Zoosphaerium album, 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 : 18-22

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

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Zoosphaerium album

sp. nov.

Zoosphaerium album View in CoL , new species

Derivatio nominis: album , adjective, refers to the white coloration pattern (Fig. 1C).

Studied material: 9 M, 3 F.

Holotype: 1 M (33 mm long), FMMC 5457 . Madagascar, Province Toliara, Forêt Vohibasia #3, 59 km NE Sakaraha, 22°27.5'S, 44°50.5'E, 780 m, coll. S. Goodman, 10–16.i.1996. GoogleMaps

Paratypes: 2 F, FMMC 5457 : same data as holotype. 4 M, 3 F GoogleMaps , FMMC 5402 : Forêt Vohibasia , 59 km NE Sakaraha, 22°27.5'S, 44°50.5'E, 780 m, coll. S. Goodman, 10–16.i.1996 GoogleMaps . 4 M, 1 F, FMMC 5460 : Foret Vohibasia #2, 59 km NE Sakaraha, 22°27.5'S, 44°50.5'E, 780 m, coll. S. Goodman, 10–16.i.1996 GoogleMaps .

Distribution: Known only from the subhumid forest of Vohibasia (Fig. 5).

Diagnosis: Small, up to 34 mm long. Both sexes of same size. Coloration for pill-millipedes unique, anterior margin of collum, thoracic shield and tergites green, rest of texture yellowish-white (Fig. 1C). Head, antenna and legs green. Texture of tergites smooth and glabrous. Antennomeres 1–5 with sclerotized teeth (Fig. 11A). Disc with 14–19 (-28) apical cones (Fig. 11B). Antennomeres without groove (Fig. 11A). Third podomere of posterior telopods weakly curved, posterior side with circa 25 large, sclerotized teeth, two large, non-sclerotized lobes and five thin spines (Fig. 10E). Two stridulation ribs on each male harp (Fig. 10C) and 2 or 3 on each side of washboard. Locking carinae of anal shield absent. Operculum of vulva of special shape, apical margin only very weakly notched, in some specimens well-rounded (Fig. 10B).

Similar species: Zoosphaerium album , n. sp.. is in the shape of posterior telopods similar to Z. libidinosum ( de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897) . Z. album differs from the latter in the weakly bell-shaped male anal shield, smaller size, unique coloration pattern and slight differences in the shape of the anterior telopods and vulva.

Description: Body length: Males (9 specimens): length up to 33 mm, width of thoracic shield up to 15.8 mm, height of thoracic shield up to 9 mm. Females (3 specimens): length up to 31 mm, width up to 14.7 mm, height up to 8.4 mm. Both sexes of similar size.

Habitus: Tergites glabrous.

Coloration: Anterior margin of collum, thoracic shield and tergites green, rest of surface beige-white (Fig. 1C). Head, antenna and legs green. Preserved specimens loose their coloration pattern in alcohol, the green coloration faded out and white color becomes more and more brownish.

FIGURE 005. Distribution map 01.

FIGURE 006. photographs, A: Zoosphaerium haackeri n. sp., living specimens close to Lavanono Beach, photo taken by Kai Schütte, all rights reserved; B: Z. discolor n. sp., paratype. Abbreviations: AS = anal shield; c = collum; th-s = thoracic shield. Photos not to scale.

Head: Eyes with more than 75 ocelli.

Antennae: Length of antennomeres: 1=2>3>4=5=6, sixth antennomere cylindrical (Fig. 11A), disc bearing 14–19 (-28) apical cones (Fig. 11B). First antennomere short, with single row of sensilla basiconica, without groove (Fig. 11A). Sclerotized teeth at base of antennomeres 1–5 (Fig. 11A).

Mandible: Seven rows of pectinate lamellae, number of teeth declining apically to proximally (Fig. 13). Condylus well-rounded, with single large step at apical margin (Fig. 13).

Gnathochilarium: Laterally of palpi four sensory cones, located together (Fig. 12E). Depression on posterior side of palpi with numerous sensory cones. Two different types of sensory uvulas on central pads: long, cylinder-shaped ones with pit in their middle and fewer plain ones without pit (Figs 12A–D).

Collum: Median part of collum glabrous.

Thoracic shield: Surface similar to other tergites.

Tergites: Paratergite posterior margins not projecting.

Endotergum: Inner area with broad conical spines and long hair. Cuticular impressions absent (Fig. 23C). Three rows of marginal bristles standing close to one another. Bristles protruding above tergite margin (Fig. 23C).

Anal shield: Sexually dimorphic, in females well-rounded and covered with few, isolated hairs. Locking carinae reduced.

FIGURE 007. Zoosphaerium haackeri n. sp., A, B, D–H male holotype, C, female paratype, A: 9th left leg, posterior view; B: coxa of first left leg with first stigmatic plate, posterior view; C: second left coxa with vulva, posterior view; D: second right coxa with gonopore; E: last three podomeres of anterior telopod, anterior view; F: last two podomeres of anterior telopod, posterior view; G: posterior telopod, anterior view; H: chela of posterior telopod, posterior view. Abbreviations: cav = cavity; cr-t = crenulated teeth; Cx = coxa; EP = external plate of vulva; Go = gonopore; IP = mesal plate of vulva; Lo = lobe of 1st stigmatic plate; Mem-P = apical membranous part of plate covering gonopore; ml = membranous lobe; O = operculum of vulva; rdg = femur ridge; s-p = sclerotized spot; Scl-P = sclerotized basal part of plate covering gonopore; SR = stridulation rib; St = stigmatic plate. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Legs: Tarsi of first and second pair of legs with two or three and third with six or seven ventral spines. First two leg pairs with only weakly curved claws and without apical spine. Tarsi of legs 3–21 with curved claws, 11–13 ventral spines and one apical spine. Femur 1.8 and tarsi 3.8 times longer than wide.

Stigmatic plates: First lobe well-rounded, thin and curved towards coxa (Fig. 10A).

Female sexual characters: Subanal plate with washboard, consisting of short, incontinuous stridulation ribs, with two up to three ribs on each half. Vulva large, covering more than 3/4 of coxa. Operculum large, ending slightly before coxa margin. Apical margin of operculum weakly notched, in some specimens even. Mesal plate reaching up to 1/2 of operculum height (Fig. 10B).

Male sexual characters: Anal shield bell-shaped, in ventral view of almost rectangular shape, covered with small pits, single minute seta innervating in each, especially around hindmost point.

Anterior telopods (Figs 10C, D): First podomere broad, harp with two stridulation ribs. Ribs straight and short, of almost equal length. Second podomere process lobe-like and little curved with rounded edges, reaching up to half of third podomeres height. Process towards third podomere apically with sclerotized spots. Third podomere broad and short, cavity inside with five thin sclerotized spines. On mesal side of cavity with strong projection, covered with numerous sclerotized spots; lateral side with single, crenulated tooth. Third podomere apically with one large sclerotized spot.

Posterior telopods (Figs 10E, F): Anteriorly and posteriorly glabrous. Movable finger weakly curved; hollowed-out inner margin with two non-sclerotized lobes and circa five smaller, sclerotized spines, on posterior side with row of circa 25 large, crenulated teeth. Fixed finger almost as wide as movable finger, tip straight. Fixed finger basally with membranous lobe and one spine, on anterior side covered with numerous sclerotized spots. Inner horns of syncoxite with pointed, slender tip.

FIGURE 008. Zoosphaerium haackeri n. sp., SEM, antenna, paratype, A: lateral view; B: detail of first antennomere; C: detail of fifth antennomere. Abbreviations: s cl-t = sclerotized teeth; sb = sensilla basiconica.

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