Zoosphaerium endemicum, 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 : 37-40

publication ID

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

publication LSID




persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by


scientific name

Zoosphaerium endemicum

sp. nov.

Zoosphaerium endemicum View in CoL , new species

Derivatio nominis: endemicum , adjective, refers to the restricted distribution of the species to the Western rainforest of Analavelona.

Studied material: Holotype: 1 M (24 mm long), FMMC 5420 . Locus typicus: Madagascar, Province Toliara, Forêt Analavelona, Antanimena , 12.5 km NW Andranoheza, 22°40.7'S, 44°11.5'E, transitional midaltitude forest with elements of western and eastern forest, 1050 m, coll. S. Goodman, 9–15.iii.1998, pitfall traps. GoogleMaps

Distribution & Ecology: Only known from the transitional forest of Analavelona (Fig. 5).

Diagnosis: Small, 24 mm long. Color green, head, legs and antennae also green. Tergites at margins thinly brown. Texture of tergites polished with glossy sheen. Disc of antenna with 11–13 apical cones (Fig. 25B). Movable finger of posterior telopods weakly curved, two large, non-sclerotized lobes and three sclerotized spines (Fig. 24D), posterior side with 24 sclerotized teeth (Fig. 24E). Fixed finger broad and stout. Third podomere of anterior telopods small, reaching only half of first podomeres height (Fig. 24C). Two stridulation ribs on male harp, lateral rib weakly developed (Fig. 24A). Anal shield with two locking carinae, first short, second twice as long as first. Locking carinae only weakly developed and difficult to detect. Anal shield slightly excavated on hindmost point, posteriorly covered with dense field of very short hair.

Similar species: Although the unknown female makes it more difficult to separate Z. endemicum n. sp. from other species, the unique combination of an excavation of the anal shield, the number of apical cones on the antenna, a green coloration, and the shape of anterior telopods and locking carinae separates this species unambiguously from other Zoosphaerium species.

Description: Body size, holotype male: length up to 24 mm, width of thoracic shield up to 12 mm, height of thoracic shield up to 7.1 mm.

Coloration: Glossy. Shiny green, head collum, antenna and legs also green. Tergites with thin brown posterior margin.

Head: Eyes with more than 75 ocelli.

Antennae: Length of antennomeres: 1<2=3=4=5<6 (Fig. 25A), sixth antennomere bearing disc with 11–13 apical cones (Fig. 25B). First antennomere broadest, short and cylindrical, without sensilla or groove. Sclerotized teeth at base of antennomeres 1–3 (Fig. 25A).

FIGURE 023. Endoterga, underside of midbody tergites, holotypes, A: Microsphaerotherium anjozorobe n. sp.; B: Zoosphaerium haackeri n. sp.; C: Z. album n. sp.; D: Z. discolor n. sp.; E: Z. mitoho n. sp.; F: Z. pulchellum n. sp. Abbreviations: ci = cuticular impressions; IA = inner area; mb = marginal bristles; mr = marginal ridge.

Mouthparts not dissected.

Collum: Median part of collum glabrous.

Thoracic shield: Surface similar to tergites.

Tergites: Paratergites not projecting posteriorly, straight. Tergites polished, covered with few isolated hairs.

Endotergum: Inner section with short, elongated spines and few, isolated bristles. Between marginal ridge and inner area single row of small, rectangular-shaped cuticular impressions, standing closely to one another (Fig. 35A). Externally two rows of marginal bristles, located closely to one another. Bristles strongly extending beyond tergite (Fig. 35A).

Anal shield: Excavated at hindmost point and covered posteriorly with dense field of minute hair. Underside carries two brownish, weakly developed locking carinae. Anterior one small, posterior carina 2.5 times longer than first.

Legs: Tarsi of first pair with two, of second with two or three and of third pair of legs with seven or eight ventral spines. First two leg pairs with only weakly curved claws and without an apical spine. Tarsi of legs 4–21 with curved claws, 10 or 11 ventral spines and one apical spine. Femur 1.7 and tarsi 4 times longer than wide.

FIGURE 024. Zoosphaerium endemicum n. sp., male holotype, A: right anterior telopod, anterior view; B: last three podomeres of anterior telopod, posterior view; C: anterior telopod, podomeres II & III, lateral view; D: posterior telopod, anterior view; E: posterior telopod, posterior view. Abbreviations: cr-t = crenulated teeth; IH = inner horns; ml = membranous lobe; s-p = sclerotized spot; SR = stridulation ribs. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Stigmatic plates: First lobe curved, tip stout, protruding slightly above coxa.

Female unknown.

Male sexual characters: Anterior telopods (Figs 24A–C): Podomeres on both sides with isolated, long hair. First podomere rectangular, width larger than height. Harp with two stridulation ribs, ribs straight and short, mesal rib longer and broader than lateral rib. Second podomere process lobe-like and little curved with rounded edges, protruding up to third podomere height. Third podomere cavity mesally with numerous sclerotized spots and circa four sclerotized spines, laterally with circa one crenulated, sclerotized tooth. One sclerotized spot located close to tip.

Posterior telopods (Figs 24D, E): Movable finger of chela very weakly curved; hollowed-out inner margin with two non-sclerotized lobes and three smaller, sclerotized spines, posterior aspect with circa 24 crenulated teeth. Fixed finger as broad as movable finger, tip weakly curved. Finger basally with single short spine, on inner margin broadly covered with numerous sclerotized spots. All three podomeres on both sides almost glabrous.

FIGURE 025. Zoosphaerium endemicum n. sp., SEM, antenna, holotype, A: lateral view; B: apical view on disc.

Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF