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A millipede missing link: Dobrodesmidae, a remarkable new polydesmidan
millipede family from Brazil with supernumerary rings (Diplopoda, Polydesmida), and the establishment of a new suborder Dobrodesmidea



Dobrodesmus mirabilis n. gen., n. sp. is described from a limestone cave in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The new species is unique among millipedes of the order Polydesmida in having 39+t rings in adult males, two rather than four spinnerets, and in its highly plesiomorphic gonopods, which resemble those of basal members of the orders Callipodida and Stemmiulida. The presence of 39 rings is notable because members of the Polydesmida, the most species rich order of millipedes (>5000 spp.) normally stop development at 19+t rings. Because of these characters, D. mirabilis is the basis for the proposal of a new family (Dobrodesmidae) and a new suborder (Dobrodesmidea) of polydesmidans.



Myriapoda, Neotropics, Brazil, limestone caves, conservation, anamorphosis, postembryonic development

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