Ostinobolus subterraneus Wesener,

Wesener, Thomas, Enghoff, Henrik & Sierwald, Petra, 2009, Review of the Spirobolida on Madagascar, with descriptions of twelve new genera, including three genera of ' fire millipedes' (Diplopoda), ZooKeys 19 (19), pp. 1-128: 95

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.3897/zookeys.19.221

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scientific name

Ostinobolus subterraneus Wesener

sp. n.

Ostinobolus subterraneus Wesener  , sp. n.


Material examined: 2 ♂, 10 ♀, 21 imm. Holotype: 1 ♂ (30 mm long), FMMC 8215, Province Toliara, Petriky , 10 m, littoral subhumid forest on sandy soil; 25°3.73’ S, 46°52.16’ E, leg. B. L. Fisher, Winkler extraction, 22.IX.1998.GoogleMaps 

Other material examined: 1 ♂, 5 ♀, 8 imm., FMMC W010 B, Ambatotsirongorongo Mountain, Forêt Petit Lavasoa , rainforest, 25°05.021’ S, 46°46.110’ E, leg. T. Wesener et al., 21.V.2007GoogleMaps  ; 1 ♀, ZMH W010View Materials B, same data as previousGoogleMaps  ; 4 ♀, 8 imm., W010B, same data as previous, voucher specimens deposited at the University AntananarivoGoogleMaps  ; 3 imm., FMMC W099, Ambatotsirongorongo Mountain, Grand Lavasoa , rainforest, 25°5’10.23” S, 46°44’55.93” E, leg. Wesener et al., 14.VI.2007GoogleMaps  .

Differential diagnosis: until now, no other species of Spirobolida  with a reduced number of ocelli is known from Madagascar. Because of the unusual morphological adaptation to the special life style, the placement of O. subterraneus  inside Ostinobolus  is only tentative and less certain than in other Spirobolida  species.

Description. Measurements: males with 42–44 body rings, circa 30 mm long (broken), 2.7–3.2 mm wide. Females of similar length and width.

Coloration faded in alcohol. Head, legs anal valves, median part of collum and posterior part of metazonites brownish-red. Mesozonites and anterior part of metazonites dark grey ( Figs 52View Figure 52 A–C). Eyes reduced, with circa eight decolorized ocelli ( Fig. 52AView Figure 52). Antennae protruding back to ring 3 ( Fig. 52AView Figure 52). First leg pair elongated, larger than second pair ( Fig. 52AView Figure 52). Legs very short, length only 0.4 times body diameter ( Fig. 52BView Figure 52). Male coxal processes absent ( Fig. 52BView Figure 52). Preanal process absent, but anal valves not elongated posteriorly like in congeneric species ( Fig. 52CView Figure 52).

Anterior gonopod sternite wide. Lobe short, triangular with a sharp tip ( Fig. 52EView Figure 52). Sternite tip protruding as high as coxite. Telopodite large, with a well-developed and well-rounded retrorse process, starting at midpoint of telopodite, retrorse part extending beyond telopodite but not coxite ( Fig. 52GView Figure 52).

Posterior gonopods: short and wide ( Fig. 52FView Figure 52). Apical half of mesal margin filled by a swollen, membranous area. No trace of star-shaped membranous folds. Sperm canal protruding above telopodite margin mesally into a two-tipped lobe ( Fig. 52HView Figure 52).

Distribution and ecology: only known from a small area in the extreme southeast of Madagascar. The species is obviously microendemic to the subhumid forest of Petriky and five kilometers south of the isolated rainforest sites on the Ambatotsirongorongo Mountain ( Fig. 49View Figure 49). Unlike cave dwelling millipede species, Ostinobolus subterraneus  sp. n. does not display elongated legs and antennae. The reduced number of ocelli and the elongation of the first leg pair are probably an adaptation to life inside the thick root horizon, the only place where this species was collected.

Etymology: subterraneus  , adjective, refers to the life deep inside the soil to which this species is adapted.


Zoologisches Museum Hamburg