipedes often migrate. They move out of their normal habitat. Researchers suspect they may be trying to get ready for winter. However, they have also been seen migrating after a heavy rain has flooded their habitat. During these migrations, millipedes often find their way into our homes.

Some millipedes are well adapted to live in caves. Today's new species, Paracortina zhangi is one of these cave-dwelling representatives found in China. It was named after Chongzhou Zhang to honour his contribution to the systematics of millipedes in China.

For the experts: Two new species of the millipede genus Paracortina Wang & Zhang, 1993 are described. Both are presumed troglophiles: P. zhangi sp. n. from a cave in Ceheng County, southwestern Guizhou Province and P. yinae sp. n. from a cave in Longlin County, western Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. A distribution map and a key to all 12 Paracortina species are also provided.

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