Zoosphaerium anale (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897 )

Wesener, Thomas & Wägele, Johann-Wolfgang, 2008, The giant pill-millipedes of Madagascar: revision of the genus Zoosphaerium (Myriapoda, Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida), Zoosystema 30 (1), pp. 5-85 : 76-78

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https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.5391729

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scientific name

Zoosphaerium anale (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897 )


Zoosphaerium anale (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897) View in CoL

( Fig. 4 View FIG )

Sphaerotherium anale de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897 : pl. 4, fig. 4; 1902: 30.

Zoosphaerium anale View in CoL – Jeekel 1999: 9 (lists species name). — Enghoff 2003: 20 (lists species name).

TYPE MATERIAL. — Leg. A. Grandidier, ♀ lectotype (here designated) ( MNHN CB007).

TYPE LOCALITY. — Madagascar, south-west coast.

DIAGNOSIS. — Individuals up to 3 mm long, body high. Tips of paratergites slightly projecting posteriorly ( Fig. 4 A View FIG ).Tergites glabrous, at high magnification small, dot-like impressions become visible. Sixth antennomere with 22 sensory cones. Female washboard on each side with 2, short, sometimes discontinuous, stridulation ribs. Vulva large, internal plate and operculum slightly surmounting coxa. Operculum medially notched and with 2 lobes. Lobes of the same size, rounded ( Fig. 4 D View FIG ). Anal shield weakly bell-shaped and tapered ( Fig. 4 A View FIG ), covered with some small hairs, inner side with 2 well-developed black locking carinae ( Fig. 4 C View FIG ). Endotergum with 2 rows of marginal bristles ( Fig. 4 E View FIG ). Male unknown.


Zoosphaerium anale has the following unique combinations of characters: body length up to 3 mm, antenna with 22 sensory cones, vulva slightly surmounting coxa with 2 well-rounded, same-sized lobes, tip of first stigma-carrying plate pointed, 1 short and 1 longer locking carina on anal shield, anal shield weakly bell-shaped and tapered.


Body measurements: female (lectotype): length 29.9 (in first description: 3.0), width of thoracic shield 1. (in first description 2.), height of thoracic shield 9.1.

Habitus: body high, with prominent thoracic shield ( Fig. 4 A View FIG ). Tergites without hair but at high magnification small, dot-like pits become visible.

Coloration: faded, brown, head, antennae and tips of legs with traces of green.

Head: posterior margin of head towards collum without hairs.

Antennae: sixth joint of cylindrical shape, with 22 sensory cones. First joint remarkably broader than others, but short and with sclerotized teeth.

Mouthparts not dissected.

Collum: anterior and posterior margin with few, isolated hairs. Remaining part of collum also with some isolated hairs.

Thoracic shield: surface similar to tergites ( Fig. 4 A View FIG ).

Tergites: tips of paratergite posterior margins projecting slightly posteriorly ( Fig. 4 A View FIG ). Tergites glabrous, with small dot-like pits.

Endotergum: internal section with short spines and isolated bristles ( Fig. 4 E View FIG ). One row of elliptical, almost circle-like deep patterns between marginal ridge and internal area. Those grooves isolated, standing in a far, regular distance from one another ( Fig. 4 E View FIG ). External 2 rows of marginal bristles, placed close to one another. Bristles protruding 1/2-2/3 towards posterior tergite margin ( Fig. 4 E View FIG ).

Anal shield: weakly bell-shaped, hindmost end tapered, covered with some small, isolated hairs ( Fig. 4 A View FIG ). Underside carrying 2 well-developed black locking carinae on both sides, anterior one small, but well-developed, posterior carina 3.

times longer than first ( Fig. 4 C View FIG ). Locking carinae separated from one another by a distance equal to shorter carina length. A distinct suture between both carinae, representing border of 13th tergite fused to anal shield ( Fig. 4 C View FIG ).

Legs: first tarsi with 4, second tarsi with ventral spines, weakly curved claws and without apical spine. Tarsi 3-21 with small curved claws and an apical spine.

Stigma-carrying plate: first stigma-carrying plate lobe long, surmounting coxa. Lobe strongly curved towards coxa, with sharp, pointed tip ( Fig. 4 B View FIG ).

Female sexual characters: subanal plate with a washboard, consisting of irregular, sometimes discontinuous, short stridulation ribs, 2 ribs on each side. Vulva large, covering more than 2/3 of coxa ( Fig. 4 D View FIG ). Operculum surmounting coxa, medially notched, with two rounded lateral tips, both tips of same height ( Fig. 4 D View FIG ). Inner plate long, also slightly surmounting apical margin of coxa, almost as high as basal half of operculum, exterior plate reaching around its base ( Fig. 4 D View FIG ).

Male unknown.


This species is until now only known from the first description, just stating “south-west coast”.


The conservation status of this species is completely unknown.


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle














Zoosphaerium anale (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897 )

Wesener, Thomas & Wägele, Johann-Wolfgang 2008

Zoosphaerium anale

ENGHOFF H. 2003: 20
JEEKEL C. A. W. 1999: 9
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