oa African Invertebrates - The distribution of southern African Harpagophoridae Attems, 1909 (Diplopoda : Spirostreptida)

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1681-5556
  • E-ISSN: 2305-2562



The southern African Harpagophoridae comprises three genera : (12 described and four undescribed species), (six described and one undescribed species) and (three species, including one unconfirmed species). Recent collecting in South Africa, and taxonomic revisions, have provided new insights facilitating a biogeographical study. The family is widely distributed within the subregion, and at altitudes up to 1600 m. The distribution of and is non-overlapping and is strongly linked to rainfall seasonality and biome, with being confined to winter rainfall, and to Succulent Karoo and Fynbos biomes, while mainly occurs in the summer rainfall Savannah and Grassland biomes, with a few species in Thicket and Nama Karoo. Both of these genera can be divided into distinct species-groups based on gonopod morphology, and these groupings also have a clear geographic basis. The distribution of individual species appears to be linked to biomes, and more widespread species occur in extensive biomes such as Savannah. Barriers which have isolated or separated genera, species-groups, and individual species, are difficult to determine, but rivers and altitude may be important factors limiting distribution and promoting vicariance.

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