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Top 10 - 2012

Getting a leg up!

(Photo credit: G. Brovad)

Name:  Crurifarcimen vagans

Common Name:  Wandering Leg Sausage

Family: Pachybolidae

How it made the Top 10:   Although this millipede is no match in length for the giant African millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas at 38 cm/ 15 inches), new species Crurifarcimen vagans holds a new record as the largest millipede (16 cm) in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains. The new genus name seems apt given the fat, sausage-like shape of the millipede’s body which is about 1.5 cm in diameter with 56 more or less podous rings (body segments bearing ambulatory limbs) – each with two pairs of legs. C. vagans is found in eastern and western Usambara Mountain forests at elevations of 940 to 1800 meters in decaying wood.

Etymology:  genus name Crurifarcimen from the  Latin words “crus” for leg  and “farcimen” meaning sausage; species epithet vagans from the Latin word “vagans” meaning  wandering or itinerant; thus, the full species name means the “wandering leg sausage.”


Type Material: Holotypes and paratypes – Zoological Museum, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen; additional paratypes – Virginia Museum of Natural History

Type Locality:  Tanga Region of Tanzania

Reference: Enghoff, H. (2011). East African giant millipedes of the tribe Pachybolini (Diplopoda, Spirobolida, Pachybolidae). Zootaxa 2753: 1 – 41.

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