Nagaxytes acantherpestes ( Golovatch & Enghoff, 1994 )

Ruttapon Srisonchai, Henrik Enghoff, Natdanai Likhitrakarn & Somsak Panha, 2018, A revision of dragon millipedes II: the new genus Nagaxytes gen. nov., with the description of three new species (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 462, pp. 1-44: 11-18

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Nagaxytes acantherpestes ( Golovatch & Enghoff, 1994 )

gen. et comb. nov.

Nagaxytes acantherpestes ( Golovatch & Enghoff, 1994)  gen. et comb. nov.

Figs 2View Fig. 2, 6–10View Fig. 6View Fig. 7View Fig. 8View Fig. 9View Fig. 10

Desmoxytes acantherpestes Golovatch & Enghoff, 1994: 51  –53, figs 21–28.

Desmoxytes acantherpestes  – Enghoff 2005: 96. — Decker 2010: 28. — Nguyen & Sierwald 2013: 1240.


Metaterga 4–19 with one row of 2+2 posterior spines (anterior row absent). Similar in this respect to N. gracilis  gen. et sp. nov. but differs from this species by having paraterga shorter; degree of elevation of paraterga lower; sternal lobe between male coxae 4 subtrapeziform; lamina lateralis swollen, stout, short.

Material examined

Holotype THAILAND: ♂, western coast of Siam Gulf (Gulf of Thailand), Hua Hin [Prachuap Khiri Khan Province , Hua Hin District], 8 Aug. 1979, B. Petersen leg. ( ZMUC 000101457). 

Other material

THAILAND: 2 ♂♂, 1 ♂ (gonopods lost), 1 ♀, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Kui Buri District, Hat Kham Subdistrict , Ban Yan Sue , 12°03′12″ N, 99°37′52″ E, ca. 147 m a.s.l., 31 Aug. 2007, ASRU members leg. ( CUMZAbout CUMZ).GoogleMaps 


SIZE. Length 32–34 mm (male), 36 mm (female); width of midbody metazona ca. 2.2 mm (male), 3.0 mm (female). Width of head <body ring 2 = 3 <collum <4 <5–16, thereafter body gradually tapering towards telson.

COLOUR. Specimens in life brown. Colour in alcohol: after 29 years changed to pale brown; head, antennae, collum, metaterga, surface below paraterga, sterna, epiproct pale brown; paraterga brownish white.

COLLUM ( Fig. 7AView Fig. 7). With setae in anterior row and intermediate row, spines in posterior row; paraterga of collum elevated at ca. 35–40°, directed caudolaterad, with two conspicuous notches at lateral margin.

ANTENNAE ( Fig. 7DView Fig. 7). Moderately long and slender, reaching to body ring 5 or 6 (male) and 5 (female) when stretched dorsally.

TEGUMENT. Quite dull. Stricture between prozona and metazona shallow, wide.

METATERGA ( Fig. 7A–CView Fig. 7). With one or two transverse rows of setae and spines; metatergum 2 with?1+?1 anterior setae (inconspicuous) and 2+2 posterior spines; metaterga 3–19 with 2+2 posterior spines (lateral spines very long).

PLEUROSTERNAL CARINAE. On body ring 2 long, crest-like; on body ring 3 a small ridges; thereafter missing.

PARATERGA ( Figs 7F–GView Fig. 7, 8BView Fig. 8). Directed caudolaterad on body rings 2–18, elevated at ca. 60° (male) 50°– 60° (female), directed increasingly caudad on body ring 19.

TELSON ( Fig. 8C–GView Fig. 8). Epiproct quite short; tip usually subtruncate (in some specimens slightly emarginate); lateral setiferous tubercles conspicuous, long, digitiform; apical tubercles conspicuous. Hypoproct subtriangular; caudal margin subtriangular, with inconspicuous setiferous tubercles.

STERNA ( Fig. 8H–JView Fig. 8). Cross-impressions quite deep. Sternal lobe between male coxae 4 swollen, subtrapeziform when seen in caudal view; base broad; tip slightly or deeply emarginate.

GONOPODS ( Figs 9View Fig. 9, 10View Fig. 10). Coxa subequal in length to femur. Cannula long and slender. Telopodite quite long and slender. Prefemoral part ca. ¾ as long as femur. Femur quite long and slender. Mesal sulcus conspicuous, deep, wide; lateral sulcus conspicuous, very deep. Postfemoral part conspicuous, quite short. Solenophore well-developed: lamina lateralis swollen, stout, short, compact: lamina medialis very long; with a swollen base, gradually becoming thinner towards tip; apically fringed with several small spines; tip directed mesoventrad. Solenomere quite long, curved, tip directed ventrad.

Distribution and habitat

This species is known from two locations (Hua Hin and Ban Yan Sue) in Prachuap Khirikhan Province. We believe that the holotype was probably collected from limestone habitats because the type locality (near Hua Hin) lies in a limestone area. Specimens collected by us were from limestone habitats. It has been found crawling on rocks or on leaf litter.

This species is likely to be syntopic with Desmoxytes planata (Pocock, 1895)  at Ban Yan Sue; however, we noticed that the habitats of these two species are clearly different. Nagaxytes acantherpestes  gen. et comb. nov. lives on the ground or on limestone rocks while D. planata  was found on tree trunks near garbage.

Decker (2010) identified one male in NHMGAbout NHMG, collected from Thanboke Khorani National Park, Krabi Province (8°23′12″ N, 98°44′16″ E) as D. acantherpestes  . This specimen might perhaps be ‘ D.’ gigas Golovatch & Enghoff, 1994 (in the ‘ gigas ’ group) because the location falls in the distribution range for this group in South Thailand whereas Nagaxytes  gen. nov. (the ‘ acantherpestes  ’ group) is limited to western Thailand. Moreover, Thanboke Khorani National Park and Hua Hin are far apart, about 500 km.

This species is distributed in a narrow area; we regard N. acantherpestes  gen. et comb. nov. as endemic to Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Thailand.


In the original description, Golovatch & Enghoff (1994) did not comment on the live colouration of this species. We did not photograph living specimens, but our collector noticed a brown colouration. Golovatch & Enghoff (1994) also described D. acantherpestes  as lacking pleurosternal carinae  , but after we re-examined the holotype and examined all newly collected specimens, we found the pleurosternal carinae  as crest-like on ring 2, as small ridges on ring 3, thereafter absent. There is a variation in the tip of the epiproct which in some specimens is subtruncate, in others slightly emarginate.

On some specimens we found parasitic mites, probably of the genus Leptus Latreille, 1795 ( Fig. 6BView Fig. 6). The mites infested the millipede on the metaterga. This association reminds us of what Srisonchai et al. (2018) found in Desmoxytes cervina (Pocock, 1895)  : several engorged Leptus mites attached to the millipede body.


Chulalongkorn University Museum of Natural History


Natural History Museum of Guangxi














Nagaxytes acantherpestes ( Golovatch & Enghoff, 1994 )

Ruttapon Srisonchai, Henrik Enghoff, Natdanai Likhitrakarn & Somsak Panha 2018


Desmoxytes acantherpestes

Golovatch & Enghoff 1994: 51


Desmoxytes acantherpestes

Golovatch & Enghoff 1994