Zoosphaerium discolor, 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: 22-27

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



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scientific name

Zoosphaerium discolor

new species

Zoosphaerium discolor   , new species

Derivatio nominis: discolor   , adjective, refers to the remarkable green-yellow (Fig. 6B) coloration pattern of the species.

Studied material: Holotype: 1 M (22 mm long), FMMC 5454. Locus typicus: Madagascar, Province Mahajanga, Parc National Tsingy de Bemaraha, Ankidrodroa   , 2.5 km NE Bekopaka, secondary dry forest, 100 m, 19°7.9'S, 44°48.5'E, coll. S. Goodman, 28.xi.2001, pitfall trap. GoogleMaps  

Paratypes: 3 M, FMMC 5454: same data as holotype; 2 M, 2 F GoogleMaps   , CAS BLF 4342: Parc National Tsingy de Bemaraha   , 2.5 km 62° ENE Bekopaka, Ankidrodroa River, tropical dry forest on Tsingy, 100 m, 19°7'56"S, 44°48'53"E, coll. Fisher, Griswold et al., 11–15.xi.2001; 4 M GoogleMaps   , CAS BLF 4434: Parc National Tsingy de Bemaraha   , 10.6 km ESE 123° Antsalova, tropical dry forest on Tsingy, 150 m, 19°42'34"S, 44°43'5"E, coll. Fisher, Griswold et al., 16–20.xi.2001, beating low vegetation GoogleMaps   .

FIGURE 009. Zoosphaerium haackeri   n. sp., SEM, paratype, A: antenna, apical view on disc; B: gnathochilarium, rudimentary lateral palpus with four sensory cones; C: right mandible, mesal view. Abbreviations: 3iT = 3 inner teeth; Co = condylus; eT = external tooth; mp = molar plate; pL = pectinate lamella; rlp = rudimentary lateral palpus.

Other material: 1 M, 1?, CAS BLF 4435: Parc National Tsingy de Bemaraha   , 10.6 km ESE 123° Antsalova, tropical dry forest on Tsingy , 150 m, 19°42'34"S, 44°43'5"E, coll. Fisher, Griswold et al., 16–20.xi.2001 GoogleMaps   ; 1 F, CAS BLF 4602: Province Toliara, Forêt de Kirindy , 15.5 km 64° ENE Marofandilia, tropical dry forest, 100 m, 20°2'42"S, 44°39'44"E, coll. Fisher, Griswold et al., 28.xi.–03.xii.2001 GoogleMaps   ; 1 F (immature), ZFMK, Madagascar: Forêt Mikea , 22,777°S, 43,523°E, coll. J. Ganzhorn, ii.2003 GoogleMaps   .

Distribution: Dry forests Bemaraha and Kirindy in Western Madagascar (Fig. 5).

Diagnosis: Small, up to 25 mm long. Both sexes of same size. Color remarkable, thoracic shield and tergites light green, posterior margin of tergites and paratergites light brown (Fig. 6B). Head, collum, anal shield, antenna and legs green. First three leg pairs without apical spine. Texture of tergites smooth and glabrous. Antennomeres 1–3 with sclerotized teeth (Fig. 15A), disc with 9–12 apical cones (Fig. 15B). All antennomeres without groove (Fig. 15A). Movable finger of posterior telopods weakly curved, posterior side with circa 25 large, sclerotized teeth, two large, non-sclerotized lobes and three thin spines (Fig. 14F). Harp with two small (Fig. 14B), washboard on each side with 2 or 3 stridulation ribs. Shape of third podomere of anterior telopods peculiar, laterally with plateau and mesally with sharp, prominent process (Figs 14C, D). Locking carinae of anal shield absent. Operculum of vulva of special shape, not notched, well-rounded, protruding slightly above coxa (Fig. 14A).

FIGURE 010. Zoosphaerium album   n. sp., A, C–F male holotype, B, female paratype, A: coxa of first right leg with first stigmatic plate, posterior view; B: second right coxa with vulva, posterior view; C: last three podomeres of anterior telopod, anterior view; D: last two podomeres of anterior telopod, lateral view; E: posterior telopod, anterior view; F: chela of 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 of vulva; Pla = plateau covered with sclerotized spots located mesally of cavity; s-p = sclerotized spot; SR = stridulation rib; St = stigmatic plate. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Similar species: Besides the coloration pattern, this species differs from all other Zoosphaerium species   by the special-shaped female operculum and the uniquely shaped anterior telopods.

Description: Body length: Males (7 specimens): length up to 22 mm, width of thoracic shield up to 9.7 mm, height of thoracic shield up to 5.6 mm. Females (2 specimens): length up to 22 mm, width up to 11.3 mm, height up to 6.3 mm. Both sexes of similar length, but females slightly more voluminous.

Habitus: Anal shield of normal shape (Fig. 6B).

Coloration: Thoracic shield and tergites green, posterior margin and paratergite tips brownish (Fig. 6B). Anal shield, collum, head, antennae and legs green. Preserved specimens loose their coloration pattern in alcohol, brown part fades to beige and greenish coloration fades in some parts of tergites.

Head: Eyes with more than 75 ocelli.

Antennae: Length 1<2>3>4>5<6 (Fig. 15A), sixth antennomere apically with disc bearing circa 10 sensory cones (Fig. 15B). First antennomere broader than others, short, with neither groove nor sensilla basiconica (Fig. 15A). Sclerotized teeth at base of antennomeres 1–3.

FIGURE 011. Zoosphaerium album   n. sp., SEM, antenna, paratype, A: lateral view; B: apical view. Abbreviation: sb = sensilla basiconica.

Mandible: Six rows of pectinate lamellae, number of teeth declining apically to proximally (Fig. 16B). Condylus well-rounded, without any steps (Fig. 16B).

Gnathochilarium: Laterally of palpi 3 or 4 sensory cones, located together (Fig. 16A). Depression on posterior side of palpi with numerous sensory cones (Fig. 16A).

Collum: Only margins with few isolated hairs, remaining parts of collum glabrous.

Thoracic shield: Thoracic shield surface structured like tergites.

Tergites: Smooth and mostly glabrous. At high magnification (90x) very small, dot-like impressions become visible. Paratergites straight, not projecting.

Endotergum: Inner area with broad conical spines and long hair. Cuticular impressions absent (Fig. 23D). Two or three rows of short marginal bristles standing isolated from one another and few of them slightly extending beyond posterior tergite margin (Fig. 23D).

Anal shield: Rounded, neither bell-shaped nor tapered (Fig. 6B). In males covered with minute hair. Without locking carinae, except in small specimens, where two weakly developed carinae are visible. In those specimens, anterior carina short, posterior one twice as long as first.

Legs: Tarsi of first pair of legs with one up to two, second with two up to four and third with four up to six ventral spines. First three leg pairs with only weakly curved claws and without apical spine. Tarsi of legs 4–21 with curved claws, 8–10 ventral spines and one apical spine. Femur 1.8 and tarsi 4 times longer than wide.

Stigmatic plates: First lobe short well-rounded and not curved.

Female sexual characters: Subanal plate with washboard, consisting of short, incontinuous stridulation ribs, with two up to three ribs on each half. Vulva large, covering more than 3/4 of coxa. Operculum large, protruding slightly above coxa. Apical margin of operculum well-rounded. Mesal plate short and broad, reaching up to 1/8 of operculum height (Fig. 14A).

FIGURE 012. Zoosphaerium album   n. sp., SEM, gnathochilarium, paratype, A: endochilarium pads with fields of sensory cones, apical view; B: endochilarium, posterior view; C: detail of sensory cone fields; D: single field of sensory cones; E: rudimentary lateral palpus with four sensory cones. Abbreviation: cP = central pads; Endo = endochilarium; rlp = rudimentary lateral palpus.

FIGURE 013. Zoosphaerium album   n. sp., SEM, paratype, right mandible, mesal view. Abbreviations: 3iT = 3 inner teeth; Co = condylus; eT = external tooth; mp = molar plate; pL = pectinate lamella.

Male sexual characters: Anal shield well-rounded.

Anterior telopods (Figs 14B–D): First podomere wide, harp with two stridulation ribs. Ribs straight and short, lateral rib very weakly developed, difficult to detect. Second podomere process lobe-like and little curved with rounded edges, slightly extending beyond third podomere; apically with sclerotized spots. Third podomere short, with strong projection carrying numerous sclerotized spots mesal of cavity; with plateau and single sclerotized spine lateral of cavity.

Posterior telopods (Figs 14E, F): Movable finger of chela weakly curved; hollowed-out inner margin with two non-sclerotized lobes and circa three sclerotized spines, on posterior side with row of circa 25 crenulated teeth. Fixed finger straight and wider than movable finger; with single membranous lobe and numerous sclerotized spots at inner margin juxtaposed to third podomeres sclerotized teeth.

Intraspecific variation: In males the stridulation ribs are very irregularly developed. The rib is incontinuous in one male ( BLF 4435), appearing like two ribs. The one female specimen from Kirindy ( BLF 4602) differs significantly from the Bemaraha specimens in the high number of 18–20 apical cones on the antenna (9–12 in Bemaraha specimens) and the presence of 12–14 tarsal spines (8–10 in Berenty specimens). Further (genetic?) studies have to evaluate, if the Z. discolor   specimens from Kirindy may belong to a second species. The specimen from Mikea , from far to the south of Bemaraha and Kirindy, is unfortunately an immature female, so that the species determination is arbitrary at best. The Mikea specimens also feature a high number of 14–16 apical cones on the antenna   .


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