Symphylella malagassa, Camacho & Vandenspiegel, 2012

Camacho, Miguel Domínguez & Vandenspiegel, Didier, 2012, Scolopendrellidae (Myriapoda, Symphyla) from the Afrotropics with descriptions of seven new species, European Journal of Taxonomy 32, pp. 1-28 : 13-15

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Symphylella malagassa

sp. nov.

Symphylella malagassa sp. nov.

Figs 5 View Fig , 7E View Fig

Type material


Sex unknown, MADAGASCAR, Foulpointe (17º40’ S, 049º31’ E), coll. Pauly A., 12-17 Dec. 1993 ( MRAC 22157 View Materials ). GoogleMaps


1♀, same data as holotype ( MRAC 22158).

Type locality

MADAGASCAR, Foulpointe (17º 40’ S, 049º 31’ E).


The species name is an adjective derived from Madagascar.

Description (holotype)

LENGTH. 2.00 mm.

HEAD. 1.7 times as long as broad with broadest part behind the middle on a level with lateral protuberances ( Fig. 5A View Fig ). Lateral margins of head nearly straight. Central rod only distinct in the posterior half. Frontal branches well developed and median branches indistinct. Dorsal surface with short and thin setae, becoming denser in the posterior part. Cuticle with faint and dense pubescence ( Fig. 5B View Fig ).

ANTENNAE. Left antenna with 16 segments, right with 17 ( Fig. 5F View Fig ). First segment small, 0.4 times the length of 2 nd segment. Following segments with regular size, about 1.2 times as wide as long. Inner setae of the second and third segments straight and longer than the ones of the following segments ( Fig. 5F View Fig ). Longest inner seta of the third segment 0.6 times as long as the diameter of segment, while length of the ones in the following segments about 0.3 times the diameter, even shorter in the most distal segments. No second whorl of setae. Apical segment globular, all segments with faint pubescence.

TERGITES ( Figs 5A, E View Fig , 7E View Fig ). First tergite rudimentary with six setae arranged in two groups of three. Following tergites with quite curved lateral margins and well demarcated curved posterior margins between triangular processes. Processes without end-swelling, tips slightly pointing inwards. One seta between first and second tergites in the median part ( Fig. 5E View Fig ). Second tergite with nine posteromarginal, two central and five lateromarginal setae. One seta between apical and inner basal setae on the left triangular process, two on the right one. Anterior margin of second tergite concave. Anterolateral setae longer and well distinct in all anterior tergites. Third tergite with seven-ten lateromarginal and ten posteromarginal setae.

LEGS. First pair of legs strongly reduced to small spiny spots ( Fig. 5C, D View Fig ). Last pair of legs with small setae on the whole surface. Tarsus with a longitudinal row of five longer setae on the dorsal side ( Fig. 5H View Fig ). Cuticle pubescent.

STYLI. Small, elongate and spike-like, covered by hairs, with a club-like distal process ( Fig. 5G View Fig ).

CERCI. 3 times as long as wide, with straight sides ( Fig. 5I View Fig ). 25-30 setae in dorsal view. slightly curved and depressed. Cuticle with faint pubescence. Terminal area conical, quite wide, 0.1 times as long as the total length of the cerci, with 8 transversal striae. No apical setae, probably lost in both studied specimens.

Affinities and differential diagnosis

Symphylella malagassa sp. nov. is similar to S. kalundu sp. nov., S. asiatica Scheller, 1971 and S.brincki Scheller,1971 ,since they present six setae on the first tergite and five lateromarginal setae on the second one. S. malagassa sp. nov. differs by the presence of two or three setae between the apical and inner basal setae of the triangular processes instead of one, the higher number of posteromarginal setae on the third tergite and the characteristic curvature of the posterior margin of the tergites. Another remarkable diagnostic feature of this species is the club-like distal end of the styli.


Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale