Prionopetalum asperginis, Henrik Enghoff, 2016

Henrik Enghoff, 2016, A mountain of millipedes IV: Species of Prionopetalum Attems, 1909, from the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. With notes on “ P. ” fasciatum (Attems, 1896) and a revised species key (Diplopoda, Spirostreptida, Odontopygidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 215, pp. 1-23: 6-9

publication ID 10.5852/ejt.2016.215

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Prionopetalum asperginis

sp. nov.

Prionopetalum asperginis   sp. nov. A 13-4D50-40E9-8B6D-3D40AEA0E1 A 2

Figs 3–4 View Fig. 3 View Fig. 4 , 9 View Fig. 9 W, 10D, 11K


Differs from congeners by the combination of a laterally smooth gonopod coxa, a pointed apical mesad metaplical process subtended by a rounded mesad lobe, a simple, fingerlike proximal telomere process and a simple distal telomere process without secondary branches.


The species is named after the recently discovered Kihansi spray toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis Poynton, Howell, Clarke & Lovett, 1999   ; see “Distribution and habitat”.

Material studied (total: 15 ♂♂)


TANZANIA: ♂ Udzungwa Mts , Kihansi, 8°24' S, 36°21' E, “forest site”, Jun.–Aug. 1997, I. Zilihona leg. ( ZMUC). GoogleMaps  


TANZANIA: 12 ♂♂, same data as holotype ( ZMUC)   ; 1 ♂ Iringa Region, Mufindi District, Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, 8°31.58' S, 35°53.91' E, 750 m asl, 5–12 Mar. 1996, GUV28-2, Proj. S.H. McKamey et al. leg. ( ZMUC) GoogleMaps   ; 1 ♂ Morogoro Region, Kilombero District, Lower Kihansi Project, Udagaji Gorge , 7 Nov. 1997, Jan Kielland leg. ( VMNH)   .

Type locality

TANZANIA: Udzungwa Mts , Kihansi, 8°24' S, 36°21' E. GoogleMaps  


SIZE. Length c. 6½ cm, diameter 4.4–4.9 mm, 60–65 podous rings, no apodous rings in front of telson.

COLOUR. After 18 years in alcohol almost uniform light brown. No lighter dorsal markings.

ANAL VALVES ( Fig. 3 View Fig. 3 A–B). Each with a long, pointed dorsal spine, no ventral spine, marginal rim raised, with 3 setae on very poorly demarcated tubercles.

LIMBUS ( Fig. 3 View Fig. 3 C). With triangular, almost equilateral, pointed lobes, external surface of lobes densely striate.

MALE LEGS. Postfemora and tibiae with large, soft pads, except on first four to five and several posteriormost leg pairs.

GONOPOD COXA ( Fig. 3 View Fig. 3 D–F). Lateral margin almost straight, entirely smooth. Mesal margin of proplica straight, proplical lobe (prl) in anterior view almost hidden behind apical expansion of metaplica. Basal part of metaplica with large longitudinal mesad flange (mlf), separated by a deep sinus from an obliquehorizontal, sub-semicircular mesad flange (mof), apical part of metaplica expanded anteriad, forming a pointed process (amp) covering proplical lobe, a rounded mesad lobe (mml) and a slender disto-mesad process (mmp).

GONOPOD TELOPODITE ( Fig. 4 View Fig. 4 ). A well-developed post-torsal spine (“femoral spine”, pts) just before posttorsal narrowing (broken on illustrated specimen). Solenomere (slm) simple, slender. Telomere with a large, proximal lobe (pxl) and a rough area (ra) on apical surface, further distally divided into two processes. Proximal telomere process (tpp) parallel-sided, apically rounded. Distal telomere process (tdp) only slightly broader than solenomere, apically with one margin denticulate ( Fig. 4 View Fig. 4 F).

Distribution and habitat

Known only from the southern part of the Udzungwa Mts, Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve and the Kihansi area. The latter area has become famous because of the Kihansi spray toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis Poynton, Howell, Clarke & Lovett, 1999   , which occurred in the Kihansi area but is now regarded as extinct in the wild although a reintroduction programme was started in 2013 ( IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015). Zilihona et al. (1998) described in detail the area where I. Zilihona collected her specimens. Altitudinal range 550–750 m asl (cf. Zilihona et al. 1998).

Coexisting species

The sample collected by I. Zilihona also contains another, much smaller odontopygid which will be described in a forthcoming paper.



Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen


Virginia Museum of Natural History


Sacramento State University