Spirostreptus heros Porat, 1872

Vohland, Katrin & Hamer, Michelle, 2013, A review of the millipedes (Diplopoda) of Namibia, with identification keys and descriptions of two new genera and five new species, African Invertebrates 54 (1), pp. 251-251 : 278-280

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Spirostreptus heros Porat, 1872


Spirostreptus heros Porat, 1872 View in CoL View at ENA

Figs 52–55

Spirostreptus (Nodopyge) heros: Porat 1872: 29 View in CoL .

Spirostreptus triodus Attems, 1909 a: 46 View in CoL .

Triaenostreptus triodus: Attems 1914 a: 150 View in CoL ; 1928: 366; Schubart 1966: 117; Hoffman 1971: 218; Krabbe

1982: 283; Hamer 1998: 52.

Spirostreptus heros: Hoffman et al. 2001: 41 View in CoL (synonymised with T. triodus View in CoL ); Mwabvu et al. 2009: 39 View Cited Treatment .

Diagnosis: Very large species. Digitiform process of telocoxite apically broad and without prominent knobs ( Fig. 52, lal). Femoral process of telopodite straight to slightly down-curved ( Fig. 53, fp), and main part of telopodite having a coiled section, with distal region long and slender ( Figs 52, 53).

Gonopods of S. heros and S. kruegeri similar, but in heros the angle between the lateral lobe and distal lobe of the telocoxite is equal to or less than a right angle, whereas in S. kruegeri , the angle is wider. Additionally, heros has the lateral edge of the lateral lamella straight, without abrupt widening subapically; in kruegeri , the lateral lamella is subapically wide ( Mwabvu et al. 2009).


Size: Length of male about 300 mm, mid-body width 16 mm. Male 64–70 segments, female 66–70 segments.

Colour: Prozonite and venter light brown, metazonite dark brown to black. Antenna brown, darkening distally. Legs dark brown.

Head: Epicranial suture present, interocular suture not visible. Antenna reaches 4 th segment.

Collum: Anterior corner projects to form lobe. Laterally, edges slightly prominent, with 2–4 folds ( Fig. 54).

Tergites: Prozonites striated, metazonites with furrows below ozopores.

Gonopods: Lateral lamella of telocoxite distally bulbous. Lateral process broadly digitiform ( Fig. 52, lal). Median lamella about two thirds the height of lateral lamella, apically bluntly rounded and distally narrower than in mid-region. Telopodite with femoral process emerging within gonocoel, curved slightly downwards and apically acute ( Fig. 53, fp). Main part of telopodite with coiled region, and distally long and slender ( Figs 52, 53).

Syntype (examined): 1♂ NAMIBIA: Kalahari , between Kang and Kgokong [co­ordinates uncertain], 1904, Schultze ( ZMHB 4968 ) .

Other material examined: NAMIBIA: 1♂ Ovamboland, Opoivondo [co­ordinates uncertain], vi.1970, H. Strauss ( SMN 21640 ) ( NMNW) ; 1♂ Windhoek district, Cochegans [22°33'33"S 17°04'57"E, 1659 m], 20.ii–20.iii.1982, E. Makgoabane ( SMN 21937 ) ( NMNW) GoogleMaps ; 1♂ Windhoek district, Richthofen 126 [22°33'S 17°04'E], x.1979, S. Louw & M.­L. Penrith ( SMN 21797 ) ( NMNW) GoogleMaps ; 1♂ Hobatere [19°18'55"S 14°28'14"E, 1253 m], 23–24.iv.1996, E. & M. Griffin ( SMN 22131 ) ( NMNW) GoogleMaps ; 1♂ Otjozondjupa region, Biodiversity Observatory Otjiamongombe , 100 km N of Windhoek, 21°35'S 16°56'E, 16.iv.2001, K. Vohland (BIOTA-614) ( NMNW) GoogleMaps ; 1♀ same locality, 18.iv.2001, S. Lüdecke (BIOTA­633) ( NMNW) GoogleMaps ; 1♂ Okavango region, Biodiversity Observatory Mutompo ( Sovo ), 18°18'S 19°15'E, 20.iv.2001, E. Marais (BIOTA-632) ( ZMHB / MYR 13729 ) GoogleMaps ; 1♀ same locality, 18.iv.2001, K. Vohland (BIOTA­634) ( ZMHB / MYR 13729 ) GoogleMaps ; 2♂ 1♀ 1 juv., Katima Mulilo district, Salambala camp site, 17°50'01"S 24°36'09"E, 23–30.xii.2002, A.H. & M.K. Kirk-Spriggs, hand collected ( SMN 22142–22145 ) ( NMNW) GoogleMaps .

Distribution: Known from southern Botswana, north-western South Africa, northern Namibia and southern Zimbabwe.This large species is very common and widely distributed. Hoffman et al. (2001) assumed that the label of early material (not examined in this study) which gave the locality as “Caffraria, Wahlberg” refers to a region in the Orange River valley, which may be the southern limits of the distribution, while the BIOTA programme sampled it as far north as the Rundu district.

Habitat: The species was observed actively moving around during the day, feeding on fresh herbaceous plant material (Vohland pers. observ.), such as Aptosimum sp. (Scrophularicaceae) and Tribulus terrestris (Zygophyllaceae) (R.Austermühle pers. comm.). It was also observed feeding on small mammal faeces (J. Zeller & A. Simang pers. comm.).

The flesh fly Sarcophaga inzi Curran ( Diptera : Sarcophagidae ) has been reared from dead S. heros from a dune farm in the Kalahari sandveldt of southern Namibia ( Kirk-Spriggs 1999).


National Museum of Namibia














Spirostreptus heros Porat, 1872

Vohland, Katrin & Hamer, Michelle 2013

Spirostreptus heros:

HOFFMAN, R. L. & GOLOVATCH, S. I. & HAMER, M. 2001: 41

Spirostreptus triodus

ATTEMS, C. G. 1909: 46

Spirostreptus (Nodopyge) heros: Porat 1872: 29

PORAT, C. O. 1872: 29
Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF