Zephronia nepalensis, Wesener, Thomas, 2015

Wesener, Thomas, 2015, The Giant Pill-Millipedes of Nepal (Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida, Zephroniidae) *, Zootaxa 3964 (3), pp. 301-320 : 305-308

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.3964.3.1

publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Zephronia nepalensis

sp. nov.

Zephronia nepalensis new species

Figures: 2B, 3A, 5A–F

Etymology. nepalensis , adjective, after the origin of the type specimens, Nepal.

Material examined. Holotype: 1 M (deposited at the SMF), N1 field label 234, Nepal, Ilam District, Mai Pokhari [27° 2'54.64"N, 87°54'0.97"E], 2150–2250 m, leg. J. Martens & B. Daams, 23.–25.viii.1983.

Paratypes: 1 M ( ZFMK Myr4173), 1 F ( ZFMK Myr4172), same data as holotype.

Other material examined: 2 M ( ZFMK Myr4175), N4 field label 258, Nepal, Panchthar District, between Deorali, Puspati and Sheldoti [27° 7'0.00"N, 87°53'0.00"E], 2600– 2500 m, Tsuga dumosa forest, leg. J. Martens & B. Daams, 28.VIII.1983; 1 F ( ZFMK Myr4174), N5 field label 270, Nepal, Taplejung District, Kabeli Khola valley, above Yamputhin [27°25'60.00"N, 87°54'0.00"E], 2000- 1700 m, forest in ravine, leg. 03.IX.1983, J. Martens & B. Daams.

Diagnosis. Descriptions of the apparently widespread Zephronia tumida Butler, 1882 seem to resemble those of Z. nepalensis . However, a comparison of the type of Z. tumida with Z. nepalensis clearly shows that both species differ vastly in their locking carinae, size, legs and numerous other characters. Z. nepalensis has a differently shaped vulval operculum from all other Zephronia species with two locking carinae described from nearby Darjeeling, such as Z. debilis ( Attems, 1936) and Z. nigrinota Butler, 1872 . The species Z. nepalensis seems to resemble most closely is Z. alticola Attems, 1936 , which has a centrally elongated and 'flapped' operculum. Z. nepalensis is distinguishable from the three aforementioned species as an apical spine on leg 3 is absent.

Description. Measurements: male holotype: 23.5 mm long, 10.4 mm (2nd) wide, 6.3 mm (2nd) high. Female paratype: 25.7 mm long, 11.2 mm (2nd) wide, 7.1 mm (2nd) high.

Colouration faded because of long preservation in ethanol. Tergites greenish-brown, head and collum darker, of chestnut colour. Underside, legs and antennae light brown, tip of appendages greenish.

Head: Eyes with ca. 60 ocelli. Antennae short, protruding back to coxa 4. Antennomeres 1 and 2 with few longer setae, 3–6 more densely pubescent. Antennomere 6 laterally flattened, 2 times longer than antennomere 5. Size relations of antennomeres 1=2=3=4=5<<6. Disc with 45/43 apical cones (male holotype), female with 22/36 apical cones. Mouthparts not dissected. Palpi of gnathochilarium with sensory cones arranged in clusters.

Collum glabrous except for marginal setae.

Thoracic shield surface like those of following tergites. Grooves deep, without any ledges. Tergites 3–12 anteriorly covered in longer hair, posteriorly smooth, glabrous, shiny. Paratergite tips of midbody tergites only weakly projecting posteriorly.

Anal shield massive, well-rounded ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 A), shiny and glabrous. Underside carrying two well-developed locking carinae, posterior carina 2–2.5 times longer than anterior one. Carina located close to margin.

Endotergum inner section lacking spines, only with few very short setae ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 B). Between ridge and inner section, single row of large, elliptical cuticular impressions. Externally, two rows of marginal bristles ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 B). Bristles very long, strongly protruding above tergite margin ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 B).

First stigma-carrying plate with a well-rounded projecting apex.

Pleurite 1 laterally elongated into a slender, well-rounded process. Pleurite 2 also weakly elongated into a broader and well-rounded process.

Leg 1 with 3 or 4, 2 with 4 or 5, 3 with 5 or 6 ventral spines. Leg pairs 4–21 with 6–8 ventral spines, many of them broken off. Legs 4–21 with single apical spine, which is absent in leg pairs 1–3. Coxa process weakly developed and well-rounded ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 A), absent from leg pair 1 and 2. Femur 1.5, tarsus 3.6 times longer than wide. Femur with toothed ridge of medium length.

Male gonopore simple pit located centrally at the mesal margin of coxa 2, gonopore unusually large, spanning almost half of the total height of the coxa.

Anterior telopod ( Figs 5 View FIGURE 5 C, D): syncoxite wide, with few small triangular spines. Podomere 1 only slightly larger than podomere 2 or 3, rectangular. Podomere 2 large, posterior process well visible in anterior view, apical part of process slender, strongly curved towards podomere 3 and 4. Process with few sclerotized spots. Podomere 3 as long as but much slenderer than podomere 2. Posterior side of podomere 3 carrying nine large crenulated teeth. Podomere 4 long, reaching 1/3 the size of podomere 3, towards process of podomere 2 with a membranous area carrying two long sclerotized spines. All podomeres densely covered with long setae.

Posterior telopod ( Figs 5 View FIGURE 5 E, F): typical for Zephronia , with four podomeres, two membranous ledges and a twotipped membranous ledge at the basis of the immovable finger. Podomere 3 straight, 2.5 times longer than wide. Hollowed-out inner margin with membranous ledge, no visible spines, and 15 or 16 crenulated teeth. Podomere 4 well-developed, lacking teeth, but with a short membranous ledge and two sclerotized spines. Immovable finger wide, running parallel to podomere 3 and 4. Podomere 1 and 2 completely covered with setae, only process of podomere 2 in posterior view glabrous. Podomere 3 and 4 with few marginal setae, otherwise glabrous.

Female with a large subanal plate that is not subdivided, but recessed at the central margin. Female vulva with black margins towards the opening. Operculum large, as large as basal plates ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 B). Operculum mesally projecting into a wide, triangular tip, protruding above basal half of prefemur.

Intraspecific variation. The males from the Parchthar District are smaller than the holotype; it is therefore unclear if the observed morphological differences (fewer teeth at the anterior and posterior telopods, fewer ocelli and apical cones on the antennae) are size-related or not.

Distribution. Apparently widespread species in eastern-most Nepal.


Forschungsinstitut und Natur-Museum Senckenberg


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig

GBIF Dataset (for parent article) Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF