Ostinobolus subterraneus Wesener, 2009

Wesener, Thomas, Enghoff, Henrik & Sierwald, Petra, 2009, Review of the Spirobolida on Madagascar, with descriptions of twelve new genera, including three genera of ' fire millipedes' (Diplopoda), ZooKeys 19 (19), pp. 1-128 : 95

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https://doi.org/ 10.3897/zookeys.19.221

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Ostinobolus subterraneus Wesener

sp. nov.

Ostinobolus subterraneus Wesener View in CoL , sp. n.


Material examined: 2 ♂, 10 ♀, 21 imm. Holotype: 1 ♂ (30 mm long), FMMC 8215 , Province Toliara, Petriky , 10 m, littoral subhumid forest on sandy soil; 25°3.73’ S, 46°52.16’ E, leg. B. L. Fisher, Winkler extraction, 22.IX.1998. GoogleMaps

Other material examined: 1 ♂, 5 ♀, 8 imm., FMMC W010 B, Ambatotsirongorongo Mountain, Forêt Petit Lavasoa , rainforest, 25°05.021’ S, 46°46.110’ E, leg. T. Wesener et al., 21.V.2007 GoogleMaps ; 1 ♀, ZMH W010 View Materials B, same data as previous GoogleMaps ; 4 ♀, 8 imm., W010B, same data as previous, voucher specimens deposited at the University Antananarivo GoogleMaps ; 3 imm., FMMC W099 , Ambatotsirongorongo Mountain, Grand Lavasoa , rainforest, 25°5’10.23” S, 46°44’55.93” E, leg. Wesener et al., 14.VI.2007 GoogleMaps .

Differential diagnosis: until now, no other species of Spirobolida with a reduced number of ocelli is known from Madagascar. Because of the unusual morphological adaptation to the special life style, the placement of O. subterraneus inside Ostinobolus is only tentative and less certain than in other Spirobolida species.

Description. Measurements: males with 42–44 body rings, circa 30 mm long (broken), 2.7–3.2 mm wide. Females of similar length and width.

Coloration faded in alcohol. Head, legs anal valves, median part of collum and posterior part of metazonites brownish-red. Mesozonites and anterior part of metazonites dark grey ( Figs 52 View Figure 52 A–C). Eyes reduced, with circa eight decolorized ocelli ( Fig. 52A View Figure 52 ). Antennae protruding back to ring 3 ( Fig. 52A View Figure 52 ). First leg pair elongated, larger than second pair ( Fig. 52A View Figure 52 ). Legs very short, length only 0.4 times body diameter ( Fig. 52B View Figure 52 ). Male coxal processes absent ( Fig. 52B View Figure 52 ). Preanal process absent, but anal valves not elongated posteriorly like in congeneric species ( Fig. 52C View Figure 52 ).

Anterior gonopod sternite wide. Lobe short, triangular with a sharp tip ( Fig. 52E View Figure 52 ). Sternite tip protruding as high as coxite. Telopodite large, with a well-developed and well-rounded retrorse process, starting at midpoint of telopodite, retrorse part extending beyond telopodite but not coxite ( Fig. 52G View Figure 52 ).

Posterior gonopods: short and wide ( Fig. 52F View Figure 52 ). Apical half of mesal margin filled by a swollen, membranous area. No trace of star-shaped membranous folds. Sperm canal protruding above telopodite margin mesally into a two-tipped lobe ( Fig. 52H View Figure 52 ).

Distribution and ecology: only known from a small area in the extreme southeast of Madagascar. The species is obviously microendemic to the subhumid forest of Petriky and five kilometers south of the isolated rainforest sites on the Ambatotsirongorongo Mountain ( Fig. 49 View Figure 49 ). Unlike cave dwelling millipede species, Ostinobolus subterraneus sp. n. does not display elongated legs and antennae. The reduced number of ocelli and the elongation of the first leg pair are probably an adaptation to life inside the thick root horizon, the only place where this species was collected.

Etymology: subterraneus , adjective, refers to the life deep inside the soil to which this species is adapted.


Zoologisches Museum Hamburg

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