Dendrolimax leprosus Pollonera, 1906

Rowson, Ben, Paustian, Megan & Goethem, Jackie Van, 2017, New species and records of terrestrial slugs from East Africa (Gastropoda, Urocyclidae, Veronicellidae, Agriolimacidae), ZooKeys 723, pp. 11-42: 12

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Dendrolimax leprosus Pollonera, 1906


Dendrolimax leprosus Pollonera, 1906  Fig. 3


UGANDA: 9 ads., Jubiya FR (0.27°S, 31.97°E), Masaka District, forest at 1180 m alt., leg. PT, BR, & FE, 3 Feb. 2007.


This species keys unambiguously to Dendrolimax  in Van Goethem (1977), who noted that all Dendrolimax  other than D. osborni  Pilsbry, 1919 were poorly-known. One such species is D. leprosus  , previously known only from the type locality of "between Kijemula and Madudu". According to Van Goethem (1977) this locality is at 0°41'N, 31°28'E (i.e. 0.68°N, 31.47°E). This is in Uganda approximately 100 km NE of Jubiya at a similar elevation (1300 m). Until now D. leprosus  was known only from the types (which Van Goethem could not locate) and Pollonera’s (1906, 1909) description and figures. The Jubiya material corresponds well to these: individuals range from white to olive-coloured with large pale lesion-like blotches; the genitalia, jaw and shell are similar; and perhaps most distinctively, the radula has the majority of laterals bicuspid rather than tricuspid as in D. osborni  ( Van Goethem 1977).

The live animals were strikingly coloured in having a violet-pink foot-fringe. When handled, they secreted mucus of the same colour onto the hands, as if in defence. It appeared as though the mucus came from the foot-fringe itself rather than the supraperipodial grooves, which are conspicuous in Dendrolimax  species ( Van Goethem 1977).