A new marine tardigrade of the genus Tanarctus is described from Japan. Tanarctus diplocerus sp. nov. was collected from Shimabara Bay, Kumamoto and Tanabe Bay, Wakayama. It is characterized by simple leg IV appendages, the lack of the internal–external relation in the dorsal and ventral cirri and the lack of the club-shaped secondary clavae. The secondary sexual dimorphism of the primary clavae and probable two-digit juveniles of the new species are reported. The problematic terminology of the so-called ‘internal’ and ‘external’ cirri is also discussed. A taxonomic key for the species of Tanarctus is provided.