Craterostigmus crabilli


One of the two aenigmatic centipede species that pose difficulties in the understanding of the evolution of the Chilopoda and the distribution of species within the southern landmasses that once were part of Gondwanaland. The other species is C. tasmanianus and together they are the only species of the family Craterostigmidae and the order Craterostigmomorpha. Within New Zealand the species is widespread, though not without local genetic variation. The North Island and South Island populations show genetic differences as do those at several sites within the South Island. It has a wide tolerance to environmental conditions: from the dry coastal forests, though various forest vegetational types in the higher rainfall areas of the mountains and reach well into the tussock-forb-shrub vegetation above the winter snowlines of the mountains. Specimens are usually very difficult to find and seldom are several in any one log or leaf litter sample. Although cursorial - specimens have been seen on tree trunks at night - they are rarely caught in pit traps.

Text updated: 27/06/2014