A review of some Australasian chernetidae: Sundochernes, Troglochernes and a new genus (Pseudoscorpiones)

Mark S. Harvey, Erich S. Volschenk

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7 Citations (Scopus)


A systematic review of some Australasian species previously allocated to the chernetid genus Sundochernes Beier 1932 reveals numerous discrepancies from the type species, S. modiglianii (Ellingsen 1911). Three of these species are removed to the genus Troglochernes Beier 1969, previously known from only a single troglobitic species, and a fourth is removed to a new genus. Troglochernes contains six species: the type species T. imitans Beier 1969 from caves on the Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia; three species newly transferred from Sundochernes, T. guanophilus (Beier 1967) new combination, from Fig Tree Cave, New South Wales, T. dewae (Beier 1967) new combination, from bird nests in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, T. novaeguineae (Beier 1965) new combination, from central Papua New Guinea; and two new species, T. cruciatus Volschenk, new species from Rope Ladder Cave, North East Queensland and T. omorgus Harvey & Volschenk, new species from a beetle in Queensland. The Lord Howe Island endemic pseudoscorpion Sundochernes grayi Beier 1975 is transferred to a new genus, Satrapanus Harvey & Volschenk, as it lacks the diagnostic features of Sundochernes. Problems with the generic allocation of species currently placed within Sundochernes are discussed and the female genitalia of Nesochernes gracilis Beier 1932 and Paraustrochernes victorianus Beier 1966 are illustrated for the first time. Troglochernes imitans is one of the most highly modified troglobitic members of the Chernetidae, displaying extremely elongate pedipalps and legs suggesting an extended period of isolation from ancestral epigean populations. The remaining cave-dwelling species, T. cruciatus and T. guanophilus, are less modified and show fewer morphological modifications which may suggest more recent colonization of the cave environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-277
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Arachnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


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