Zoosphaerium voahangy, Wesener & Sagorny, 2021

Wesener, Thomas & Sagorny, Christina, 2021, Seven new giant pill-millipede species and numerous new records of the genus Zoosphaerium from Madagascar (Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida, Arthrosphaeridae), European Journal of Taxonomy 758 (1), pp. 1-48 : 28-30

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.5852/ejt.2021.758.1423

publication LSID




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scientific name

Zoosphaerium voahangy

sp. nov.

Zoosphaerium voahangy View in CoL sp. nov.


Figs 2E View Fig , 3 View Fig , 5E View Fig , 9 View Fig


The position of the locking carinae close to the last pleurite identifies Z. voahangy sp. nov. as a member of the Z. platylabum species-group. The uniquely slender and elongated posterior telopods in combination with the presence of a single stridulation rib on the male harp and more than 35 apical cones on the antennae, are characters only shared with Z. broelemanni Wesener, 2009 . Zoosphaerium voahangy sp. nov. differs from Z. broelemanni in the differently shaped anterior telopods, spination and teeth number of the movable finger of the posterior telopod (see key), as well as in characters of the endotergum, which has two dense rows of long marginal bristles in the former, but a single row of short bristles in the latter.


‘Voahangy’, noun in apposition, to honor the great collector and Malagasy scientist Voahangy Soarimalala.

Material examined

Holotype MADAGASCAR – Mahajanga • ♂; Analalava , 5.5 km NNE of Ambinda Village; 14°18.6′ S, 47°54.9′ E; alt. 120 m; dry deciduous forest; 8 Dec. 2004; V. Soarimalala leg.; coll. no. VS-508; FMNH- INS 3119921 . GoogleMaps

Paratype MADAGASCAR – Mahajanga • ♂; same collection data as for holotype; FMNH-INS 3119919 GoogleMaps .


BODY LENGTH. Male (holotype): length 26.3 mm, width of thoracic shield 16.1 mm, of tergite 7 16.7 mm (widest), height of thoracic shield 8.9 mm, of tergite 7 9.3 mm (highest).

COLORATION. Head, collum, thoracic shield and tergites light brown with dark posterior margins. Anal shield entirely light brown ( Fig. 2E View Fig ). Antennae dark green, legs basally light brown, apically green.

HEAD. Eyes with more than 65 ommatidia. Antennae short, protruding back to leg 5. Length of antennomeres 1=2 =3=4 =5<6. A shallow groove present on antennomere 1, disc with 48/49 apical cones.


STIGMATIC PLATES. First stigmatic plate triangular, apex sharply edged, pointed, turned towards coxa. Hairs most abundant on apical margin ( Fig. 9C View Fig ).

PLEURITES. First pleurite extending posteriorly in a well-rounded process. Second pleurite also with a well-rounded process, but not projecting. Remaining pleurites broadly rounded.

COLLUM. Margins with a few short hairs, central part glabrous.

THORACIC SHIELD. Surface like those of tergites, glabrous.

TERGITES. Smooth and glabrous, no small pits present. Paratergites projecting slightly posteriorly. ENDOTERGUM. Inner section with numerous short spines and isolated bristles. Between marginal ridge and inner area a single row of sparse, circular cuticular impressions. Externally two dense rows of marginal bristles. Bristles scaly, the longest reaching above tergite margin ( Fig. 5E View Fig ).

ANAL SHIELD. Rounded, neither bell-shaped nor tapered, glabrous. Ventral side with two black locking carinae, located closely to laterotergites. Anterior carina small and posterior carina 2–3 times as long as anterior carina.

LEGS. Leg 1 with 4 ventral spines, leg 2 with 5 or 6, leg 3 with 7. First two leg pairs without an apical spine, spine present on leg 3. Leg pairs 4–21 with 9 or 10 ventral spines and an apical spine. On leg 9, femur 2.1 and tarsus 5.1 times as long as wide. All podomeres with setae ( Fig. 9A View Fig ).

Male sexual characters

GONOPORE. Covered with a single undivided, apically rounded, membranous, basally sclerotized plate covering ¼ of surface of coxa. Gonopore located basally on joint ( Fig. 9B View Fig ).

ANTERIOR TELOPODS. Harp with single stridulation rib located mesally, long and well developed ( Fig. 9D View Fig ). First podomere 1.1 times as wide as long. Second podomere process lobe-like and slightly curved with rounded edges, protruding up to half of third podomere height, apically with sclerotized spots ( Fig. 9F View Fig ). Third podomere long, almost as long as first; cavity mesally with numerous sclerotized spots and three thin, sclerotized spines located apically ( Fig. 9E–F View Fig ); one sclerotized spot located close to tip, laterally with a row of ca 11 crenulated teeth ( Fig. 9E View Fig ). Podomeres 1–3 covered on both sides with numerous long, isolated hairs.

POSTERIOR TELOPODS. Movable finger slender and long, with a well-rounded tip, not tapering towards tip; hollowed-out inner margin with 3 or 4 sclerotized spines located apically, posterior aspect with ca 25 small sclerotized teeth ( Fig. 9G View Fig ). Movable finger 4 times as long as wide, slightly longer than fixed finger. Fixed finger straight, only apically curved towards movable finger, not tapering, more slender than third podomere. Fixed finger at margin with numerous sclerotized spots ( Fig. 9H View Fig ). First podomere in posterior view almost glabrous, podomeres 2 and 3 covered on both sides with numerous long, isolated hairs.



Distribution and ecology

The only known habitat of Z. voahangy sp. nov., the forest of Analalava ( Fig. 3 View Fig ), is a small (2 km south to north, 750 m east to west) fragment of disturbed and partly degraded lowland rainforest, isolated by 30 km from Betampona, the only other remaining lowland rainforest fragment in a 100 km radius.

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