Zoosphaerium analavelona, Wesener, 2009

Wesener, Thomas, 2009, Unexplored richness: discovery of 31 new species of Giant Pill-Millipedes endemic to Madagascar, with a special emphasis on microendemism (Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida), Zootaxa 2097 (1), pp. 1-134 : 122-125

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https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.2097.1.1

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Zoosphaerium analavelona

sp. nov.

Zoosphaerium analavelona View in CoL , new species

Derivatio nominis: analavelona , noun in apposition, refers to the type locality Analavelona.

Studied material: Holotype: 1 M (34 mm long), FMMC 5431 . Locus typicus: Madagascar, Province Toliara, Forêt Analavelona , near source of Manasy River , 16.5 km NW Andranoheza, 22°38.5'S, 44°10.3'E, undisturbed mid-elevation forest with dry & humid elements, 1250 m, coll. S. Goodman, 2–8.xi.2000, pitfall traps. GoogleMaps

Paratypes: 23 M, 11 F, FMMC 5431 , same data as holotype GoogleMaps ; 3 M, FMMC 5449 , same data as holotype GoogleMaps ; 1 M, FMMC 5427 , Forêt Analavelona, Antanimena , 12.5 km NW Andranoheza, 22°40.7'S, 44°11.5'E, transitional mid-altitude forest with elements of western and eastern forest, 1050 m, coll. S. Goodman, 9–5.iii.1998, pitfall traps; 1 M (immature) GoogleMaps , FMMC 5439 , same data as FMMC GoogleMaps 5427; 1 M, 1 F, CAS BLF 7819 , Forêt Analavelona , 29.2 km 343° NNW Mahaboboka, 22°40'30"S, 044°11'24"E, 1100 m, montane rainforest, coll. Fisher, Griswold et al., 18–22.ii.2003 GoogleMaps .

Distribution: Known only from the azonal Western rainforest of Analavelona (Fig. 77).

Diagnosis: Medium sized, up to 36 mm long. Color shiny green, in alcohol faded to brown (Fig. 82). First antennomere with groove and sensilla basiconica, antennomeres 1–4 with sclerotized teeth (Fig. 84B), disc with four apical cones (Fig. 84A). First stigmatic plate with prominent, wide lobe (Fig. 83A). Movable finger of posterior telopods straight, elongated, width not decreasing towards apex, with single short membranous lobe and circa three thin spines (Fig. 83G), posterior side with circa 14 sclerotized teeth (Fig. 83F). Fixed finger of unusual shape, tip curved and more slender than rest of finger. One stridulation rib on male harp (Fig. 83C), 1 or 2 on each side of female washboard. Two locking carinae on anal shield, anterior carina short, posterior one three times longer than first. Operculum of vulva of special shape, very narrow, divided medially into two almost identical parts (Fig. 83B).

FIGURE 082. Zoosphaerium analavelona n. sp., digital photograph of paratype. Abbreviations: AS = anal shield; c = collum; h = head; th-s = thoracic shield.

Similar species: The shape of male posterior telopods is shared only by Z. fisheri , n. sp.. The uniquely narrow female operculum (Fig. 83B) separates Z. analavelona , n. sp. from all other Sphaerotheriida .

Description: Body length: Males (29 specimens): length up to 35 mm, width of thoracic shield up to 16.7 mm, height of thoracic shield up to 8.8 mm. Females (11 specimens): length up to 36 mm, width up to 18.9 mm, height up to 10.5 mm. Males slightly smaller than females.

FIGURE 083. Zoosphaerium analavelona n. sp., A, C–G holotype, B female paratype, A: first right coxa and prefemur with stigmatic plate; B: second left coxa with vulva, posterior view; C: right half of anterior telopod, anterior view; D: last three podomeres of anterior telopod, posterior view; E: last two podomeres of anterior telopod, lateral view; F: chela of posterior telopod, anterior view; G: posterior telopod, posterior view. Abbreviations: cav = cavity; cr-t = crenulated teeth; Cx = coxa; EP = external plate of vulva; IP = mesal plate of vulva; ml = membranous lobe; O = operculum; Pre = prefemur; s-p = sclerotized spot; scl-t = sclerotized teeth; SR = stridulation rib; St = stigmatic plate. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Coloration: In best preserved specimens shiny green, head collum, antenna and legs also green. The green has faded to olive-green in some specimens, in others to brown (Fig. 82).

Head: Eyes with>70 ocelli.

Antennae: Length of antennomeres: 1=2=3>4>5<6, sixth antennomere cylindrical, bearing disc with four apical cones (Fig. 84A). First antennomere with two rows of sensilla basiconica and shallow groove (Fig. 84B). Sclerotized teeth on antennomeres 1–4 (Fig. 84B).

FIGURE 084. Zoosphaerium analavelona n. sp., paratype, SEM, antenna, A: apical view on disc; B: lateral view. Abbreviation: sb = sensilla basiconica.

Mandible: Seven rows of pectinate lamellae, number of teeth declining apically to proximally (Fig. 85). Molar plate with deep groove (Fig. 85). Condylus with single, strongly developed step near apical margin (Fig. 85).

Gnathochilarium: Lateral of palpi four sensory cones, located together. Depression on posterior side of palpi with some sensory cones.

Collum: Whole collum covered with short hairs.

Thoracic shield: Surface similar to those of tergites (Fig. 82).

Tergites: Smooth, covered sparsely with some isolated, minute hairs. Tips of paratergites straight, not projecting (Fig. 82).

Endotergum: Inner section with numerous spines and long bristles (Fig. 88C). Between marginal ridge and inner area with one row of circular cuticular impressions, regularly arranged (Fig. 88C). Externally two rows of marginal bristles. Bristles scaly, long, extending beyond tergite margin (Fig. 88C).

Anal shield: Well-rounded. Sexually dimorphic, only in males covered densely with short hairs. Ventral side of anal shield with two black locking carinae, located closely to ventral margin. Anterior carina small, posterior carina three times longer than anterior one.

FIGURE 085. Zoosphaerium analavelona n. sp., paratype, SEM, right mandible, mesal view. Abbreviations: 3iT = 3 inner teeth; Co = condylus; eT = external tooth; mp = molar plate; pL = pectinate lamella.

Legs: Tarsi of first pair of legs with four to six, second with six to eight and third with 7–10 ventral spines. First two leg pairs with weakly curved claws and without apical spine. Tarsi of legs 4–21 with curved claws, 10–12 ventral spines and one apical spine. Femur 2.0 and tarsi 4.5 times longer than wide.

Stigmatic plates: First lobe wide, long, with well-rounded tip (Fig. 83A).

Female sexual characters: Subanal plate with washboard, consisting of short, but broad and well developed stridulation ribs, with 1 or 2 ribs on each half. Vulva large, covering more than 2/3 of coxa. Operculum small and low, ending far before apical margin. Operculum divided by vertical suture in two, almost same-sized halves. Apical margin of operculum medially notched (Fig. 83B). Mesal plate long, extending beyond operculum (Fig. 83B).

Male sexual characters:

Anterior telopods (Figs 83C–E): Harp with single stridulation rib of medium length. Second podomere process lobe-like and little curved with rounded edges, reaching up to half of third podomeres height, apically with sclerotized spots and basally with one thin spine. Third podomere mesally with up to three thin, sclerotized spines, in basal half covered with numerous small sclerotized spots, laterally with circa three crenulated, sclerotized teeth. Third podomere apically with one round, sclerotized spot.

Posterior telopods (Figs 83F, G): Movable finger long, tip well-rounded, length 3.0 times greater than width, apically not tapering. Hollowed-out inner margin with small, triangular membranous lobe and up to three sclerotized spines, on posterior aspect with circa 14 small, sclerotized teeth. Movable finger up to 1/3 of its length longer than fixed finger. Fixed finger basally very wide, with one triangular, membranous lobe and sclerotized spine. Fixed finger curved, from beginning of curvature towards tip much more slender than more basally, margin apically covered with sclerotized spots. All podomeres almost glabrous, covered only basally with few, long isolated hairs. Inner horns of syncoxite pointed, slender.


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