Zoosphaerium haackeri, 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 : 16-18

publication ID

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

publication LSID




persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by


scientific name

Zoosphaerium haackeri

sp. nov.

Zoosphaerium haackeri View in CoL , new species

Derivatio nominis: haackeri , adjective, is named to honour myriapodologist Dr. Ulrich Haacker (1939–1972), who did excellent research on the behaviour of South African Sphaerotheriida .

Studied material: Holotype: 1 M (24.8 mm long), CAS BLF 5499 . Locus typicus: Madagascar, Province Toliara, Réserve Spéciale de Cap Sainte Marie , 12.3 km 262° W Marovato, 25°34'54"S, 45°10'6"E, spiny forest thicket, 220 m, coll. Fisher, Griswold et al., 11–15.ii.2002, pitfall trap. GoogleMaps

Paratype: 1 F, same data as holotype.

Other material: 3 M, 1 F, 2 imm. FMMC, Lavanono Beach , 25°25.404'S, 044°56.424'E, 27 m, spiny bush close to the coast, coll. T. Wesener, 18.vi.2007 GoogleMaps . 2 M, 1 F, 3 imm., voucher specimens deposited at the University of Antananarivo, same collection data as previous. 2 M, CAS BLF 5762 , Province Toliara, Mahafaly Plateau , 6.2 km 74° ENE Itampolo, 24°39'13"S, 43°59'48"E, spiny forest thicket, 80 m, coll. Fisher, Griswold et al., 21–25.ii.2002 GoogleMaps , general collecting; 1 M, CAS BLF 5763 , same data as previous, but pitfall traps GoogleMaps .

Distribution: Spiny forests in Southern Madagascar (Fig. 5).

Diagnosis: Up to 28 mm long. Both sexes of same size. Body dark green, posterior margins of each tergite with yellow line (Fig. 6A). Texture of tergites smooth and glabrous. Tarsi of all legs broad, length 3 times larger than width (Fig. 7A). Antenna very short (Fig. 8A), without groove (Fig. 8B), disc with 9–15 apical cones (Fig. 9A). Fifth antennomere with sensilla basiconica (Fig. 8C). Movable finger of posterior telopods weakly curved, longer than fixed finger (Fig. 7G), on posterior side with circa 20 large, sclerotized teeth, two large, non-sclerotized lobes and 3–5 thin spines (Fig. 7H). Fixed finger very wide, basally with large membranous lobe and small spine. Two stridulation ribs on each male harp (Fig. 7E) and two on each side of washboard. Anal shield without locking carinae. Operculum large, notched, dividing operculum into two, well-rounded, same-sized tips (Fig. 7C). Mandible with very small intermediate area between molar plate and pectinate lamella (Fig. 9C).

Similar species: The species is in the anterior telopods very similar to Z. libidinosum but Z. haackeri n. sp. differs from the latter in the following characters: the tarsi are of much greater width (Fig. 7A), the mandible of unique shape, without an intermediate area (Fig. 9C), the operculum is notched (Fig. 7C) and the posterior telopods are of different shape (Fig. 7G).

Description: Body length: Males (9 specimens): length up to 25 mm, width of thoracic shield up to 11.8 mm, height of thoracic shield up to 6.8 mm. Females (3 specimens): length up to 26 mm, width up to 12.8 mm, height up to 7.2 mm. Both sexes of similar size.

Habitus: Anal shield well-rounded (Fig. 6A). Tergites smooth and hairless.

Coloration: Body dark green, posterior end of each tergite (including collum and anal shield) with thin yellow stripe (Fig. 6A). Head, antennae and legs green.

Head: Eyes with 50–60 ocelli.

Antennae: Very short (Fig. 8A). Length of antennomeres: 1>2=3=4<5=6. Sixth antennomere cylindrical (Fig. 8A), disc with 9–15 apical cones (Fig. 9A). First antennomere broadest, short and cylindrical, apically with row of sensilla basiconica, without groove (Fig. 8B). Sclerotized teeth at base of antennomeres 1–5 (Fig. 8A). Apical part of fifth antennomere also with few sensilla basiconica (Fig. 8C).

Mandible: Six rows of pectinate lamellae; number of teeth declining from apical to proximal. Intermediate area very small, pectinate lamellae almost directly touching molar plate (Fig. 9C). Condylus apically with two steps (Fig. 9C).

Gnathochilarium: Laterally of palpi four sensory cones, located together (Fig. 9B). Depression on posterior side of palpi with few sensory cones.

Collum: Median parts of collum glabrous.

Thoracic shield: Surface similar to those of tergites.

Tergites: Smooth and glabrous. Paratergites slightly projecting posteriorly.

Endotergum: Inner section with short spines and very few, isolated bristles (Fig. 23B). Cuticular impressions absent (Fig. 23B). Externally three rows of marginal bristles, standing irregularly to one another. Bristles scaly, long, extending beyond tergite (Fig. 23B).

Anal shield: Rounded, neither bell-shaped nor tapered (Fig. 6A). Slightly sexually dimorphic, in females glabrous. Ventral side without locking carinae.

Legs: Tarsi of first pair of legs with three, second with up to four ventral spines. First two leg pairs with only weakly curved claws and without apical spine. Tarsi of legs 3–21 with curved claws, 10–12 ventral spines and one apical spine. Femur 1.8 and tarsi 3.0 times longer than wide (Fig. 7A).

Stigmatic plate: First lobe well-rounded, long and weakly curved towards coxa (Fig. 7B).

Female sexual characters: Subanal plate with washboard, consisting of short, but well-developed stridulation ribs, two ribs on each half. Stridulation ribs symmetrical and strong. Vulva large, covering more than 4/5 of coxa. Apical margin of operculum weakly notched. Mesal plate reaching up to 2/3 of operculum's height (Fig. 7C).

Male sexual characters: Male gonopore covered with sclerotized, undivided and rounded plate. Apical part of plate membranous (Fig. 7D). Anal shield not modified, but covered with numerous minute hairs around hindmost point.

Anterior telopods (Figs 7E, F): Harp with two stridulation ribs. Both ribs straight, mesal one slightly larger than lateral rib. Second podomere process lobe-like and little curved with rounded edges, reaching half of third podomeres height, apically with sclerotized spots. Third podomere on posterior side with cavity juxtaposed to second podomere process. Mesal margin towards cavity with numerous sclerotized spots and 3 or 4 small spines, lateral margin with 2–4 crenulated teeth. Tip of third podomere with one triangular, sclerotized spot.

Posterior telopods (Figs 7G, H): Movable finger on both sides with few hairs. Finger slightly curved towards fixed finger, hollowed-out inner margin with two non-sclerotized lobes and four up to five smaller, sclerotized spines; posterior aspect with row of circa 20 large, crenulated teeth. Fixed finger only on posterior side with few hairs, shorter but almost twice as wide as third podomere, with straight tip; anterior side basally with single membranous lobe and small, sclerotized spine, on inner margin covered with numerous sclerotized spots juxtaposed to third podomere sclerotized teeth. First podomere on both sides almost glabrous.


California Academy of Sciences


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics

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