Wales

Millipede so rare 'it doesn't even have a name' discovered

Turdulisoma cf turdulorum Image copyright Liam Olds
Image caption The millipede was first spotted in 2017 in Bridgend

A millipede so rare it is "new to science" and does not even have a common name, has been found in Neath Port Talbot.

Youngsters on a Halloween insect hunt found the bug at Craig Gwladus Country Park, near Cilfrew, on 30 October.

It has since been identified as the Turdulisoma cf turdulorum millipede, so rare it is only the third known site where it has been found.

The first was Aberkenfig, Bridgend, in 2017, by local expert Christian Owen.

It was subsequently confirmed as a new species by Dr Jörg Spelda at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Germany.

All findings have been in south Wales, with the Craig Gwladus discovery uncovered among leaf litter and under old wood along the former Gelliau Colliery Tramroad at the park.

Liam Olds, from conservation group Buglife Cymru, said sites associated with Wales' coalmining heritage were "very important places for rare and scarce animal and plant species, especially invertebrates".

He added: "Discoveries such as this highlight the importance of such sites and why they need to be conserved.

"As the species is new to science, we know nothing about it.

"It could be a native species that has been previously overlooked because so few people record invertebrates in south Wales, or it could have been an introduced species from abroad."

Mr Olds said scientists would probably never know for certain.

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