Last update 17 August 2023
robert (dot) mesibov (at) gmail (dot) com
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ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3466-5038
Scientific publications on this page (hover to see abstracts)
Selection of online articles on coding and software, opens on new page
Mesibov R (2022) An update on the identity, distribution and biogeography of the remarkable centipede Craterostigmus tasmanianus. The Tasmanian Naturalist 144: 63-66.
noteIncludes a new distribution map.
Mesibov R (2021) Tasmania on the iNaturalist platform. The Tasmanian Naturalist 143: 13-27.
noteDescriptive statistics on iNaturalist observations in Tasmania to 15 May 2021. BHL link
Mesibov R (2021) An Australian collector's authority file, 1973–2020. Biodiversity Data Journal 9: e70463.
abstractBiodiversity databases contain omissions and errors, including those resulting from data entry mistakes and from the use of outdated or incorrect data sources. Some of these omissions and errors can be minimised by the use of authority files, such as expert-compiled taxonomic name databases. However, there are few publicly available authority files for collecting events, and the "where", "when" and "by whom" of specimen data are typically entered into biodiversity databases separately and directly, item by item from specimen labels. Here I describe a publicly available compilation of 3829 of my own collecting events over a 48-year period in Australia. Each record contains a unique combination of date, georeferenced location and location notes. DOI link
Mesibov R, Rodriguez J (2020) A new genus and species of narrow-range millipede (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Dalodesmidae) from Tasmania, Australia. ZooKeys 966: 1-8.
abstractKebodesmus zonarius gen. nov. et sp. nov. is only known from a small area on the Great Western Tiers in northern Tasmania, Australia, and like species of Paredrodesmus Mesibov, 2003 has no detectable paranota on the diplosegments. The gonopod telopodite of the new species is divided into a large, lateral, cowl-like structure, a solenomere and a medial branch with three processes. DOI link
Mesibov R (2020) A second remarkable case of parapatry in a Tasmanian millipede genus (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Dalodesmidae). ZooKeys 930: 89-101.
abstractTasmaniosoma armatum Verhoeff, 1936 and T. orientale Mesibov, 2010 are parapatric in northeast Tasmania, Australia. The parapatric boundary is ca 50 km long and mainly follows streamlines. Three sections of the boundary were intensively sampled. Two gonopod variants of T. orientale also appear to be parapatric. DOI link
Mesibov R (2019) Times have changed for field work in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Naturalist 141: 137-140.
noteComments on an apparent recent decline in specimen collecting in Tasmania. BHL link
Mesibov R (2019) An archived taxonomic website: Millipedes of Australia. Biodiversity Data Journal 7: e36385.
abstractThe taxonomic parts of the privately maintained Millipedes of Australia website (2006-2019), now offline, have been archived in Zenodo and are no longer being updated. Core taxonomic information about the Australian millipede fauna is now available on MilliBase, a global taxonomic resource for millipedes. Most of the locality records for named, native Australian millipedes formerly available as downloads on the Millipedes of Australia website are now accessible through the Atlas of Living Australia and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. DOI link
Mesibov R (2019) A new and cryptic species of Lissodesmus Chamberlin, 1920 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Dalodesmidae) from Tasmania, Australia. ZooKeys 846: 31-41.
abstractLissodesmus piscator sp. nov. differs from the 30 previously described Lissodesmus species in the form of the femoral process of the gonopod telopodite, which is tripartite with an erect distal branch and two posteromedially curving basal branches. Despite careful searching, the new species has only been collected by pitfall trapping and may have a very small range in the northwest corner of the Central Plateau in Tasmania, Australia. DOI link
Mesibov R (2019) Cambaloid millipedes of Tasmania, Australia, with remarks on family-level classification and descriptions of two new genera and four new species (Diplopoda, Spirostreptida). ZooKeys 827: 1–17.
abstractThe Southern Hemisphere cambaloid millipede genera are here assigned or re-assigned to the families Cambalidae Bollman, 1893 and Iulomorphidae Verhoeff, 1924. Tasmanocambala is erected for the three Tasmanian cambalids, T. greeni gen. n., sp. n. (type species), T. tasmanica sp. n. and T. taylori sp. n. The new genus is distinguished by a thin, transverse tab at the tip of the anterior gonopod telopodite with a comb of setae immediately behind the tab. The iulomorphid Talomius weldensis gen. n., sp. n. is described from a single site in Tasmania’s southern mountain district. The new species is unusual among the Australian Iulomorphidae in having a fully-developed, ambulatory leg 1 in the male, and small, compact gonopods. DOI link
Mesibov R (2018) Three new species of Cladethosoma Chamberlin, 1920 from southeast Queensland (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum - Nature 61: 53-67.
abstractThe eastern Australian millipede genus Cladethosoma Chamberlin, 1920 is represented in Queensland by C. monticola sp. nov., C. musgravei sp. nov., C. toowoomba sp. nov., and C. uncinatum Jeekel, 1987. The three new species all occur in the southeast of the State and are likely to be small-range endemics. C. toowoomba sp. nov. was first recorded in 2017 as a digital image on BowerBird, an Australian citizen science website. DOI link
Mesibov R (2018) A new, alpine species of Lissodesmus Chamberlin, 1920 from Tasmania, Australia (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Dalodesmidae). ZooKeys 754:103-111.
abstractLissodesmus nivalis sp. n. is described from 1450–1550 m elevation on the treeless, alpine Ben Lomond plateau in northeast Tasmania, Australia. The new species is distinguished from all other Tasmanian and Victorian Lissodesmus species by a unique combination of gonopod telopodite features: solenomere without a pre-apical process, tibiotarsus Y-shaped, femoral process L-shaped with forked tips, prefemoral process with a long comb of teeth below an irregularly dentate apical margin, and a roughened "shoulder process" near the base of the prefemoral process. DOI link
Mesibov R, Wesener T, Hollier J (2018) A replacement name for Dalodesmus sakalava (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1901) (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae). Zootaxa 4413(2): 389-391.
abstractPolydesmus (Pterodesmus) voeltzkowi nom. nov. is proposed as a replacement name for Polydesmus (Pterodesmus) sakalava de Saussure & Zehntner, 1901, now Dalodesmus sakalava (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1901), a junior primary homonym of Polydesmus sakalava de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897. DOI link
Mesibov R (2018) An audit of some processing effects in aggregated occurrence records. ZooKeys 751: 129-146.
abstractA total of ca 800,000 occurrence records from the Australian Museum (AM), Museums Victoria (MV) and the New Zealand Arthropod Collection (NZAC) were audited for changes in selected Darwin Core fields after processing by the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA; for AM and MV records) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF; for AM, MV and NZAC records). Formal taxon names in the genus- and species-groups were changed in 13–21% of AM and MV records, depending on dataset and aggregator. There was little agreement between the two aggregators on processed names, with names changed in two to three times as many records by one aggregator alone compared to records with names changed by both aggregators. The type status of specimen records did not change with name changes, resulting in confusion as to the name with which a type was associated. Data losses of up to 100% were found after processing in some fields, apparently due to programming errors. The taxonomic usefulness of occurrence records could be improved if aggregators included both original and the processed taxonomic data items for each record. It is recommended that end-users check original and processed records for data loss and name replacements after processing by aggregators. DOI link
Jones TH, Guthrie DM, Hogan CT, Robinson DJ, Mesibov R, Shear WA, Spande TF, Saporito RA (2018) The chemistry of some dalodesmidean millipedes from Tasmania (Diplopoda, Polydesmida). Journal of Natural Products 81: 171-177.
abstractMillipedes (Diplopoda) are well known for their toxic or repellent defensive secretions. As part of a larger investigation, we describe the chemical constituents of 14 species of Tasmanian millipedes in seven genera. Six species in the genus Gasterogramma were found to produce acyclic ketones, including the pungent unsaturated ketones 1, 2, and 6 [illustrated in original abstract], and the novel (rel-3R,5S,7S)-3,5,7-trimethyl-2,8-decanedione (7b), for which the stereoconfiguration was established by stereoselective syntheses of pairs of isomers. These compounds have not been detected before in millipede defensive secretions. This report is the first on species of the suborder Dalodesmidea (Polydesmida), a dominant component of the soil and litter fauna of the temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere. DOI link
Mesibov R (2017) A note on the millipedes of Reid Street Reserve, West Ulverstone. The Tasmanian Naturalist 139: 71-73.
note13 native and two introduced millipede species have been recorded from a 2.6 ha patch of remnant vegetation in the town of West Ulverstone. BHL link
Mesibov R (2017) Annotated catalogue of South American Dalodesmidae (Diplopoda, Polydesmida). Zootaxa 4338(3): 507-525.
abstractAll published names for genera and species of South American Dalodesmidae are presented with annotated synonymies. Semnosoma chilense (Silvestri, 1903) comb. nov. is introduced for the "orphan" species Iulidesmus chilensis Silvestri, 1903. DOI link
Mesibov R (2017) A new species of Tridactylogonus Jeekel, 1982 from South Australia (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae). ZooKeys 703: 97-107.
abstractTridactylogonus warrenbenensis sp. n. is described from Warrenben Conservation Park at the southern end of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Like T. obscurus Jeekel, 1982 and T. rugosissimus Jeekel, 2002, the new species has prominent cellular sculpturing on the prozonites and granulose sculpturing on parts of the metazonites. Unlike its congeners and most species in the subfamily Australiosomatinae, the new species lacks a femoral process or tubercle on male leg 1. DOI link
Mesibov R (2017) Notes on Victorian Iulomorphidae (Diplopoda: Spirostreptida). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 76: 113-120.
abstractNew locality records and illustrations are given for Atelomastix solitaria Jeekel, 2009, Victoriocambala bidentata Jeekel, 2009 and V. buffalensis Verhoeff, 1944. Diagnostic differences are reviewed for Victoriocambala Verhoeff, 1944 versus Amastigogonus Brölemann, 1913 and Equestrigonus Mesibov, 2017. DOI link
Mesibov R (2017) New records for millipedes from southern Chile (Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae; Polyzoniida: Siphonotidae). Biodiversity Data Journal 5: e15919.
abstractMillipedes from 1983 collections by the author in southern Chile have been identified and registered as specimen lots at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) in Launceston, Tasmania. Collection and specimen data from the new QVMAG specimen lots have been archived in Darwin Core format together with a KML file of occurrences. The 31 occurrence records in the Darwin Core Archive list 13 millipede taxa from 16 sites in Llanquihue and Osorno provinces, Chile. DOI link
Mesibov R (2017) A new and unusual species of Amastigogonus Brölemann, 1913 from Tasmania, Australia (Diplopoda, Spirostreptida, Iulomorphidae). ZooKeys 687: 45-51.
abstractAmastigogonus insularis sp. n. is described from Schouten and Tasman Islands off the east coast of Tasmania, and a key is presented for the identification of males of Tasmanian Amastigogonus species. The new species differs from the 10 previously described species of Amastigogonus in having a reduced coxite process on the anterior gonopod. DOI link
Mesibov R (2017) Iulomorphid millipedes (Diplopoda, Spirostreptida, Iulomorphidae) of Tasmania, Australia. ZooKeys 652: 1-36.
abstractTasmanian Iulomorphidae are here assigned to the genera Amastigogonus Brölemann, 1913, Atelomastix Attems, 1911 and Equestrigonus gen. n. Descriptions or redescriptions are given for Amastigogonus danpicola sp. n., A. elephas sp. n., A. fossuliger Verhoeff, 1944, A. hardyi (Chamberlin, 1920), A. hellyeri sp. n., A. michaelsae sp. n., A. orientalis sp. n., A. peninsulensis sp. n., A. tasmanianus Brölemann, 1913 (type species of Amastigogonus), A. verreauxii (Gervais, 1847), Atelomastix bonhami sp. n., A. smithi sp. n. and Equestrigonus tasmaniensis gen. n., sp. n. The synonymy of Amastigogonus nichollsii Verhoeff, 1944 with A. hardyi is accepted, and lectotypes are designated for A. nichollsii and A. tasmanianus. DOI link
Mesibov R (2015) Where should I collect millipedes next? The Tasmanian Naturalist 137: 91-93.
noteSemi-popular article describing a GIS-based method for prioritising sampling gaps. BHL link
Mesibov R (2015) A new genus and species of dalodesmid millipede from New South Wales, Australia (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Dalodesmidae). ZooKeys 517: 141-148.
abstractCernethia inopinata gen. n., sp. n. is described from highland New South Wales. Like other dalodesmids, the new species has numerous sphaerotrichomes on the legs of adult males, but C. inopinata sp. n. shares several character states with Tasmanian species in the genera Noteremus Mesibov, 2009, Paredrodesmus Mesibov, 2003 and Procophorella Mesibov, 2003, which lack sphaerotrichomes and have not yet been assigned to family within the suborder Dalodesmidea. DOI link
Mesibov R (2015) Redescription of Brochopeltis mjoebergi Verhoeff, 1924 and a description of a second Brochopeltis species from Australia (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae). ZooKeys 504: 59-73.
abstractBrochopeltis mjoebergi Verhoeff, 1924 is redescribed from type and new material, a lectotype is designated and B. mjoebergi queenslandica Verhoeff, 1924 is synonymised with B. mjoebergi. B. mediolocus sp. n. is the first native paradoxosomatid described from Australia's Northern Territory. DOI link
Mesibov R, Car CA (2015) A new genus and species of native exotic millipede in Australia (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae). ZooKeys 498: 7-16.
abstractTaxidiotisoma portabile gen. n., sp. n. is described from scattered populations in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. Populations of T. portabile in Victoria, Tasmania and parts of New South Wales occur in urban, suburban and agricultural areas, with no collections of the species in natural habitats in the same districts. Taxidiotisoma portabile is likely to be a native exotic species whose home range is in eastern New South Wales. DOI link
Mesibov R (2015) Three new species of Tasmaniosoma Verhoeff 1936 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Dalodesmidae) from northeast Tasmania, Australia. ZooKeys 488: 31-46.
abstractThe small-range millipedes Tasmaniosoma anubis sp. n., T. interfluminum sp. n. and T. nicolaus sp. n. are described, and the colour of live T. barbatulum Mesibov, 2010 is documented. DOI link
Mesibov R (2014) The Australian millipede Dicranogonus pix Jeekel, 1982 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae): a species with and without paranota. ZooKeys 454: 29-39.
abstractDicranogonus pix Jeekel, 1982 occurs in Victoria and Tasmania, Australia, including the islands in eastern Bass Strait between the two States. There is only slight gonopod variation across this range, but D. pix populations with and without paranota are separated in Bass Strait by the ca 50 km-wide gap between the Kent and Furneaux Groups of islands. DOI link
Mesibov R (2014) A dataset for examining trends in publication of new Australian insects. Biodiversity Data Journal 2:e1160
abstractAustralian Faunal Directory data were used to create a new, publicly available dataset, nai50, which lists 18318 species and subspecies names for Australian insects described in the period 1961-2010, together with associated publishing data. The number of taxonomic publications introducing the new names varied little around a long-term average of 70 per year, with ca 420 new names published per year during the 30-year period 1981-2010. Within this stable pattern there were steady increases in multi-authored and 'Smith in Jones and Smith' names, and a decline in publication of names in entomology journals and books. For taxonomic works published in Australia, a publications peak around 1990 reflected increases in museum, scientific society and government agency publishing, but a subsequent decline is largely explained by a steep drop in the number of papers on insect taxonomy published by Australia's national science agency, CSIRO. DOI link
Mesibov R (2014) The millipede genus Solaenodolichopus Verhoeff, 1924 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae). 1. New genus diagnosis and redescriptions of named species. European Journal of Taxonomy 83: 1-36.
abstractSolaenodolichopus Verhoeff, 1924 is redefined to include S. pruvoti (Brolemann, 1931), S. rubriventris Verhoeff, 1928, S. sulcatus (Verhoeff, 1928), S. teres (Verhoeff, 1924), S. vittatus (Verhoeff, 1924) and S. walesius Verhoeff, 1928, each of which is redescribed. Lectotypes are designated for S. sulcatus, S. teres, S. vittatus and S. walesius. Parwalesoma Verhoeff, 1937 is synonymised with Solaenodolichopus and S. vittatus dorsalis (Verhoeff, 1924) with S. vittatus vittatus (Verhoeff, 1924). DOI link
Mesibov R (2013) Two new monotypic genera of Queensland millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Nature 58: 7–13.
abstractEungellosoma gen. nov. is erected for E. leichhardti sp. nov. and Binarcifer gen. nov. for B. superbus sp. nov. Both new species have a gonopod telopodite deeply divided into branches and are here placed in Australiosomatinae: Australiosomatini. PDF available 2016-01-19 at this link
Mesibov R (2013) New species of Agathodesmus Silvestri, 1910 from Australia (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Haplodesmidae). ZooKeys 325: 33–64.
abstractThe genus Agathodesmus Silvestri, 1910 is speciose and widespread in high-rainfall parts of eastern Australia. In addition to the type species Agathodesmus steeli Silvestri, 1910 and Agathodesmus johnsi Mesibov, 2009 from New South Wales and Agathodesmus bucculentus (Jeekel, 1986) from Queensland, the following 18 new species are recognised: Agathodesmus adelphus sp. n., Agathodesmus aenigmaticus sp. n., Agathodesmus agnus sp. n., Agathodesmus anici sp. n., Agathodesmus gayundah sp. n., Agathodesmus hahnensis sp. n., Agathodesmus kerensis sp. n., Agathodesmus kirrama sp. n., Agathodesmus millaa sp. n., Agathodesmus parapholeus sp. n., Agathodesmus quintanus sp. n., Agathodesmus sagma sp. n., Agathodesmus summus sp. n. and Agathodesmus yuccabinensis sp. n. from Queensland; Agathodesmus carorum sp. n. from New South Wales and Victoria; Agathodesmus bonang sp. n. and Agathodesmus morwellensis sp. n. from Victoria; and Agathodesmus chandleri sp. n. from South Australia. DOI link
Mesibov R (2013) A specialist’s audit of aggregated occurrence records. ZooKeys 293: 1–18.
abstractOccurrence records for named, native Australian millipedes from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) were compared with the same records from the Millipedes of Australia (MoA) website, compiled independently by the author. The comparison revealed some previously unnoticed errors in MoA, and a much larger number of errors and other problems in the aggregated datasets. Errors have been corrected in MoA and in some data providers’ databases, but will remain in GBIF and ALA until data providers have supplied updates to these aggregators. An audit by a specialist volunteer, as reported here, is not a common occurrence. It is suggested that aggregators should do more, or more effective, data checking and should query data providers when possible errors are detected, rather than simply disclaim responsibility for aggregated content. DOI link
Mesibov R, Car CA (2013) Hoplatessara luxuriosa (Silvestri, 1895) (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae) is native to Australia, not New Guinea. ZooKeys 329: 1–8.
abstractHoplatessara luxuriosa (Silvestri, 1895) is partly redescribed and illustrated. Its native range is shown to be in the cool-climate uplands of New South Wales, Australia. H. luxuriosa was originally labelled as collected by L.M. D’Albertis at Sorong in New Guinea. D’Albertis collected on Sorong Island in 1872 and spent the following year in Sydney, New South Wales, before returning to Europe with his New Guinea specimens. It is possible that D’Albertis himself collected H. luxuriosa in 1873, and that the mislabelling occurred later. DOI link
Mesibov R (2012) 71 new Tasmanians. The Tasmanian Naturalist 134: 14-15.
noteSemi-popular article on the sorting to species of very small Tasmanian millipedes. BHL link
Mesibov R (2012) Rising at the Break O'Day. The Tasmanian Naturalist 134: 46-49.
noteSemi-popular article on the hydrology of the Break O'Day River catchment. BHL link
Mesibov R (2012) Known unknowns, Google Earth, plate tectonics and Mt Bellenden Ker: some thoughts on locality data. ZooKeys 247: 61-67.
abstractLatitude/longitude data in locality records should be published with spatial uncertainties, datum(s) used and indications of how the data were obtained. Google Earth can be used to locate sampling sites, but the underlying georegistration of the satellite image should be checked. The little-known relabelling of a set of landmarks on Mt Bellenden Ker, a scientifically important collecting locality in tropical north Queensland, Australia, is documented as an example of the importance of checking records not accompanied by appropriately accurate latitude/longitude data. DOI link
Mesibov R (2012) The first native Pyrgodesmidae (Diplopoda, Polydesmida) from Australia. ZooKeys 217: 63-85.
abstractThree new genera and six new species of Pyrgodesmidae are described from Queensland: Asticopyrgodesmus gen. n., containing A. lamingtonensis sp. n. and A. maiala sp. n. (type species); Nephopyrgodesmus gen. n., with N. eungella sp. n. (type and only species); and Notopyrgodesmus gen. n., with N. kulla sp. n. (type species), N. lanosus sp. n. and N. weiri sp. n. Localities and specimen data are given in an Appendix for undescribed Australian Pyrgodesmidae occurring in wet forests from the Northern Territory south to New South Wales, and on Lord Howe Island. DOI link
Mesibov R (2012) New species of Prosopodesmus Silvestri, 1910 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Haplodesmidae) from Queensland, Australia. ZooKeys 190: 33-54.
abstract Prosopodesmus crater sp. n., P. kirrama sp. n. and P. monteithi sp. n. are described from the Wet Tropics of north Queensland. The hothouse species P. panporus Blower & Rundle, 1980 is recorded from rainforest on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula, where it is likely to be native. DOI link
Mesibov R (2011) A remarkable case of mosaic parapatry in millipedes. ZooKeys 156: 71-84.
abstractThe parapatric boundary between Tasmaniosoma compitale Mesibov, 2010 and T. hickmanorum Mesibov, 2010 (Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) in northwest Tasmania was mapped in preparation for field studies of parapatry and speciation. Both millipede species can be collected as adults throughout the year, are often abundant in eucalypt forest and tolerate major habitat disturbance. The parapatric boundary between the two species is ca 100 m wide in well-sampled sections and ca 230 km long. It runs from sea level to 600-700 m elevation, crosses most of the river catchments in northwest Tasmania and several major geological boundaries, and one portion of the boundary runs along a steep rainfall gradient. The location of the boundary is estimated here from scattered sample points using a method based on Delaunay triangulation. DOI link
Velez S, Giribet G, Mesibov R (2011) Biogeography in a continental island: population structure of the relict endemic centipede Craterostigmus tasmanianus (Chilopoda, Craterostigmomorpha) in Tasmania using 16S rRNA and COI. Journal of Heredity 103(1): 80-91.
abstractWe used 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequence data to investigate the population structure in the centipede Craterostigmus tasmanianus Pocock, 1902 (Chilopoda: Craterostigmomorpha: Craterostigmidae) and to look for possible barriers to gene flow on the island of Tasmania, where C. tasmanianus is a widespread endemic. We first confirmed a molecular diagnostic character in 28S rRNA separating Tasmanian Craterostigmus from its sister species Craterostigmus crabilli (Edgecombe and Giribet 2008) in New Zealand and found no shared polymorphism in this marker for the 2 species. In Tasmania, analysis of molecular variance analysis showed little variation at the 16S rRNA and COI loci within populations (6% and 13%, respectively), but substantial variation (56% and 48%, respectively) among populations divided geographically into groups. We found no clear evidence of isolation by distance using a Mantel test. Bayesian clustering and gene network analysis both group the C. tasmanianus populations in patterns which are broadly concordant with previously known biogeographical divisions within Tasmania, but we did not find that genetic distance varied in a simple way across cluster boundaries. The coarse-scale geographical sampling on which this study was based should be followed in the future by sampling at a finer spatial scale and to investigate genetic structure within clusters and across cluster boundaries. DOI link
Mesibov R (2011) New species of Asphalidesmus Silvestri, 1910 from Australia (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidea). ZooKeys 93: 43-65.
abstractAsphalidesmus allynensis sp. n. and A. dorrigensis sp. n. are described from New South Wales, A. otwayensis sp. n. from Victoria, and A. bellendenkerensis sp. n., A. carbinensis sp. n., A. magnus sp. n. and A. minor sp. n. from Queensland. The previously endemic Tasmanian genus Asphalidesmus Silvestri, 1910 is now known from 16°S to 43°S in eastern Australia, a north-south range of ca 3000 km. Asphalidesmus spp. throughout this range are very similar in overall appearance. Three of the new species are able to coil in a tight spiral. DOI link
Mesibov R (2010) Two new millipede genera from northwest Tasmania, Australia (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae). Zootaxa 2571: 53-61.
abstractSetoisenoton pallidus n. gen., n. sp. and Dysmicodesmus jeekeli n. gen., n. sp. occupy small ranges (less than 5000 sq km) in the forests of northwest Tasmania. Both have a head+19 rings, metatergites lacking posterior corner extensions, and long, rigid gonopod telopodites reaching at least to legpair 4 when retracted. S. pallidus resembles Notonesiotes aucklandensis Johns, 1970 from the subantarctic Auckland Islands, but differs in gonopod details. D. jeekeli is unusual in the Tasmanian dalodesmid fauna in having basally fused telopodites.
Mesibov R (2010) The millipede genus Tasmaniosoma Verhoeff, 1936 (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) from Tasmania, Australia, with descriptions of 18 new species. ZooKeys 41: 31-80.
abstractTasmaniosoma armatum Verhoeff, 1936 is redescribed from topotypical specimens and the following congeners are described from Tasmania: T. alces n. sp., T. aureorivum n. sp., T. australe n. sp., T. barbatulum n. sp., T. bruniense n. sp., T. cacofonix n. sp., T. clarksonorum n. sp., T. compitale n. sp., T. decussatum n. sp., T. fasciculum n. sp., T. fragile n. sp., T. gerdiorivum n. sp., T. hesperium n. sp., T. hickmanorum n. sp., T. laccobium n. sp., T. maria n. sp., T. orientale n. sp. and T. warra n. sp. DOI link
Mesibov R (2009) New and little-used morphological characters in Polydesmida (Diplopoda). Soil Organisms 81(3): 531-542.
abstractPolydesmida (Dalodesmidae and Paradoxosomatidae) vary in the structure of spiracles, spinnerets, male leg setae and integument fine sculpture. Although this variation is only clearly seen with scanning electron microscopy, some variations are apparent at low magnification. Spiracle, spinneret and fine sculpture variations are found in both sexes and are thus useful in identifying females. The variations described here are taxonomically useful at the species- and genus-group levels. Their functional significance is unknown.
Mesibov R (2009) The weather's different today — but what does 'different' mean? The Tasmanian Naturalist 131: 17-24.
noteSemi-popular article on rainfall pattern at Burnie, Tasmania, 1945-2008. BHL link
Mesibov R (2009) Revision of Agathodesmus Silvestri, 1910 (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Haplodesmidae). ZooKeys 12: 87-110.
abstractAgathodesmus Silvestri, 1910 includes A. baccatus (Carl, 1926) comb. n. from New Caledonia, A. bucculentus (Jeekel, 1986) comb. n. from Queensland, Australia, and A. johnsi sp. n. and A. steeli Silvestri, 1910 (type species) from New South Wales, Australia. A. baccatus and A. bucculentus were formerly placed in Atopogonus Carl, 1926 syn. n. The identity of the apparently congeneric Inodesmus jamaicensis Cook, 1896 sensu Loomis, 1969 from Jamaica is still uncertain, and Inodesmus Cook, 1896 remains a nomen inquirendum. DOI link
Mesibov R (2009) A new millipede genus and a new species of Asphalidesmus Silvestri, 1910 (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidea) from southern Tasmania, Australia. ZooKeys 7: 55-74.
abstractNoteremus summus n. gen., n. sp. occurs at 1100-1300 m on the summit of Mt Weld, southern Tasmania, while its congener N. infimus n. sp. is troglobitic in caves in the Junee-Florentine karst, 30-40 km to the northwest. Like species of Paredrodesmus Mesibov, 2003 and Procophorella Mesibov, 2003, Noteremus spp. have a head + 19 rings, no sphaerotrichomes and pore formula 5, 7-18, and are not assigned to family within the suborder Dalodesmidea. Asphalidesmus golovatchi n. sp. occurs in caves and in forest litter in far southern Tasmania, and the adults have paramedian and median tergal projections. Asphalidesmus Silvestri, 1910 is removed from Polydesmidea, Haplodesmidae and placed in Dalodesmidea without family assignment. DOI link
Mesibov R (2008) On millipedes and sense of place. The Tasmanian Naturalist 130: 2-9.
noteSemi-popular article on GIS analysis using joint Tasmanian millipede distributions as place-finders. BHL link
Mesibov R (2008) Redescription of Paurodesmus sjoestedti (Verhoeff, 1924) comb. n. (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae). Australian Entomologist 35(3): 111-119.
abstractQueenslandesmus Verhoeff, 1924 is newly synonymised with Paurodesmus Chamberlin, 1920 and Paurodesmus sjoestedti (Verhoeff, 1924), comb. n. is redescribed from new material. The species name sjoestedti may be lost to synonymy when males of the possibly conspecific Paurodesmus acutangulus Chamberlin, 1920 are recognised. The female holotype of P. acutangulus was collected at Kuranda, approximately 50 km outside the currently known range of P. sjoestedti.
Mesibov R (2008) Millipede salvage in southwest Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 125(4): 96-103.
abstractMillipedes and other litter invertebrates were sampled in forest patches scattered over approximately 3000 sq km of southwest Victorian farmland, mainly between the Eumeralla and Hopkins Rivers. Three new, geographically restricted species of Somethus (Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae) were collected. Litter fauna in the sampled patches, apart from Framlingham Forest, included few species that are poor dispersers. Absences may be the historical legacy of past habitat fragmentation, subsequent local extinctions and a very low probability of patch recolonisation. BHL link
Mesibov R (2008) The millipede genera Gephyrodesmus Jeekel, 1983 and Orthorhachis Jeekel, 1985 in southeastern Australia, a new Lissodesmus Chamberlin, 1920 from Victoria, and observations on male leg setae, spinnerets and metatergite sculpture (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae). Zootaxa 1790: 1-52.
abstractDescriptions and illustrations are provided for Gephyrodesmus arcuatus n. sp., G. cineraceus Jeekel, 1983, G. coolahensis n. sp. and G. regilacus n. sp.; Lissodesmus grampianensis n. sp.; and Orthorhachis catherinae n. sp., O. cavatica Jeekel, 2006, O. celtica n. sp., O. christinae n. sp., O. durabilis n. sp., O. gloriosa n. sp., O. inflata n. sp., O. jubata n. sp., O. kerewong n. sp., O. monteithi n. sp., O. oresbia n. sp., O. pallida Jeekel, 1985, O. paradoxalis Jeekel, 2006, O. serrata n. sp., O. tallagandensis n. sp., O. vinnula n. sp., O. weiri n. sp. and O. yabbra n. sp.
Mesibov R (2008) Diversity of Queensland paradoxosomatid millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae). Australian Entomologist 35(1): 37-46.
abstractParadoxosomatids are the most widespread and abundant native millipedes in mainland Australia. The Queensland paradoxosomatid fauna currently consists of five inadequately described species, 28 adequately described species and 199 new and undescribed species. Future collecting in non-rainforest habitats can be expected to raise the State total by at least another 10%, to 250 species.
Mesibov R (2007) The Trafalgar millipede Lissodesmus johnsi Mesibov, 2006 (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae). Victorian Naturalist 124(4): 197-203.
abstractLissodesmus johnsi, L. dignomontis and L. tarrabulga are endemic to the Strzelecki Ranges in Gippsland, Victoria, where the three species may once have formed a distribution mosaic. Lissodesmus johnsi now appears to be restricted to c. 60 ha over three sites in the western Strzelecki hills, which were almost entirely cleared of their forest cover in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. BHL link
Mesibov R (2006) Dirt-encrusted and dragon millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae) from Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa 1354: 31-44.
abstractThree unusual new Paradoxosomatidae are described from tropical north Queensland. Desmoxytoides hasenpuschorum n. gen., n. sp. closely resembles the dragon millipedes Desmoxytes of southeast Asia, but differs in gonopod details. Tholerosoma monteithi n. gen., n. sp. and T. corrugatum n. sp. are remarkable for their tightly attached coating of soil particles.
Mesibov R (2006) The millipede genus Lissodesmus Chamberlin, 1920 (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) from Tasmania and Victoria, with descriptions of a new genus and 24 new species. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 62(2): 103-146.
abstractLissodesmus includes L. adrianae Jeekel, 1984, L. alisonae Jeekel, 1984, L. modestus Chamberlin, 1920 (type species) and L. perporosus Jeekel, 1984 from Tasmania, L. martini (Carl, 1902) from Victoria, and 23 new species: L. anas, L. bashfordi, L. clivulus, L. cognatus, L. cornutus, L. devexus, L. hamatus, L. horridomontis, L. inopinatus, L. latus, L. montanus, L. orarius, L. peninsulensis and L. plomleyi from Tasmania, and L. blackwoodensis, L. catrionae, L. dignomontis, L. gippslandicus, L. johnsi, L. macedonensis, L. milledgei, L. otwayensis and L. tarrabulga from Victoria. The new genus Tasmanopeltis, close to Lissodesmus, is erected for T. grandis sp. nov. from Tasmania. BHL link
Mesibov R (2005) A new genus of millipede (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) from Tasmania with a pseudo-articulated gonopod telopodite. Zootaxa 1064: 39-49.
abstractGinglymodesmus tasmanianus n. gen., n. sp., G. penelopae n. sp. and G. sumac n. sp. are described from northwest Tasmania, Australia. The three species have long, slender gonopod telopodites divided into proximal and distal sections, with the distal section pivoting around a hinge-like structure which appears to differ from the typical joint in an arthropod leg. PDF available 2016-01-18 at this link
Mesibov R (2005) A new genus of burrowing and cave-dwelling millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) from Tasmania, Australia. Zootaxa 1034: 21-42.
abstractAtalopharetra johnsi n. gen., n. sp. and A. bashfordi n. sp. are forest-dwelling, burrowing millipedes with overlapping distributions in southern and southwestern Tasmania. A. clarkei n. sp. and A. eberhardi n. sp. are troglomorphic, cavernicolous species from limestone karst near Ida Bay and Precipitous Bluff, respectively, within the ranges of A. bashfordi and A. johnsi.
Mesibov R (2005) Native species dominate the millipede fauna in a second-rotation Pinus radiata plantation in Tasmania, Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology 11:17-22.
abstractSoil-dwelling millipedes were methodically hand-sampled in two second-rotation Pinus radiata stands in Stoodley Plantation in north-central Tasmania. Eleven of 14 species collected were natives, and native millipedes comprised 83% of the 1456 identified specimens. The average millipede catch in 40 x 0.5 sq m quadrats was 74 individuals/sq m. All nine of the native species of Chordeumatida, Polydesmida and Polyzoniida found in the survey had previously been collected in native forest within a 10 km radius of the pine plantation. Historical records indicate that Stoodley Plantation was established on abandoned farmland, and the two sampled areas have carried P. radiata for at least 60 years. The survey results support the suggestion that plantation development on cleared farmland can assist in local-scale conservation of native invertebrates.
Fox JC, Mesibov R, McCarthy MA, Burgman MA (2004) Giant Velvet Worm (Tasmanipatus barretti) in Tasmania, Australia. Pp. 150-161 in Akçakaya, H.R., Burgman, M.A., Kindvall, O., Wood, C.C., Sjögren-Gulve, P., Hatfield, J.S. and McCarthy, M.A. (eds), Species Conservation and Management. Case Studies. New York: Oxford University Press; 533 pp. + CD-ROM.
Mesibov R (2004) A new genus of millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) from wet forests in southern Victoria, with brief remarks on the Victorian Polydesmida. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 61(1): 41-45.
abstractVictoriombrus gen. nov. is erected for Victoriombrus acanthus sp. nov. from the Otway Ranges and V. seminudus sp. nov. from the Mt Donna Buang area. Four species of Dalodesmidae and 15 species of Paradoxosomatidae have now been described from Victoria. A diverse fauna of non-paradoxosomatid Polydesmida remains to be described from Victorian wet forests. BHL link
Mesibov R (2004) A new genus and four new species of millipedes from Tasmania, Australia (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae), with notes on male leg setae in some Tasmanian dalodesmids. Zootaxa 558: 1-19.
abstractBromodesmus catrionae n. gen., n. sp. (type species), B. militaris n. sp., B. riparius n. sp. and B. rufus n. sp. are described. The new genus is characterized by greatly reduced paranota and a gonopod telopodite expanded at the distal end into a posteriorly concave 'hood' fringed with teeth; the 'hood' partly protects a long, curved, acutely pointed solenomerite. Male leg setation in the type species of six Tasmanian dalodesmid genera is briefly discussed and illustrated with scanning electron micrographs. The sphaerotrichome shaft is sharply pointed in Atrophotergum; gently tapered in Dasystigma, Lissodesmus and Tasmanodesmus; expanded at the tip in Bromodesmus; and entirely absent in Gasterogramma. Tips of the setae forming the dense ventral ‘brush’ on male podomeres are gently tapered in Dasystigma and Lissodesmus, truncated in Gasterogramma, expanded in Bromodesmus and forked in Tasmanodesmus.
Mesibov R (2004) Redescription of Tasmanodesmus hardyi Chamberlin, 1920 (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae). Myriapodologica 8(3): 21-36.
abstractTasmanodesmus hardyi Chamberlin, 1920 is redescribed from abundant, recently collected material. Although endemic to Tasmania, T. hardyi is common in eucalypt forest in central and eastern areas from sea level to at least 1120 m. PDF available 2016-01-18 at this link
Mesibov R (2004) Spare a thought for the losers. Australian Zoologist 32(4): 505-507.
abstractOpinion piece, promotes salvage sampling of disappearing habitats.
Mesibov R (2004) A new genus of millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) from Tasmania, Australia with a mosaic distribution. Zootaxa 480: 1-23.
abstractAtrophotergum silvaticum n. gen., n. sp. (type species), A. bonhami n. sp., A. montanum n. sp., A. pastorale n. sp., A. sodalis n. sp., and A. wurrawurraense n. sp. are described. The six species have a tightly fitted mosaic distribution in Tasmania. Atrophotergum species are among the 'head + 19 segments' Australasian dalodesmids with a conspicuous pit on the underside of somite 2 in males, and relatively small metatergites on somites 3 and 4 in both sexes. The solenomerite in Atrophotergum is carried on a large posterior projection arising midway along the telopodite.
Mesibov R (2003) A new genus of Tasmanian millipedes (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Dalodesmidae) with unusual spiracles and a mosaic distribution. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 60(2): 197-206.
abstractDasystigma gen. nov. is erected for Lissodesmus margaretae Jeekel, 1984 (type species), D. bonhami sp. nov., D. huonense sp. nov. and D. tyleri sp. nov. A dense cluster of hair-like structures of unknown function emerges from each spiracle in all Dasystigma species, and the four geographic distributions form a closely fitted mosaic. BHL link
Mesibov R (2003) The millipede genus Gasterogramma (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) in Tasmania, Australia, with descriptions of seven new species. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 60(2): 207-219.
abstractEight species of Gasterogramma (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Dalodesmidae) occur in Tasmania: G. austrinum sp. nov., G. extremum sp. nov., G. imber sp. nov., G. plomleyi sp. nov., G. psi Jeekel, 1982, G. rusticum sp. nov., G. tarkinense sp. nov. and G. wynyardense sp. nov. The genus is largely confined to areas with an annual rainfall greater than 1000 mm. G. psi is widespread and abundant in the northern and western third of Tasmania, while G. plomleyi is restricted to the area of endemism known as Plomleys Island in Tasmania's north-east. G. plomleyi and the six other new species form an allopatric/parapatric distribution mosaic in northern, western and southern Tasmania. All eight species are burrowers in soil and deep litter. BHL link
Mesibov R (2003) Two new and unusual genera of millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida) from Tasmania, Australia. Zootaxa 368: 1-32.
abstractProcophorella innupta n. gen., n. sp. (type species) and P. bashfordi n. sp., and Paredrodesmus taurulus n. gen., n. sp. (type species), P. aceriodendron n. sp., P. australis n. sp., P. bicalcar n. sp., P. monticolus n. sp. and P. purpureus n. sp. are described. Both new genera are 'head + 19 segments' Polydesmida (head + 17 podous rings + 1 apodous ring + telson) with the uncommon pore formula 5, 7-18. P. bicalcar is unusual in having a long mesal process on the leg 1 prefemur and an epiproct divided into two large spurs, while leg 2 in P. taurulus has greatly inflated podomeres and a massive claw. Although Paredrodesmus and Procophorella are referable to the suborder Dalodesmidea Hoffman, 1977, their family placement is uncertain.
Mesibov R, Churchill T (2003) Patterns in pitfall captures of millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae) at coastal heathland sites in Tasmania. Australian Zoologist 32(3): 431-438.
abstractThe millipede by-catch from a 1986-88 spider survey in Tasmanian coastal heathland was tallied by species, sex and life-stage. Two species of paradoxosomatid Polydesmida, Notodesmus scotius Chamberlin, 1920 and Pogonosternum sp., made up 99.8% of the pitfall captures. The N. scotius catch (9754 individuals) was 80% adult (stadium VIII) and peaked in October-December with only 23 captures in July-September. The Pogonosternum sp. catch (116 individuals) was 91% adult and peaked in September, with 40% of all captures in July-September. These results, together with field observations, indicate that pitfall trapping mainly captured adults wandering during the mating season, and that mating seasons for the two species did not coincide. The Pogonosternum sp. captures were tightly clustered in space, showing that pitfall trapping can be an unreliable method for estimating millipede abundance unless the fine-scale spatial patterning of target species is known in advance. A third paradoxosomatid species known to be present near the survey sites, Dicranogonus sp., did not appear in any of the 938 pitfall samples containing millipedes. The overwhelming dominance of paradoxosomatid Polydesmida in heathland is in marked contrast to the dominance of dalodesmid Polydesmida in forest habitats in Tasmania. PDF available 2016-06-11 at this link
Mesibov R (2003) Lineage mosaics in millipedes. African Invertebrates 44(1): 203-212.
abstractAllopatric/parapatric distribution mosaics are apparently widespread among millipede genera, notably in Polydesmida. In this paper I discuss possible origins for these lineage mosaics and possible mechanisms for the persistence of their narrow parapatric zones, using mainly Tasmanian examples. Although it seems unlikely that lineage mosaics arise through rapid differentiation of a single widespread ancestor following vicariance partitioning of its range, it will not be possible to test competing hypotheses of origin and persistence in lineage mosaics until more genetic data become available, especially sequence data from intensively sampled areas.
Mesibov R (2002) Redescriptions of Asphalidesmus leae Silvestri, 1910 and A. parvus (Chamberlin, 1920) comb. nov. from Tasmania, Australia (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Haplodesmidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 59(2): 531-540.
abstractAtopodesmus Chamberlin, 1920 is synonymised with Asphalidesmus Silvestri, 1910. Asphalidesmus leae Silvestri, 1910 and A. parvus (Chamberlin, 1920) comb. nov. are redescribed from abundant, recently collected material. The two millipede species appear to be endemic to Tasmania but have widely separated ranges. BHL link
Mesibov R, Bonham KJ, Doran N, Meggs J, Munks S, Otley H, Richards K (2002) Single-species sampling in Tasmania: an inefficient approach to invertebrate conservation? Invertebrate Systematics 16: 655-663.
abstractIn recent years the distributions of a number of geographically restricted Tasmanian invertebrates have been carefully mapped by single-species sampling (SSS). We review 29 such projects targeted at 16 species. The average return of new locality records was only one per 1.3 person-days in the field. In almost all cases the SSS was aimed at improving the knowledge base for invertebrate conservation, and the principal end users of the results have been land managers, not biologists. It is suggested that more of the limited resources available for intensive fieldwork be directed to sampling functional groups of taxa, rather than single species, in areas prioritised by need for land management advice.
Bonham KJ, Mesibov R, Bashford R (2002) Diversity and abundance of ground-dwelling invertebrates in plantation vs. native forests in Tasmania, Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 158: 237-247.
abstractLand snails, millipedes, carabid beetles and velvet worms (Onychophora) were methodically hand-sampled at 46 localities on paired plots in conifer or eucalypt plantations and in nearby native forest in northwest Tasmania. Native land snails and millipedes were less diverse in plantations than in native forests, and introduced land snails were several times more abundant in plantations. Many taxa, however, including a velvet worm previously considered to be threatened by plantation development, and including almost half the taxa represented by 10 or more specimens, were found at least as commonly in plantations as in native forests. Invertebrate conservation may be assisted by specific forestry operations, including windrowing, mound ploughing, and leaving waste prunings and thinnings to rot. Plantation development on cleared farmland can allow invertebrates to re-invade from adjacent bush remnants, reducing the risk of local extinctions.
Mesibov R (2001) The rain at St Marys. The Tasmanian Naturalist 123: 5-11.
noteDocuments and discusses high-intensity rainfall events in the St Marys area, Tasmanian East Coast. BHL link
Mesibov R (2001) The Milabena Marvel, or why single-species conservation is inappropriate for cryptic invertebrates. The Tasmanian Naturalist 123:16-23.
noteReports frustrating searches for a polyxenidan millipede in northwest Tasmania. BHL link
Mesibov R (2000) An overview of the Tasmanian millipede fauna. The Tasmanian Naturalist 122: 15-28.
noteSeriously out-of-date for taxonomy, but a reasonable summary of ecology and biogeography. BHL link
Mesibov R (1999) The Mersey Break: an unexplained faunal boundary on the north coast of Tasmania. In Ponder, W. and Lunney, D. (eds.), The Other 99%. The Conservation and Biodiversity of Invertebrates. Transactions of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. Mosman (NSW): Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales; pp. 246-252.
abstractEleven native millipede species (Polydesmida and Polyzoniida) have range boundaries in a narrow, 70 km-long zone, here called the Mersey Break, which runs inland from Devonport on the north coast of Tasmania. In each of four millipede genera, the Mersey Break is the parapatric boundary between a pair of species. It is difficult to find either an ecological or historical explanation for this striking biogeographical feature. All eleven species are widespread in Tasmania and occur on a range of parent geologies, at a range of elevations and in a range of forest and woodland habitats.
Mesibov R (1998) Species-level comparison of litter invertebrates at two rainforest sites in Tasmania. Tasforests 10: 141-157.
abstractLitter macroinvertebrates were collected with equal sampling effort at rainforest sites 200 km apart in north-eastern and north-western Tasmania. Both sites carried oldgrowth Nothofagus-Atherosperma-Dicksonia forest on a north-west facing slope at 650-690 m elevation. One-third of the 7205 invertebrates collected were unidentified spirostreptidan millipedes. Of the remaining specimens, nearly 80% were referrable to 153 known or new species of flatworms, nemertines, velvet worms, snails, centipedes, millipedes, harvestmen, spiders, slaters, landhoppers, neanurid springtails, and carabid, lucanid and tenebrionid beetles. Just under two-thirds of the species at either site were unique to that site, but an analysis which progressively discounts the importance of low-abundance species suggests that the unique proportion is closer to one-half.
Mesibov R (1997) A zoogeographical singularity at Weavers Creek, Tasmania. Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 56: 563-573.
abstractA narrow landscape zone containing the range boundaries of at least six widespread millipede species and two widespread centipede taxa has been mapped at Weavers Creek, near Launceston in northern Tasmania. Two other, geographically restricted millipede species are unusually abundant in the zone. Although the zone coincides with a broad ecotone between dry and wet eucalypt forest, its existence is most plausibly explained as the result of interspecific competition and historical factors. Weavers Creek is neither a 'centre of endemism' for litter invertebrate diversity nor the site of unusual forest habitats. The area is nevertheless of considerable conservation significance because of the insights it affords into ecological parapatry and local-scale invertebrate evolution. BHL link
Mesibov R (1997) Naturalists should carry maps. The Tasmanian Naturalist 119: 23-30.
noteSlightly over-the-top promotion of locality recording with grid references.
Mesibov R (1997) The farmer and the flower: a fable. Nature Australia, Winter 1997, p. 80.
noteSatire on conservation bureaucracies.
Shear WA, Mesibov R (1997) Australian chordeumatidan millipedes. III. A review of the millipede family Metopidiotrichidae Attems in Australia (Diplopoda: Chordeumatida). Invertebrate Taxonomy 11:141-178.
abstractThe metopidiotrichid millipede genus Australeuma Golovatch, 1986, erected for two species from Tasmania, is revised and enlarged to include two new Tasmanian species and one each from Victoria and Western Australia. Two new Tasmanian species are added to Neocambrisoma Mauriès, 1987, previously known from a New South Wales species. Nesiothrix, gen. nov., is erected for Schedotrigona tasmanica Golovatch, 1986, and two new Tasmanian species. Reginaterreuma victorianum, sp. nov., is described from Victoria. Identification keys are provided for all metopidiotrichids currently recognised from Australia.
Taylor R, Mesibov R, Brereton R, Bonham K (1997) Terrestrial fauna of Cataract Gorge Reserve, Launceston. The Tasmanian Naturalist 119: 46-58.
abstractA survey of the terrestrial fauna of Cataract Gorge Reserve was undertaken in August and September 1995. The invertebrate fauna is dominated by introduced species with only the more resilient native species persisting. This dominance by introduced species occurs despite the native vegetation being in reasonable condition. Such a situation has not previously been reported in Tasmania. Comparison of our results with earlier studies of molluscs indicates that some habitats have disappeared from the reserve, particularly from the wetter habitats. With the vertebrate fauna the large herbivores and carnivores are still present despite high levels of usage of the reserve by humans. This contrasts with bushland in close proximity to urban areas around Hobart where such species are now rare. BHL link
Mesibov R (1996) Summing up: Is northeast Tasmania a biogeographical region? Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 103: 21-24.
abstractModern biology is based not on the classification of species, but on their systematisation, or arrangement in a system which reflects historical relationships. Looking at Tasmanian landscape units in an analogous manner, northeast Tasmania (as defined for this symposium) is historically composite and not a monophyletic region. It is suggested that landscape systematics could be advanced by making use of geomorphic entities as well as biological species in historical reconstructions.
Mesibov R (1995) Distribution and ecology of the centipede Craterostigmus tasmanianus Pocock, 1902 (Chilopoda: Craterostigmomorpha: Craterostigmidae) in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Naturalist 117: 2-7.
abstractCraterostigmus tasmanianus Pocock, 1902 is widely distributed in native forest and woodland in Tasmania from sea level to at least 1300 m. It has not been recorded from moorland, grassland or heath, and in the drier portion of its range is restricted to permanently moist microsites. In western Tasmania C. tasmanianus is common and tolerates considerable habitat disturbance. Females brood eggs and young between September and April and clutch sizes of 44-77 eggs have been recorded. In its preferred microhabitats (rotting logs, moist leaf litter) C. tasmanianus may compete for prey with other species of centipedes and other invertebrate predators of similar size and cryptic habit. BHL link
Mesibov R, Taylor RJ, Brereton RN (1995) Relative efficiency of pitfall trapping and hand-collecting from plots for sampling of millipedes. Biodiversity and Conservation 4: 429-439.
abstractMillipedes were sampled by hand-collecting from plots and by pitfall trapping at three forest sites in central Tasmania. Seven days of pitfall trapping each month over one year was less efficient than four weeks of hand-collecting in autumn, yielding fewer species and fewer specimens per working day in the field. Hand-collecting is likely to provide more accurate data on species diversity and relative abundance for a range of litter invertebrates.
Shear WA, Mesibov R (1995) Australian chordeumatidan millipeds. II. A new species of Reginaterreuma Mauriès from Tasmania (Diplopoda, Chordeumatida, Metopidiotrichidae). Myriapodologica 3(8): 71-77.
abstractReginaterreuma tarkinensis, new species, is described from abundant material collected in numerous localities in western Tasmania. The new species differs from the four previously described species (all from Queensland) in the much larger anterior gonopod coxosternum, larger body size, and more prominent seta-bearing tergal knobs. PDF available 2016-01-19 at this link
Mesibov R (1994) Faunal breaks in Tasmania and their significance for invertebrate conservation. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 36(1): 133-136.
abstractFaunal breaks are narrow landscape zones in which invertebrate species assemblages change more or less abruptly. At least three faunal breaks are found on the main island of Tasmania, each coincident with an ecotone which may act as a dispersal barrier. It is argued that faunal breaks need to be conserved for their value in reconstructing the historical zoogeography of a wide range of invertebrate taxa. BHL link
Mesibov R (1994) Tasmania and its myriapods. Bulletin of the British Myriapod Group 10: 51-58.
abstractSeriously out of date!
Shear, W.A. and Mesibov R (1994) Australian chordeumatidan millipeds. I. New observations on the the genus Peterjohnsia Mauriès, with the description of a new species from Tasmania (Diplopoda: Chordeumatida: Peterjohnsiidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 8: 535-544.
abstractA new species of peterjohnsiid milliped, Peterjohnsia titan, is described from Tasmania. Examination of the gonopods of this species and the three previously described from Queensland showed that the Family Peterjohnsiidae belongs to the Superfamily Heterochordeumatoidea, not Cleidogonoidea as originally supposed.
Taylor, R.J., Mesibov R and Growns, I. (1994) Local distribution patterns of land snails in relation to vegetation: implications for reserve design. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 36(1): 215-220.
abstractDistribution patterns of land snails amongst forest communities were studied in a 500ha block of State forest in north-east Tasmania. Twelve species were found, four of which were represented by fewer than five individuals. Three of the eight common species were randomly distributed in relation to vegetation. Four others were most abundant in the wetter forest communities, close to drainage lines or adjacent slopes. The remaining common species was most frequently found in the driest community. Retention of streamside reserves when the area is logged would probably protect populations of all land snails. However, a more comprehensive system of reserves including all major vegetation communities would ensure protection of preferred habitat for all species. BHL link
Mesibov R (1992) Terrestrial invertebrates. In Harries, D.N. (ed.). Forgotten Wilderness: North West Tasmania. Hobart: Tasmanian Conservation Trust; pp. 299-312.
noteSemi-popular summary of past and recent sampling between the Arthur and Pieman Rivers in northwest Tasmania.
Mesibov R and Ruhberg, H. (1991) Ecology and conservation of Tasmanipatus barretti and T. anophthalmus, parapatric onychophorans (Onychophora: Peripatopsidae) from northeastern Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 125: 11-16.
abstract Tasmanipatus barretti and T. anophthalmus are parapatrically distributed in northeastern Tasmania with known ranges of about 600 sq km and 200 sq km respectively. Both species occur in wet sclerophyll forest. Both appear to tolerate habitat disturbance such as occasional bushfires, but are eliminated by forest clearing for agriculture or pine plantations. Both are found in forest reserves, and are to be further protected by a habitat management programme devised by the Tasmanian Forestry Commission.
Ruhberg, H., Mesibov R, Briscoe, D.A. and Tait, N.N. (1991) Tasmanipatus barretti gen. nov., sp. nov. and T. anophthalmus sp. nov.: two new and unusual onychophorans (Onychophora: Peripatopsidae) from northeastern Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 125: 7-10.
abstractTasmanipatus gen. nov., Peripatopsidae Bouvier 1907, is characterised by eighteen dorsal plical folds on each body segment, in combination with a unique distribution of male crural papillae and a lack of pigmentation over all or most of the ventral body surface. The type species T. barretti sp. nov. is unique in relation to its combination of large size, uniform, patternless colouration, and well-developed crural papillae in both sexes. Tasmanipatus anophthalmus sp. nov. is unusual in lacking eyes and body pigmentation. The two species occur parapatrically in a small area in northeastern Tasmania. Their diagnostic features are described here.
Mesibov R (1990) Velvet worms: a special case of fauna conservation. Tasforests 2: 53-56.
abstractA novel approach to the conservation of rare invertebrate animals is described. Forest operations are permitted where the animals occur, with operational constraints based on a knowledge of the animals' distribution and ecology. Special care is to be taken within 'Wildlife Priority Areas' where the animals are particularly abundant.
Mesibov R (1986) A Guide to Tasmanian Centipedes. Hobart: published by the author.
noteSeriously out of date!