Zoological Studies

Vol. 59, 2020

(update: 2020.04.30; 06.15)

Continued Exploration of Tanzanian Rainforests Reveals a New Echiniscid Species (Heterotardigrada)

Marcin Bochnak1, Katarzyna Vončina1, Reinhardt M. Kristensen2,*, and Piotr Gąsiorek1,*


1Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 9, 30-387 Krakw, Poland. *Correspondence: E-mail: piotr.lukas.gasiorek@gmail.com(Gąsiorek)
E-mail: bochnakmarcinxyz@gmail.com (Bochnak); kat.von@onet.eu (Vončina)

2Section for Biosystematics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, Copenhagen DK-2100, Denmark. E-mail: rmkristensen@snm.ku.dk (Kristensen)

(Received 13 January 2020 / Accepted 28 April 2020)
Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan

The Afrotropical tardigrade fauna is insufficiently studied, and consequently its diversity in this region is severely underestimated. Ongoing sampling in the Udzungwa Mountains, Morogoro Region of Tanzania has revealed a new representative of the genus Echiniscus C.A.S. Schultze, 1840 (Echiniscidae). Echiniscus tantulus sp. nov. belongs to the spinulosus group, but it stands out from other members of this speciose Echiniscus clade by having a heteromorphic sculpture of the dorsal plates and an uncommonly stable body appendage configuration A-C-Cd-Dd-E. The new species is characteristic by being equipped with long dorsal spines and very short lateral spicules, which so far have been found only in one other species of the group, Echiniscus spinulosus (Doyre, 1840). An updated checklist of Tanzanian Echiniscidae is provided, incorporating recent advances in their classification.

Key words: Biodiversity, Chaetotaxy, Cuticular sculpturing, The spinulosus group, Udzungwa Mountains.

Citation: Bochnak M, Vončina K, Kristensen RM, and Gąsiorek P. 2020. Continued exploration of Tanzanian rainforests reveals a new echiniscid species (Heterotardigrada). Zool Stud 59:18. doi:10.6620/ZS.2020.59-18.

Supplementary Materials: Supplementary Material S1 | Table S1 | Table S2