Tuesday, August 14, 2018

[Diplopoda • 2018] A Redescription of the Poorly Known Cave Millipede Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985 (Diplopoda, Julida, Mongoliulidae), with An Overview of the Genus Skleroprotopus Attems, 1901

Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985

inVagalinski, Meng, Bachvarova & Stoev, 2018. 

We redescribe the poorly known Chinese millipede Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985 recorded from Shi-Hua (Stone Flower) Cave, Fangshan County, Beijing. The species’ original description is in Chinese in an obscure outlet which significantly hampers its recognition from its congeners. Here, based on newly collected material, we provide the first scanning electron micrographs of important taxonomic traits. In addition to its type locality, we report the species also from Yun-Shui (Cloud Water) Cave, situated in the same county, some 18 km away. We propose the genus Senbutudoiulus Miyosi, 1957 to be a junior subjective synonym of Skleroprotopus Attems, 1901, syn. n., and introduce the following new combination: Skleroprotopus platypodus (Miyosi, 1957), comb. n. (former Senbutudoiulus).

Keywords: China, new record, new synonymy, troglobiomorphism

Figure 2. Living specimens of Skleroprotopus membranipedalis in Shi-Hua Cave.

Genus Skleroprotopus Attems, 1901
Mongoliulus Pocock, 1903
Paraprotopus Verhoeff, 1939
Nesoprotopus Verhoeff, 1939
Senbutudoiulus Miyosi, 1957, syn. n.

Diagnosis: A genus of Mongoliulidae, most similar to the genus Ansiulus Takakuwa, both sharing a number of characters such as: ozopores in all body-rings, an anterior gonopod with an unsegmented telopodite (except for S. schmidti) and a slightly to considerably higher coxite carrying a well-developed flagellum, and a bifid (except for S. simplex) posterior gonopod consisting of a slender solenomerital process and a broader, shield-like, apically setose, caudal process. Differs from Ansiulus mostly by the complete absence of telopodites on posterior gonopods and by the strongly reduced telopodites of male leg-pair 7 (except for S. sidegatakedensis).

Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985
Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985: 154–156, figs 1–8.

Diagnosis: Differs from congeners mostly by the flattened, blade-like, basolateral process on the caudal face of the anterior gonopod, and by the completely pigmentless ocelli.

Redescription: Measurements: males 49–51 mm in length, 2.5–2.6 mm in height at mid-body, body ring formula 62+(1–2)+T; females 49–60 mm, 2.4–2.8 mm, and (61–67)+(1–2)+T, respectively.

Colouration in life (Fig. 2): light brown-beige, head whitish; metazonites with darker, narrow, concentric bands, passing just behind the ozopores; repugnatorial glands reddish-brown in living specimens, becoming brown-greyish in ethanol.

 Boyan Vagalinski, Kaibaryer Meng, Darina Bachvarova and Pavel Stoev. 2018. A Redescription of the Poorly Known Cave Millipede Skleroprotopus membranipedalis Zhang, 1985 (Diplopoda, Julida, Mongoliulidae), with An Overview of the Genus Skleroprotopus Attems, 1901. Subterranean Biology.  26: 55-66.  DOI:  10.3897/subtbiol.26.26225