0196. The Milliped order Glomeridesmida (Diplopoda: Pentazonia: Limacomorpha) in Oceania, the East Indies, and southeastern Asia; first records from Palau, the Philippines, Vanuatu, New Britain, the Island of New Guinea, Cambodia, Thailand, and Borneo and Sulawesi, Indonesia


  • Rowland M. Shelley


The taxonomically neglected milliped order Glomeridesmida and family Glomeridesmidae (infraclass Pentazonia, superorder Limacomorpha) inhabit 21, rather than seven, regions of the world, being newly recorded from Thailand; Cambodia; the Republics of Palau, the Philippines, and Vanuatu; New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago; the Island of New Guinea (both West Papua [formerly Irian Jaya], Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea); and Sulawesi and Borneo, Indonesia. Occurrence in Fiji is confirmed with two additional samples, and discovery is predicted in southern China, Myanmar, and perhaps Madagascar. Coupled with published localities, these records suggest subcontinuous (super)ordinal and familial ranges extending some 12,480 km (7,800 mi) southeastward from northwestern Thailand to Fiji. Though infrequently encountered, the taxa may actually be diverse and abundant within this area, which encompasses all of the Indochina and Malay peninsulas, the Philippines, Palau, the Island of Borneo and Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon and Santa Cruz Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji; it excludes Taiwan, Australia, New Caledonia, and the Loyalty Islands. The paucity of preserved individuals probably results from their dark pigmentations and minute sizes, adults being <6.5 mm long; Berlese extractions and sieved litter techniques are recommended over hand collecting. Glomeridesmida are much more continuous, widespread, and abundant in the "east" than previously believed and clearly do not comprise a minor, insignificant taxon. The first glomeridesmidan photos are published.