Dichromatobolus elephantulus, Wesener, 2020

Wesener, Thomas, 2020, Dichromatobolus, a new genus of spirobolidan millipedes from Madagascar (Spirobolida, Pachybolidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 720, pp. 107-120 : 110-117

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.5852/ejt.2020.720.1119

publication LSID




persistent identifier


taxon LSID


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scientific name

Dichromatobolus elephantulus

gen. et sp. nov.

Dichromatobolus elephantulus View in CoL gen. et sp. nov.


Figs 1–6 View Fig View Fig View Fig View Fig View Fig View Fig


Body 60–80 mm long, massive, bulky spirobolidan. Epiproct not projecting. Males red, females grey, ozopore openings in both sexes marked by a black circle. Males with tarsal pads, coxa projections absent. Legs and antennae short. Anterior gonopods, telopodite process well-developed and at apex curved laterally. Posterior gonopod slender and elongated, telopodite simple, rectangular, apically with opening of efferent dUct.


Elephantulus, diminutive noun in apposition, after the resemblance to an elephant in the female grey color, as well as a hint referring to the width of the species.

Type material


MADAGASCAR • ♂; 65 km E of Itampolo ; 24°39.02′ S, 43°57.79′ E; 130 m a.s.l.; 10–17 Jan. 2011; M. Irwin, R. Harin Hala leg.; Malaise trap; path in dry forest; CAS MG-54C-78 ( CASENT 9068311 ). GoogleMaps

Other material examined

MADAGASCAR • 2 ♂♂; Province Toliara, Mahafaly PlateaU, 6.2 km 74°ENE of Itampolo; 24°39′13″ S, 43°59′48″ E; 80 m a.s.l.; 21–25 Feb. 2002; Fisher, Griswold et al. leg.; spiny forest thicket; hand collecting; CAS BLF 5762 View Materials (GCKMP-FM-060) GoogleMaps 2 ♀♀; Toliara, Atsimo-Andrefena, 13.5 km SSE of Efoetse, 2 km E of Soarano village ; 24°11.3′ S, 43°46.7′ E; 50 m a.s.l.; 19 Apr. 2005; Voahangy Soarimalala leg.; spiny bUsh, pitfalls; FMNH-INS 3196507 GoogleMaps 7 ♂♂; Odenwald Exoten import to Germany 2007; FMNH-INS 55888 17 ♀♀; same data as for previoUs; FMNH-INS 55887 3 ♀♀; same data as for previoUs; ZFMK MYR9897 View Materials , MYR9898 View Materials , MYR9899 View Materials 2 ♂♂; same data as for previoUs; ZFMK MYR9896 View Materials 2 imm. ♂♂; pet trade, ebugz.eu; import to France 2019; ZFMK MYR8708 View Materials , MYR8745 View Materials .


MEASUREMENTS. Male holotype: 47 +0 body rings, 62 mm long, 7.7 mm wide. Widest male (CAS BLF 5762), broken, 8.2 mm wide. Female (ZFMK MYR9899): 48 +0 body rings, 76 mm long, 9.0 mm wide.

COLORATION. Sexually dimorphic ( Fig. 1A View Fig ). Male: head and body reddish ( Fig. 1 View Fig A–E), telson bright red ( Fig. 1F View Fig ), ozopores marked by black spot. Legs and antennae black ( Fig. 1 View Fig B–F). Female: Head and body including telson grey ( Fig. 1A View Fig ), ozopores marked by black spot. Posterior margin of body rings darker. Legs and antennae black.

HEAD. In male, each eye with 45–50 ommatidia arranged in 10 vertical rows with: 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ommatidia, respectively ( Fig. 1B, D View Fig ). Incisura lateralis open ( Fig. 1D View Fig ). Labrum with standard three irregular teeth and single row of 10–12 stout marginal setae ( Fig. 1E View Fig ). Clypeus with two setiferous foveolae on each side. Antennae short, protruding back to ring 3 in males ( Fig. 1B View Fig ). Relative lengths of antennomeres: 1<< 2>> 3=4>5= 6, second antennomere twice as long as others ( Fig. 2A View Fig ). Terminal antennomere with four large sensory cones located together inside a membranous area ( Fig. 2B View Fig ). Antennomere 5 and 6 latero-apically with sensilla basiconica ( Fig. 2C View Fig ).

GNATHOCHILARIUM. Lamellae linguales each with two standard setae located one behind the other. Stipites each with three apical setae. Basal part of mentum not divided, but with several ridges ( Fig. 4A View Fig ). Endochilarium and central pads shaped like in other Spirobolida species ( Fig. 2D View Fig ).

MANDIBLE. In male, stipes with projecting sharp edge ( Fig. 1D View Fig ). Gnathal lobe, external tooth simple, rounded; inner tooth with four cusps ( Fig. 2E View Fig ). Six pectinate lamellae. Mesal margin of pectinate area (intermediate area) with circa four rows of small, slender spines. Molar plate with numerous (8 or 9) transverse furrows ( Fig. 2E View Fig ). Female not investigated.

COLLUM. Smooth, laterally not protruding as far as ring 2 ( Fig. 1B, D View Fig ).

BODY RINGS. Ozopores marked by black color, starting at ring 6, located a half diameter before suture between mesozona and metazona. Rings with smooth, but irregular coriaceous surface, ventrally on metazona with transverse ridges. Limbus simple, with cuticular scales and wavy margin ( Fig. 3A View Fig ).

TELSON. Paraprocts with weak lips, little micropunctation towards edges ( Fig. 1F View Fig ). Epiproct wellrounded, not protruding above paraproct ( Fig.1F View Fig ). Hypoproct inconspicuous ( Fig. 1F View Fig ).

LEGS. Leg 1 with a large cylindrical coxa, twice as long as other podomeres ( Fig. 4C View Fig ). Tarsus with three pairs of ventral spines, without an apical spine beyond claw. Leg 2 with a strongly elongated coxa, fused to sternite. Tarsus with four pairs of ventral spines and a short apical spine ( Fig. 4B View Fig ). Midbody legs with a rectangular coxa, as long as other podomeres. Each podomere ventrally with a single or a pair of apical setae, tarsus in males with a ventral pad, 6 pairs of ventral and 5 pairs of lateral spines ( Fig. 4D View Fig ). Length of midbody legs circa 0.7 times body diameter in males ( Fig. 1E View Fig ).

Female sexual characters

Body color grey ( Fig. 1A View Fig ). Female vulva simple, resembling a bivalve shell.

Male sexual characters

Tarsal pads present ( Fig. 4D View Fig ). Coxae 3–7 without coxal processes ( Fig. 1E View Fig ).

Anterior gonopod sternite massive ( Fig. 4E View Fig ), elongated into wide, well-rounded lobe ( Fig. 4E View Fig ), lobe lower than coxite. Sternite in posterior view well-visible, without discernable apodemes. Coxite mesally in anterior view with wide, well-rounded process, apical part of process recessed ( Fig. 4E, F View Fig ). Telopodite with slender process arising mesally ( Fig. 4F View Fig ), process conspicuously curved laterad ( Fig. 4E View Fig ), with well-rounded tip, not reaching lateral margin of telopodite ( Fig. 4F View Fig ).

Posterior gonopods each consisting of two parts, separated by sutures ( Fig. 5 View Fig A–C): (1) basally large, bulky coxite with slender, elongated process of coxite, and (2) apically almost rectangular telopodite with slight membranoUs folds extending meso-apicad and apicad, efferent dUct discharging apically ( Fig. 5 View Fig A–C). Coxal process and telopodite placed in same axis ( Fig. 5 View Fig A–B). Pair of posterior gonopods located parallel to each other, connected by small, sclerotized and visible sternite. Basal part of coxite wide, mesally with small sclerite located on lower level than remaining part ( Fig. 5B View Fig ). Coxite elongated into long coxal process ( Fig. 5A View Fig ). Efferent dUct rUnning at mesal margin of coxite ( Fig. 5B View Fig ). Telopodite straight, as wide as coxite process, discharge opening of efferent dUct apically. Telopodite shorter than coxite process ( Fig. 5A View Fig ), meso-apically with well-rounded, triangular, membranous process ( Fig. 5 View Fig B– C), apically with slightly projecting opening of efferent dUct ( Fig. 5 View Fig A–C).


Spiny forests around Toliara in Southwest Madagascar ( Fig. 6 View Fig ).

Intraspecific variation

The three known populations from southwestern Madagascar, as well as the specimens from the pet trade, coming from at least two different imports 2007 and 2019 look very similar to one another, showing only a slight variation in body ring counts, varying between 47 and 48.


Some element associated with the species, or the surroundings they live in, reacts to ethanol. White crystallizations appear around the specimens and appendages when conserved in ethanol for a longer time.


Germany, Bonn, Zoologische Forschungsinstitut und Museum "Alexander Koenig"


California Academy of Sciences


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig

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