Zoosphaerium bemanevika Sagorny & Wesener

Sagorny, Christina & Wesener, Thomas, 2017, Two new giant pill-millipede species of the genus Zoosphaerium endemic to the Bemanevika area in northern Madagascar (Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida, Arthrosphaeridae), Zootaxa 4263 (2), pp. 273-294: 278-284

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Zoosphaerium bemanevika Sagorny & Wesener

n. sp.

Zoosphaerium bemanevika Sagorny & Wesener   , n. sp.

Figs 2–7 View FIGURE 2 View FIGURE 3 View FIGURE 4 View FIGURE 5 View FIGURE 6 View FIGURE 7 , 12 View FIGURE 12

Etymology. Bemanevika   , noun in apposition. After the name of the village located near the type locality.

Material examined. Holotype: 1 M, FMNH-INS 2858686-C ( FMNH), Madagascar: Mahajanga, Sofia, Amberivery Forest , Paysage Harmonieux Protégé de Bemanevika   , site 2, 14°20'47.3''S, 48°34'47.3''E, 1570 m, slightly disturbed montane forest, Pitfalls PF #5, coll. Steven M. Goodman and Toky Randriamora, Oct-2013. GoogleMaps  

Other material examined. 1 M (immature), FMNH-INS 2858678, Madagascar: Mahajanga, Sofia, Along trail to Matsaborimena , Paysage Harmonieux Protégé de Bemanevika   , site 1, 14°20'26.7''S, 48°35'08.3''E, 1620 m, slightly disturbed montane forest, Pitfalls, PF #3, coll. Steven M. Goodman and Toky Randriamora, Oct-2013 GoogleMaps   ; 1 F, FMNH-INS 3196510, Madagascar: Mahajanga, Sofia, Amberivery Forest, Paysage Harmonieux Protégé de Bemanevika   , site 2, 14°20'47.3''S, 48°34'47.3''E, 1570 m, slightly disturbed montane forest, Pitfalls, PF #6, coll. Steven M. Goodman and Toky Randriamora, Oct-2013; 1 F, ZFMK MYR 6144, same data as previous. GoogleMaps  

Diagnosis. Females very large,> 50 mm ( Fig. 12 View FIGURE 12 ). Posterior telopods ( Figs 2 View FIGURE 2 G, H) identify this species as a member of the Z. coquerelianum   species-group. Zoosphaerium bemanevika   n. sp. has two stridulation ribs on the male harp, more than 20 apical cones on the antenna, and more than 10 ventral spines on the tarsi of walking legs, characters only shared with Z. villosum   . Zoosphaerium bemanevika   n. sp. differs from the latter species in the presence of only one row of marginal bristles on the endotergum ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 A), only 20–30 apical cones on the antenna ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 C), the presence of sclerotized teeth on antennomere 4 ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 A) and the absence of pits and setae on the tergites. Both species also differ by an uncorrected p-distance of the COI gene of 10.6%.

Description. Body length: holotype male: length ca. 22 mm, width of thoracic shield 11.1 mm (=widest), height of thoracic shield 6.2 mm (=highest). Female: length ca. 54 mm, width of thoracic shield 28.8 mm (=widest), height of thoracic shield 16.7 mm (=highest).

Coloration: some discoloration may have occurred because of preservation in ethanol. Tergites orange to lightbrown with a slightly darker rim at posterior edge of tergite. Anal shield uniform solid color, more orange than tergites. Collum and thoracic shield darker brown to olive in color ( Fig. 12 View FIGURE 12 ). Head and antennae light-brown, legs light-brown with slightly green apical segments.

Head: wide and short ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 A). Eyes with>80 ocelli. Aberrant ocellus located in antennal groove ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 B). Antennae short, with cylindrical joints, protruding posteriorly to leg pair 3. Size of antennomeres 1>2=3>4<5<6 ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 A). Lateral base of antennomeres 1–4 with small scale-like teeth, numerous teeth present on antennomere 1 protruding to base of antennomere 2, only very few teeth present on antennomeres 3 and 4, restricted to base. One apical row of sensilla basiconica and a shallow groove present on antennomere 1 ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 B). Few larger setae present on antennomeres 1–4, more setae present on antennomere 5, antennomere 6 densely pubescent, possessing single row of sensilla basiconica surrounding apical disc. Male apical disc with 21/28 apical sensory cones ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 C), disc of much larger female with 32/33 apical cones. Organ of Tömösváry located in antennal groove ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 A).

Gnathochilarium: structure typical of the order ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 A). Lateral stipites and paramentum bearing several long setae ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 B). No setae present at center of lamellae linguales ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 A). Inner palpi on stipites bearing single field of large sensory cones interspersed with smaller scale-like structures ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 B). Lateral palpi rudimentary, consisting of four sensory cones ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 C). Central pads as protuberance of endochilarium projecting above lamellae linguales. Each pad with a broad, flat incision and a single field of different types of sensory cones on underside of posterior half ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 D).

Mandible: typical shape for the order, inner tooth three-combed ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 E), pectinate lamellae arranged in 5 rows ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 F). Condylus pointing posteriorly, apically with a sharp-edged step ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 C). Large ventral mandibular base ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 A). Mentum of gnathochilarium connected to gula ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 C).

Stigmatic plates: first stigmatic plate triangular, apex well rounded, nearly as wide as at base. Hair most abundant on apical margin, very few hairs on basal and lateral margins ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 A).

Pleurites: first pleurite laterally modified and extending backwards with a broad, apically rounded process.

Collum: glabrous with very sparse setae around margins, mostly located at corners on either side of head.

Thoracic shield: smooth and glabrous, without protuberances.

Tergites: surface glabrous and shiny, lacking small pits. Tips of paratergites of midbody tergites projecting posteriorly.

Endotergum: inner section with numerous short triangular spines and very few longer setae. Middle area above spines with single sparse row of circular cuticular impressions slightly varying in size. Apically single row of short marginal bristles, protruding to half distance of tergite margin ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 A). Bristles not smooth, with numerous small spines ( Fig. 7 View FIGURE 7 B).

Anal Shield: large and well rounded. Female anal shield with slightly elongated tip ( Fig. 12 View FIGURE 12 ). No hair on male anal shield but with numerous small pits. Female anal shield covered with hair. Underside carries two black locking carinae, posterior one 4 times longer than anterior one, both located close to anal shield margin.

Legs: leg 1 with 4 or 5 ventral spines, leg 2 with 5–7, leg 3 with 8–11. First two leg pairs without an apical spine. Leg pairs 4–21 with 9–12 ventral spines and an apical spine. In leg 9 femur 1.8, tarsus 5.1 times longer than wide. All podomeres with setae. Coxa with field of tiny spines laterally close to articulation with prefemur ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 B).

Male sexual characters: gonopore covered with a single undivided, rounded membranous plate. No setae located on plate ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 C).

Anterior telopods: harp with two stridulation ribs—one long and well pronounced rib located mesally of a less pronounced and shorter lateral rib ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 D). First podomere with only few setae restricted to apical parts of lateral margins. Process of second podomere nearly as long as third podomere, laterally visible in anterior view, and with an apical mound of few sclerotized spots juxtaposed to third podomere. Third podomere with an apical brown sclerotized spot and few elevated sclerotized spots at inner margin below brown spot. Two small spines located below sclerotized spot ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 E). Depression lateral to field of spots with one small sclerotized spine ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 F). Second and third podomere with setae mainly apically, no hair at inner margin.

Posterior telopods: movable finger (podomere 3) 2.6 times longer than wide, weakly curved towards immovable finger (process of podomere 2). Shallowly hollowed out inner margin with two sclerotized spines, one positioned apically and one in middle of cavity. Additional sclerotized spine at base of movable finger. Posterior aspect with 7 or 8 small, crenulated teeth ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 G). Immovable finger almost as long as and curved towards movable finger. Sclerotized spine located on anterior side near base of immovable finger. Inner part of fixed finger apically covered with few sclerotized spots ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 H). Movable finger completely glabrous on both sides except for a few hairs baso-laterally. Second podomere with few hairs baso-laterally and on central part of fixed finger, remaining parts of podomere glabrous. First podomere completely glabrous.

Female sexual characters: vulva large, covering 3/4 of coxa, not extending to prefemur. Operculum rounded, medially invaginated, apical margin extended into two well-rounded lobes. Inner mesal plate long and slender and extending to apex of coxa and operculum. Lateral margin covered by hair. External mesal plate broader and only extending to base of operculum, lateral margins also covered by hair. Suture between inner and external plate membranous ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 A).

Subanal plate with shallow invagination at apical margin. Washboard with 2 short but well-developed stridulation ribs on each side. Margins and median part densely covered with hair, lateral parts with only few shorter hairs ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 B).

Distribution and ecology. Zoosphaerium bemanevika   is currently only known from two collection sites in patches of mountainous rainforest ( Fig. 13 View FIGURE 13 ) in Bemanevika   , Madagascar ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ).


Field Museum of Natural History


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig


University of Coimbra Botany Department