Sphaeromimus andohahela Wesener

Wesener, Thomas, Le, Daniel Minh-Tu & Loria, Stephanie F., 2014, Integrative revision of the giant pill-millipede genus Sphaeromimus from Madagascar, with the description of seven new species (Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida, Arthrosphaeridae), ZooKeys 414, pp. 67-107: 82-85

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Sphaeromimus andohahela Wesener

sp. n.

Sphaeromimus andohahela Wesener   sp. n. Figs 12 B–D, 13, 14, 20

Sphaeromimus   'sp. n. I Manantantely’; Sphaeromimus   'sp. n. II Malio’:-- Wesener et al. 2010: 1185 (molecular phylogenetic analysis)

Material examined.

Type material. Holotype. 1 ♂, ZFMK MYR2322, Madagascar, Province Toliara, PN Andohahela, Isaka-Ivondro Nord, 24°46.302'S, 046°51.699'E, 571 m, rainforest, coll. Wesener & Schütte, 12.vi.2007.

Paratypes. 1 ♀, FMNH-INS 61135; 1 imm., FMNH-INS 61136; 1 ♀, FMNH 61137; 2 ♀, 2 imm., FMNH-INS 56212, all same data as holotype.

Other material. 6 ♂, ♀, Juv., FMNH-INS 56210, PN Andohahela, Malio, 24°55.810'S, 046°46.343'E, rainforest, coll. Wesener & Schütte, 30.v.2007; 1 ♂, ZFMK MYR2323, same data as previous; 9 ♂, ♀, imm., FMNH-INS 56209, Madagascar, Vohimena Chain, PR Manantantely, 24°59'17.14"S, 046°55'27.95"E, rainforest, coll. Wesener & Schütte, 06.vi.2007; 1 ♀, FMNH-INS 61140; 1 ♂, FMNH-INS 61132; 1 ♀, FMNH-INS 61138; 1 ♂, FMNH-INS 61139; 1 ♂, 2F, ZFMK MYR 2324, all same data as previous.


Small matte-black pill millipede with a dark brown head and collum and light brown appendages. Male harp with three stridulation ribs.


Measurements: male holotype: 20.2 long, 9.2 (2nd), 9.8 (8th) wide, 4.9 (2nd), 6.1 (10th = highest) high. Largest female (with eggs): 21.1 mm long, 9.6 mm (2nd), 10.75 (8th = widest) wide, 5.7 (2nd), 7.5 mm (10th = highest) high.

Colouration of tergites black, matte not shiny. Collum and head dark brown (Fig. 20). Depressions of paratergites as well as legs and antennae brownish.

Head: Eyes with >60 ocelli. Antennae quite long, protruding as far as leg 8. Antennomeres 1-5 with few setae, 6 densely pubescent (Fig. 13A). Antennomere 6 towards disc with single row of sensilla basiconica (Fig. 13B). Female with 54/56 (13B), male with 74/78 apical cones (Fig. 13C). Gnathochilarium typical for the genus (Fig. 13D), rudimentary lateral palpi with a field of four sensory cones (Fig. 13E). Mandible with the typical shape of the order, inner tooth 3-combed, with six long pectinate lamellae, condylus with a sharp and quite large groove at its apex (Fig. 13F).

Collum glabrous except few setae at its margin.

Thoracic shield smooth and glabrous, few setae in grooves. Tergites 3-12 smooth, but not glossy, paratergite tips of midbody tergites only weakly projecting posteriorly (Fig. 20).

Anal shield massive, well-rounded, lacking pubescent area.

Endotergum inner section with numerous short triangular spines and very few setae (Fig. 12B). Between ridge and inner area two rows of weakly impressed, circular cuticular impressions. Externally two irregular rows of marginal bristles (Fig. 12 B–D). Bristles short, barely protruding up to tergite margin.

First stigma-carrying plate with a well-rounded apex.

Leg 1 with 2 to 4, 2 with 5 or 6, 3 with 10 or 11 ventral spines. Leg pairs 4-21 with 12-14 ventral spines. Coxa process weakly developed (Fig. 14A). Femur 2, tarsus 2.9 times longer than wide.

Male gonopore inconspicuous.

Anterior telopod (Fig. 14B, C): Harp carrying three stridulation ribs (Fig. 14B). Shape usual for the genus, telopoditomere 4 as long as 2 and 3 combined, with one large triangular spine and 4 smaller ones (Fig. 14C). Telopoditomere 3 with a spine juxtaposed to process of telopoditomere 2 (Fig. 14C).

Posterior telopod (Fig. 14D): Podomere 3 curved, 3 times longer than wide, slightly longer than immovable finger (Fig. 14D). Hollowed-out inner margin with one lobe and four sclerotized spines, posterior aspect with ca. 21 small crenulated teeth. Immovable finger basally wide, apically tapering, 3.1 times longer than wide, strongly curved towards fixed finger. Podomere 1 and 2 with few setae on both sides (Fig. 14D), podomere 3 with a few setae at its margins.

Female sexual characters: Second leg pair with well-developed coxal lobe. Vulva massive. Operculum well-rounded, protruding above basal half of prefemur (Fig. 14E). Subanal shield almost divided into two, with strong invagination at apical margin. Washboard with three stridulation ribs on each side.

Intraspecific variation: The endotergum differs slightly in the development of the cuticular impressions between the specimens from Isaka-Ivondro (Fig. 12B), Malio (Fig. 12C) and Manantantely (Fig. 12D). The specimens from the three localities also differ slightly in their colour pattern: In specimens from Manantantely and Isaka-Ivondro, the head and collum are dark brown, while those from Malio have a brown thoracic shield too.

Genetic distances in the COI gene between the three populations are 2.9-4%, while even the two individuals from Malio show a variation at the population level of 3.6%. Future studies involving more localities and specimens should investigate whether or not gene flow occurs between the different populations of Sphaeromimus andohahela   .


‘andohahela’, noun in apposition, after the type locality, the rainforests of the national park Andohahela.


Widespread in the lowland and montane rainforests of the northern Anosy and Vohimena mountain chains.