Sunday, 7 January 2018

Trichopeltis sutchariti: A new species of Millipede from Yunnan Province, China.

Millipedes of the genus Trichopeltis are found across South and Southeast Asia from India to Indonesia. There are currently twelve described species, all of which appear to have restricted and localised distributions, with one species known from the Indian Himalayas, one from Bangladesh, three from Myanmar, five from China, three from Laos, and one each from Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Five of the described species are cave-dwellers, four of the five Chinese species and one of the Laotian species.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 29 December 2017, Natdanai Likhitrakarn of the Division of Plant Protection at Maejo University, Sergei Golovatch of the Institute for Problems of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Ruttapon Srisonchai and Somsak Panha of the Animal Systematics Research Unit at Chulalongkorn University, describe a new species of Trichopeltis from Yunnan Province in China.

The new species is named Trichopeltis sutchariti, in honour of Jirasak Sutcharit of the Museum of Zoology at Chulalongkorn University, who was a member of the team that collected the first known samples of this species. The species is described from three male and two female specimens collected from limestone rocks and tree trunks in Mengla County in Yunnan Province. The known males of the species range from 13.9 to 15.2 mm in length, while the females are 14.2 and 14.5 mm, all are yellowish white in colour, with some darkening to reddish brown on the middle part of their dorsal surface. 

Live colouration of Trichopeltis sutcharitis. (A) female, (B) male. Scale bars are 5 mm. Likhitrakarn et al. (2017).

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