The current knowledge of the diversity and distribution of tardigrade species in northern Africa is scarce and far from satisfactory. In this paper we review old and provide new faunistic records for various regions of Tunisia. Among the newly recorded taxa, we found a new heterotardigrade Bryodelphax maculatus sp. nov. The new species belongs to the weglarskae group, characterised by the presence of ventral plates, but differs from its congeners by a different arrangement of ventral plates and by conspicuous groups of cuticular tubercles on the ventral cuticle. The analysis of larval, juvenile and mature instars of the new species revealed, for the first time in heterotardigrades, ontogenetic variability in the development of ventral armature.
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Vol. 52 • No. 2