Zoosphaerium pseudopiligerum, 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: 118-121

publication ID

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



persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Zoosphaerium pseudopiligerum

new species

Zoosphaerium pseudopiligerum   , new species

Derivatio nominis: pseudopiligerum   , adjective, refers to the similarity to Z. piligerum   .

Studied material: 6 M, 5 F

Holotype: 1 M (43 mm long), FMMC 5388. Locus typicus: Madagascar, Province Toliara, RNI Andohahela , parcel 1, camp 4, 15.0 km NW Eminiminy, 24°34.2'S, 46°43.9'E, rainforest, 1500 m, coll. S. Goodman, 17–27.XI.1995. GoogleMaps  

Paratypes: 2 F, FMMC 5388, same data as holotype; 1 F GoogleMaps   , FMMC 5367, RNI Andohahela , parcel 1, camp 3, 24°35.0'S, 46°44.1'E, rainforest, 1200 m, coll. S. Goodman, pitfall trap, 7–17.XI.1995 GoogleMaps   ; 1 M, 1 F, FMMC 5368, RNI Andohahela , parcel 1, camp 4, 24°34.2'S, 46°43.9'E, rainforest, 1500 m, coll. S. Goodman, pitfall trap, 7–17.XI.1995 GoogleMaps   . 2 M, FMMC 5399, RNI Andohahela , parcel 1, camp 5, 20.0 km SE Andranondambo, 24°33.7'S, 46°43.3'E, rainforest, 1875 m, coll. S. Goodman, pitfall trap, 27.XI.–5.XII.1995 GoogleMaps   ; 1 M, FMMC 5416, RNI Andohahela , parcel 1, camp 4, 15.0 km NW Eminiminy, 24°34.2'S, 46°43.9'E, rainforest, 1500 m, coll. S. Goodman, 17–27.XI.1995 GoogleMaps   ; 1 M, 1 F, FMMC 5456, RNI Andohahela , parcel 1, camp 5, 20.0 km SE Andranondambo, 24°33.7'S, 46°43.3'E, rainforest, 1875 m, coll. S. Goodman, 27.XI.- 5.XII.1995 GoogleMaps   .

Distribution: This species is until now only known from the montane rainforest at Andohahela, South of the Isaka-Ivondro corridor. Elevation ranging 1200–1875 m (Fig. 77).

Diagnosis: Large, up to 53 mm long, males slightly smaller. Color shiny black with olive green legs. Surface of tergites and anal shield covered with numerous small pits and short hairs. Antennae unusually long, reaching back to third tergite. Antennomeres 1 and 2 with sclerotized teeth. All antennomeres without groove (Fig. 81A). Disc with 11–26 apical cones (Fig. 81B). Posterior telopod movable finger slender and elongated, becoming thicker towards tip, with one small, triangular lobe and two sclerotized spines (Fig. 80F); posterior side with up to nine sclerotized teeth (Fig. 80G). Fixed finger curved, long and slender, basally with single membranous lobe and sclerotized spine. Two long stridulation ribs on each male harp (Fig. 80D), 2 or 3 on each side of female washboard. Anal shield with two locking carinae, anterior small, posterior 3 to 4 times longer than first. Operculum of vulva narrow, apical margin medially notched, with two same-sized, wellrounded tips (Fig. 80A).

FIGURE 080. Zoosphaerium pseudopiligerum   n. sp., A female paratype, B–G holotype, A: second right coxa with vulva, posterior view; B: first right coxa and prefemur with stigmatic plate; C: second right coxa with gonopore, posterior view; D: left half of anterior telopod, anterior view; E: last two podomeres of anterior telopod, posterior view; F: posterior telopod, anterior view; G: posterior telopod, posterior view. Abbreviations: cr-t = crenulated tooth; Cx = coxa; EP = external plate of vulva; IP = mesal plate of vulva; ml = membranous lobe; O = operculum; s-p = sclerotized spot; scl-t = sclerotized teeth; SR = stridulation ribs; St = stigmatic plate. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Similar species: The shape of telopods is almost identical with those of Z. piligerum ( de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897)   and Z. micropiligerum   , n. sp.. The far larger size and the high number of apical cones on the antenna separate Z. pseudopiligerum   , n. sp. from Z. micropiligerum   , n. sp., which occurs sympatrically. The tip of the third podomere of posterior telopods is thicker in Z. pseudopiligerum   , n. sp. than in the other two species of the group. Z. pseudopiligerum   differs from Z. piligerum   in the narrower operculum of the vulva, the differently shaped telopods, and a well-rounded anal shield. In Andohahela, Z. pseudopiligerum   , n. sp. occurs sympatrically with Z. pulchellum   , n. sp., but the tergites of the latter are glossy and green.

Description: Body length: Males (6 specimens): length up to 44 mm, width of thoracic shield up to 20.0 mm, height of thoracic shield up to 10.8 mm. Females (5 specimens): length up to 53 mm, width of up to 25.8 mm, height up to 14.8 mm.

Habitus: Tergites with numerous small pits and covered with hairs.

Coloration: Head, collum, tergites and anal shield shiny black. Antenna and legs olive-greenish.

Head: Eyes with more than 75 ocelli.

Antennae: Unusual long, reaching to third tergite. Length of antennomeres: 1=2>3>4=5<6, sixth antennomere longest, cylindrical, bearing disc with 11–26 sensory cones (Fig. 81B). First antennomere remarkably broader than others, short, with neither groove nor sensilla basiconica (Fig. 81A). Sclerotized teeth at base of antennomeres 1 and 2 (Fig. 81A).

FIGURE 081. Zoosphaerium pseudopiligerum   n. sp., paratype, SEM, A: antenna, antennomeres 1–3, lateral view; B: antenna, apical view on disc; C: right mandible, mesal view. Abbreviations: 3iT = 3 inner teeth; Co = condylus; eT = external tooth; mp = molar plate; pL = pectinate lamella.

Mandible: Seven rows of pectinate lamellae, number of teeth declining apically to proximally (Fig. 81C). Molar plate with deep groove (Fig. 81C). Condylus with single step at apical margin (Fig. 81C).

Gnathochilarium: Lateral of palpi four sensory cones, located together. Depression on posterior side of palpi with some sensory cones.

Collum: Median part of collum glabrous.

Thoracic shield: Surface similar to tergites.

Tergites: Paratergites slightly projecting posteriorly. Tergites covered with small pits and hair.

Endotergum: Inner section with large spines and few, isolated setae (Fig. 88B). Single row of large grooves between marginal ridge and internal area (Fig. 88B). Externally single row of marginal bristles. Bristles short, protruding up to 2/3 towards margin (Fig. 88B).

Legs: First tarsi with four, second with up to five, third with six up to eight long ventral spines. First two leg pairs with only weakly curved claws and without apical spine. Tarsi of legs 3–21 with curved claws, 8 ventral spines and one apical spine. In 9th leg, femur 1.85 and tarsi 4.8 times longer than wide.

Anal shield: Neither bell-shaped nor tapered. Covered with numerous hairs located in minute impressions. Underside carries two well-developed black locking carinae, anterior one small, but well developed. Posterior carina 3.5–4 times longer than first.

Stigmatic plates: First lobe short and stout, curved towards coxa (Fig. 80B).

Female sexual characters: Subanal plate with washboard, consisting of short, but broad and welldeveloped stridulation ribs, with 2 or 3 ribs on each half. Vulva large, covering more than 2/3 of coxa (Fig. 80A). Operculum small and low, ending far before coxa margin. Apical margin of operculum medially notched (Fig. 80A), both tips of equal length and well-rounded. Mesal plate long, extending beyond operculum (Fig. 80A).

Male sexual characters: Male gonopore covered by large, sclerotized, undivided and rounded plate (Fig. 80C). Anal shield completely covered with short hair.

Anterior telopods (Figs 80D, E): Harp with two stridulation ribs. Both ribs straight and long, lateral rib longer than mesal rib, reaching from basal to apical part of first podomere. Second podomere process lobelike and little curved with rounded edges, reaching almost as high as third podomere, apically with sclerotized spots. Third podomere cavity mesally with numerous sclerotized spots and single sclerotized spine, laterally with one or two crenulated, sclerotized teeth. Joint apically with single, round, sclerotized spot and circa four thin, sclerotized spines.

Posterior telopods (Figs 80F, G): Movable finger strongly curved, apically with invagination. Hollowedout inner margin with one small triangular membranous lobe, two smaller sclerotized spines, on posterior aspect with row of circa nine small, sclerotized teeth. Fixed finger slender, with weakly curved tip, slightly shorter than movable finger. Anterior side of fixed finger basally with membranous lobe and sclerotized spine, at tip with numerous small, sclerotized spots. All three podomeres of posterior telopods on both sides glabrous. Inner horns of syncoxite apically curved posteriorly. Tips sharp, whole horns covered with numerous short hairs.