Early myriapodous arthropods from Australia: Maldybulakia from the Devonian of New South Wales
The myriapodous arthropod Maldybulakia Tesakov & Alekseev, 1998, was first described from the Lower Devonian (Pragian-Emsian) in central Kazakhstan. The geographic and stratigraphic distributions of Maldybulakia are broadened by the discovery of Devonian species in Australia. The Lochkovian or Pragian Maldybulakia angusi n.sp. occurs in abundance in the Sugarloaf Creek Formation near Taemas, NSW. Maldybulakia malcolmi n.sp. occurs in late Givetian or early Frasnian strata of the Boyd Volcanic Complex near Eden, south coastal NSW. Two trunk tagmata are present in Maldybulakia. The strong tergal exoskeleton of posteriorly overlapping diplopleurotergites suggests closest affinities with Dignatha and, particularly, Kampecarida. Along with arthropleurids and kampecarids, Maldybulakia represents another major myriapod bodyplan in the mid-Palaeozoic. Although occurring in lacustrine and fluvial sediments, the associated flora, likely myriapod affinities, and presence of spiracles in Maldybulakia suggest terrestrial habits.