Zoosphaerium tainkintana, 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: 100-103

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



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scientific name

Zoosphaerium tainkintana

new species

Zoosphaerium tainkintana   , new species

Derivatio nominis: tainkintana   , noun in apposition, after the local (central highland) name of giant pillmillipedes in Malagasy, meaning excrements of stars.

Studied material: 3 M, 7 F

Holotype: 1 M (49 mm long), CAS BLF 9555: Locus typicus: Province Antsiranana, Forêt de Binara , 7.5 km 230° SW Daraina, 13°15'18"S, 049°37'00"E, tropical dry forest, 375 m, coll. B. L. Fisher, 01.xii. 2003. GoogleMaps  

Paratypes: 3 F, CAS BLF 9555, same data as holotype. 2 M, 3 F GoogleMaps   , CAS BLF 9658, Forêt de Binara , 9.1 km 233° SW Daraina, 13°15'48"S, 049°36'12"E, rainforest, 650-800 m, coll. B. L. Fisher, 03.xii.2003 GoogleMaps   .

Other material: 1 F, CAS BLF 10114 View Materials , Province Antsiranana, Forêt d'Antsahabe , 11.4 km 275° W Daraina, 13°12'42"S, 049°33'24"E, tropical dry forest, 550 m, coll. B. L. Fisher, 12.xii.2003 GoogleMaps   .

Distribution & Ecology: Recorded from the dry forests of Binara and Antsahabe in North-Western Madagascar (Fig. 50).

Diagnosis: Up to 62 mm long. Females slightly larger than males. Tergites and appendages olive-green, tergites with light brown posterior margin. Texture of tergites with orange-peel like structure, consisting of numerous minute impressions, single seta standing inside each. Anal shield well-rounded, in males slightly bell-shaped, covered with numerous minute hairs. First antennomere with groove (Fig. 69A) and sensilla basiconica (Fig. 69B), disc with 32–38 apical cones (Fig. 69C). Movable finger of posterior telopods broad, two times longer than wide, with single, triangular membranous lobe and four sclerotized spines (Fig. 68D); posterior side with circa 12–14 small, sclerotized teeth (Fig. 68E). Fixed finger long and slender, basally with one small spine, distally at inner margin with numerous sclerotized spots (Fig. 68D). Fixed finger reaching almost length of movable finger. One stridulation rib on each male harp (Fig. 68B).). Third podomere of anterior telopods with row of circa six large, crenulated, sclerotized teeth lateral of cavity (Fig. 68C). Anal shield with two locking carinae, anterior small, posterior 4–5 times longer than first. Females with two or three stridulation ribs on each side of washboard. Operculum of vulva with two well-rounded lobes. Lateral lobe with more pointed tip, touching and slightly overlapping the broadly rounded mesal lobe. Operculum protruding up to coxal margin (Fig. 68A).

Similar species: Z. villosum Wesener & Sierwald, 2005   and Z. trichordum   , n. sp. are very similar in the tergite texture and antennal characters to Z. tainkintana   , n. sp.. Zoosphaerium tainkintana   , n. sp.. features nevertheless a unique combination of characters in the Z. coquerelianum   species-group, like the presence of a single stridulation rib on the male harp (Fig. 68B) combined with the special-shaped and elongated third podomere of anterior telopods, the special-shaped female operculum (Fig. 68A), and an antennal disc carrying more than 30 apical cones (Fig. 69C).

FIGURE 068. Zoosphaerium tainkintana   n. sp., A female paratype, B–E holotype, A: second left coxa with vulva, posterior view; B: right half of anterior telopods, anterior view; C: last two podomeres of anterior telopod, lateral view; D: posterior telopod, anterior view; E: posterior telopod, posterior view. Abbreviations: cav = cavity; cr-t = crenulated teeth; 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 rib. Scale bars = 1 mm.

FIGURE 069. Zoosphaerium tainkintana   n. sp., paratype, SEM, A: antennomeres 1–3, lateral view; B: antenna, first antennomere with sensilla basiconica (arrow); C: apical view on sixth antennomere with disc; D: right mandible, mesal view. Abbreviations: 3iT = 3 inner teeth; Co = condylus; eT = external tooth; mp = molar plate; pL = pectinate lamella; sb = sensilla basiconica.

Description: Body length: Males (3 specimens): length up to 49 mm, width of thoracic shield up to 27.5 mm, height of thoracic shield up to 14.5 mm. Females (7 specimens): length up to 62 mm, width up to 32.7 mm, height up to 16.4 mm. All known females> males.

Coloration: Faded in alcohol. Head, collum, thoracic shield, tergites and anal shield olive-green, posterior margins light brownish, antennae and legs dark green. In some specimens, all olive-green faded to brown.

Head: Eyes with>75 ocelli.

Antennae: Length of antennomeres: 1<2>3>4=5<<6, sixth antennomere longest, as long as fourth and fifth combined, bearing disc with 32–38 sensory cones (Fig. 69C). First antennomere remarkably broader than others, short, with groove (Fig. 69A) and 1 or 2 rows of sensilla basiconica (Fig. 69B). Sclerotized teeth at base of antennomeres 1–5.

Mandible: Five rows of pectinate lamellae, number of teeth declining apically to proximally (Fig. 69D). Condylus with strongly developed step near apical margin (Fig. 69D). Molar plate with large groove (Fig. 69D).

Gnathochilarium: Laterally of palpi four sensory cones, located together.

Collum: Whole surface of collum covered with isolated hair of medium length.

Thoracic shield without particularities.

Tergites: Texture resembles those of an orange-peel with single hair of medium length standing in each impression. Paratergites projecting slightly posteriorly.

Endotergum: Inner area with broad conical spines and long hair. Single row of large, elliptical cuticular impressions, irregularly distributed (Fig. 74C). Two dense rows of marginal bristles, slightly reaching tergite margin (Fig. 74C).

Anal shield: Well-rounded, neither bell-shaped nor tapered. Covered with numerous hairs standing in minute impressions. Underside carries two well-developed black locking carinae, anterior one small, but well developed. Posterior carina 4.5–5 times longer than first, straight. Locking carinae separated by distance equal to shorter carina length. Carinae located closely to anal shield margin.

Legs: Tarsi of first pair of legs with five, second with six or seven and third pair with seven to eight 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. Ninth leg femur 2.0 times, tarsi 6.0 times longer than wide.

Stigmatic plates: First lobe triangular, with pointed tip.

Female sexual characters: Subanal plate with washboard, consisting of well-developed stridulation ribs, 2 or 3 ribs on each half. Stridulation ribs symmetrical and strong. Vulva large, covering more than 2/3 of coxa. Operculum large, reaching up to apical edge of coxa, with two lobes. Tip of medial lobe well-rounded, tip of lateral lobe slightly pointed (Fig. 68A). Apical margin of operculum medially notched. Mesal plate long and broad, reaching almost up operculum height (Fig. 68A).

Male sexual characters: Male gonopore covered with large, undivided and rounded plate.

Anterior telopods (Figs 68B, C): Harp with single stridulation rib, rib straight and well-developed, located in median part of harp. Second podomere process lobe-like and little curved with rounded edges, protruding up to half of third podomere height, apically with sclerotized spots. Third podomere elongated, as long as first podomere, mesal area tapered towards periphery. Cavity mesally with numerous sclerotized spots and two sclerotized spines, laterally with 6–7 crenulated teeth. One sclerotized spot located closely to tip.

Posterior telopods (Figs 68D, E): Movable finger of chela thick, 2.0 times longer than wide, weakly curved, apically slightly tapering. Hollowed-out inner margin with 3 or 4 sclerotized spines, posterior aspect with circa 12–14 small, sclerotized teeth. Fixed finger more slender than but almost as long as movable finger. Fixed finger tip weakly curved, anterior side basally with one short sclerotized spine and apically with numerous sclerotized spots. Fixed finger on both sides covered with long hair. Movable finger on both sides basally covered with numerous long hairs. Inner horns of syncoxite apically curved. Horns covered with numerous short hairs.


California Academy of Sciences