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Echiniscidae (Heterotardigrada) of Tanzania and Uganda

Gąsiorek, Piotr, Kristensen, Reinhardt Møbjerg
Tropical zoology 2018 v.31 no.3 pp. 131-160
claws, fauna, scanning electron microscopy, surveys, Tanzania, Uganda
Faunistic survey of Tanzania and Uganda resulted in the finding of eight species belonging to the genus Echiniscus C.A.S. Schultze, 1840, three of which are new to science. Echiniscus belloporus n. sp. has no trunk cirri and dorsal plates densely covered with pores (sculpture of the spinulosus type); it lacks a spine I and the dentate collar IV, a combination of traits so far unseen in Echiniscus. Echiniscus ornamentatus n. sp. possesses regularly distributed pores on its dorsal plates, scapular and caudal plates with contrasting faceting, and anterior portions of the paired plates distinctly darker than their posterior parts. Echiniscus tristis n. sp. is also a new member of the spinulosus group, but differs from all other species of this complex by having small pores, a trunk appendage combination C-Dᵈ-E, and large spurs on its internal claws. Three other species: Echiniscus baius, Echiniscus dariae and Echiniscus manuelae, are recorded as new additions to the African fauna. Two last species: Echiniscus africanus and Echiniscus cirinoi, are scarcely reported elements of the Afrotropical fauna. Scanning electron microscopy microphotographs supplementing the description of E. dariae, and amendments to the outdated description of E. manuelae are also provided.