Metaphora, Redman & Hamer & Barraclough, 2003

Redman, Guy T., Hamer, Michelle L. & Barraclough, David A., 2003, Revision of the Harpagophoridae (Diplopoda, Spirostreptida) of southern Africa, including descriptions of five new species, African Invertebrates 44 (2), pp. 203-277 : 228

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.7666308


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gen. nov.

Metaphora View in CoL gen. n. Redman

Type species here designated: Spirostreptus (Nodopyge) spirobolinus ( Karsch, 1881) .

Etymology: L. meta = conical or pyramidal structure. This refers to the conical shape of the lateral margin of the telocoxite. Gender feminine.

Diagnosis: Telopodite with two femoral spines, subequal in length ( Fig. 61 View Figures 59–67 ). Posterior limb of telopodite comprising three branches apically: (a) elongate and ribbon-like pectinophore, (b) concave spine branch with dentate margin, (c) long, narrow, cylindrical, tapering spine with slight curvature and spiniform processes on its surface ( Fig. 65 View Figures 59–67 ). Telocoxite reflexed, but fold on the distal rather than the lateral margin of telocoxite ( Fig. 61 View Figures 59–67 ). First pair of male legs with apex of prefemoral process subtriangular and directed orally obliquely at point of contact with coxal shelf. Syncoxosternum medially suturate between coxal elements. Coxal shelf tumid ( Fig. 60 View Figures 59–67 ).

Distribution: Northern and Western Cape in the fynbos and the succulent Karoo biomes ( Fig. 1 View Fig ).

Remarks: The telocoxal folds are formed from the distal end of the telocoxite rather than from the lateral surface, as is observed in Zinophora and Poratophilus . The pectinophore in M. spirobolina resembles that observed in H. arida and H. diplocrada , but the third branch (a narrow, curved and pointed spine directed towards other apical elements) clearly distinguishes Metaphora from Harpagophora . The third branch is also not the same as the third branch in Zinophora and Poratophilus , therefore representing a character unique to M. spirobolina . While the two femoral spines initially suggest that M. spirobolina is a member of Harpagophora , the form of the abovementioned characters clearly separate it from that genus. The femoral spines in M. spirobolina are subequal in length and diameter, unlike in Harpagophora where one of the femoral spines is always longer, larger and more robust than the other. It is here proposed—based on the evidence presented above—that M. spirobolina be recognised as representing a distinct genus.

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