Epanerchodus tujiaphilus

Liu, Weixin & Golovatch, Sergei, 2018, The millipede genus Epanerchodus Attems, 1901 in continental China, with descriptions of seven new cavernicolous species (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Polydesmidae), Zootaxa 4459 (1), pp. 53-84: 59-61

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Epanerchodus tujiaphilus

new species

Epanerchodus tujiaphilus  , new species

Figs 3–4View FIGURE 3View FIGURE 4.

Material examined: Holotype male ( SCAU eHN2-1) from China, Hunan Province, Longshan County, Huoyan Village, Tujiamei Dong Cave , 2.VII.2014, colls: Mingyi Tian, Weixin Liu, Haomin Yin, Sunbin Huang and Xinhui Wang  . Paratypes: 4 males, 9 females ( SCAU eHN2-2), same data as the holotype  . 2 males ( SCAU eHN3-1) same data as the holotype, but from different cave: Wulong Dong Cave   ; 7 males, 14 females (SCAU eHN4-1), 1 male, 1 female ( ZMUMAbout ZMUM), same data as the holotype, but from different cave: Panlong Dong Cave ; 3.VII.2014, colls: Mingyi Tian, Weixin Liu, Haomin Yin, Sunbin Huang and Xinhui Wang  . 3 males ( SCAU eHN5-1) same data as the holotype, but from different cave: Feng Dong Cave , 30.VI.2015, colls: Mingyi Tian, Weixin Liu, Xinhui Wang and Mingruo Tang. 

Diagnosis: Adult males of E. tujiaphiulus  n. sp. are distinct from other Epanerchodus  species based on the following combination of characters: (1) caudolateral corners of paraterga posterior to collum strongly acute ( Fig. 3A–EView FIGURE 3); (2) gonopodal prefemur robust, about 2/3 as long as telopodite; (3) endomere tip unequally bifid; (4) exomere long and spiniform ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4).

The new species is close to E. varius  (from caves in Sichuan, Hubei and Chongqing, China), but is distinguished by (1) the strongly reduced gonopodal femorite devoid of any outgrowths ( Fig. 4AView FIGURE 4) vs. with a spine in E. varius  ( Fig. 25View FIGURE 25); (2) gonopod with a clearly longer exomere and a broader endomere ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4) vs. a much shorter exomere and a slenderer endomere in E. varius  ( Fig. 25View FIGURE 25).

Description: Based on type specimens. Lengths of body ca 18–22 mm (males) or 20–28 mm (females), widths of pro- and metazonae 1.5–1.8 and 2.8–3.2 mm (males) or 1.6–2.0 and 3.0– 3.2 mm (females). Coloration: in alcohol nearly pallid to light yellowish. Mouthparts light grey-brown, gonopodal telopodites yellowish. Body: Adults with 20 rings. Width: head << collum <ring 2 <3 <4 <5–13, thereafter body gradually tapering posteriorly towards telson. Head: densely pilose, epicranial suture conspicuous ( Fig. 3CView FIGURE 3). Antennae long and slender, reaching past anterior margin of ring 4 when extended posteriorly, slightly clavate ( Figs 3B–CView FIGURE 3). Exoskeleton: Collum transversely semi-lunar, with an evident lateral incision on each side ( Fig. 3CView FIGURE 3). Paraterga evident ( Fig. 3A–CView FIGURE 3), midbody paraterga extend metatergite to ca 1.8x width of prozonite. Paraterga 2–7 clearly upturned dorsally above a faintly convex dorsum, other paraterga flat ( Fig. 3BView FIGURE 3). Caudolateral corners of paraterga posterior to collum strongly acute, clearly projecting posteriorly past tergal margin. Anterior margin of metaterga bordered and forming a distinct shoulder ( Figs 3A–EView FIGURE 3). Integument shining, translucent, prozonae very delicately alveolate. Limbus regularly denticulate. Constriction between pro- and metazonae broad and smooth ( Figs 3A–DView FIGURE 3). Metatergal sculpture faint, with three irregular transverse rows of setigerous polygonal bosses. Sulcus between front and middle rows of setae a little deeper than that between middle and caudal rows. Tergal setae visible, short. Three or four faint setigerous incisions at lateral margins of poreless and pore-bearing rings, respectively. Pore formula normal: 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15–19, ozopores evident, dorsal, clearly set off from lateral margin and located between last and penultimate marginal incisions. Epiproct long, tip concave, pre-apical lateral papillae evident ( Figs 3D–EView FIGURE 3). Hypoproct subtrapeziform, with two setigerous papillae. Pleurosternal carinae absent. Sterna sparsely setose, cross-shaped impressions shallow ( Fig. 3CView FIGURE 3). Legs long and slender, about 2.0–2.2 times as long as body ring height in both sexes, without sphaerotrichomes or sternal cones, prefemora not bulging laterally ( Fig. 3CView FIGURE 3). Gonopods: subfalcate ( Figs 3FView FIGURE 3, 4A–BView FIGURE 4). Prefemur densely setose and robust, about 2/3 as long as telopodite. Femorite strikingly short, about 1/5 as long as telopodite. Endomere (en) ribbon-shaped, tip unequally bifid, longest branch only slightly longer than a spiniform, simple exomere (ex). A single, prominent, digitiform process (p) at base of, and about half as long as, endomere. Seminal groove (sg) starting mesally, recurved laterad at base of ex, then turning laterobasad to run into an accessory seminal chamber.

Note: Based on the long slender antennae and legs, and a depigmented cuticle, the species is most likely a troglobite.

Etymology: Derived from the local tribe Tujia (± ẎŔ) that populates the area and the Greek “philos”, meaning “liking”; masculine adjective.


Zoological Museum, University of Amoy