Museum Blog

Jeff Stephenson's cave millipede

Posted 1/3/2014 12:01 AM by Frank Krell | Comments

For many years, DMNS Research Associate David Steinmann has explored Colorado caves and collected invertebrates that nobody has ever seen before. In October 2012, in Bonnie's Hall Cave in Eagle County in Colorado, he came across a small, 14 mm long millipede of the genus Austrotyla. This genus contains several species distributed in the Rocky Mountains from southern Alberta to Mexico, and in the Mississippi Valley from Wisconsin to Missouri, but so far did not contain cave specialists. The new species from Bonnie's Hall Cave has some characters typical for cave arthopods, such as reduced pigmentation, longer legs, and a reduced number of ocelli. He described this remarkable species together with William A. Shear from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, in the Journal Zootaxa and named it Austrotyla stephensoni, after Zoology's Collections Manager, Jeff Stephenson. Congratulations, Jeff!

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