A group of researchers discovered a tiny threadlike millipede in the unexplored dark marble caves in Sequoia National Park in California.
The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
The newly found millipede is recognised as the evolutionary cousin of the leggiest animal on the planet, Illacme plenipes.
Key highlights of newly found millipede
• The millipede is named Illacme tobini after cave biologist Ben Tobin of the National Park Service.
• It was discovered along with many spiders, pseudoscorpions and flies in Sequoia National Park.
• According to diplopodologists, the new species may possess 414 legs, compared to its relative’s 750 legs.
• It has peculiar anatomical features, including a body armed with 200 poison glands, silk-secreting hairs, and four penises.
• The millipede’s closest relative lives under giant sandstone boulders outside of San Juan Bautista, California.