Six New Dragon Millipede Species Discovered in China

Posted on April 7, 2016

Ghost Dragon Millipede

Six new species of dragon millipedes have been discovered in caves in China. The millipedes have unusually long legs and antennae. Some of the new species appear ghost-like due to complete loss of pigmentation.

The millipedes were discovered by a research team from the South China Agricultural University, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig. Dragon millipedes are known for their armor of spine-like projections. Some members of the species are capable of producing toxic hydrogen cyanide to ward off predators.

One of the new species (Desmoxytes phasmoides) resembles a stick insect with legs. It was discovered in the Fengliu Dong Cave near Baise City. It has been named the stick insect dragon millipede. The Ghost Dragon Millipede (Desmoxytes similis) pictured above is one of the new species that has completely lost its pigmentation.

A research paper on the newly discovered Chinese millipedes can be found here in the journal, Zookeys.

Stick insect Dragon Millipede

Photos: Sunbin Huang, Xinhui Wang and South China Agricultural University

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