|Distribution map of the three new Zoosphaerium species and the morphologically related species.|
Photograph shows the holotype of Zoosphaerium mangabe Wesener sp. nov., male.
in Wesener & Anilkumar, 2020.
A large collection of millipedes (Diplopoda) from Madagascar, belonging to the Museum “La Specola” in Florence, Italy were investigated. The collection includes three new species of the giant pill-millipede genus Zoosphaerium Pocock, 1895 which are described here as Zoosphaerium mangabe Wesener, sp. nov., Z. bartolozzii Anilkumar & Wesener, sp. nov., and Z. taitii Anilkumar & Wesener, sp. nov., all belonging to the Z. coquerelianum species group. The latter two are currently only known from a single site. Other specimens belonging to eight orders (Polyxenida, Sphaerotheriida, Polyzoniida, Siphonophorida, Chordeumatida, Polydesmida, Spirobolida, and Spirostreptida) are listed. Three tropical tramp species, Pseudospirobolellus avernus (Butler, 1876), Glyphiulus granulatus Gervais, 1847, and Chondromorpha xanthotricha (Attems, 1898) are recorded for the first time from Madagascar. New locality data is provided for Zoosphaerium neptunus (Butler, 1872), Z. villosum Wesener & Sierwald, 2005, Z. blandum (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897), Sphaeromimus musicus (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897), Rhinotus purpureus (Pocock, 1894), Hylekobolus andasibensis Wesener, 2009, Aphistogoniulus infernalis Wesener, 2009, Ostinobolus rufus Wesener, 2009, Ostinobolus subterraneus Wesener, 2009, Dactylobolus bivirgatus (Karsch, 1881), and Eumekius antimena (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1901).
Keywords: Biodiversity, COI, introduced species, Madagascar, museum collection
|Figure 1. Maximum likelihood tree inferred from the COI dataset with 1000 bootstrap pseudoreplicates implementing the GTR+I+G model. Colors used to separate species. The circle indicates weakly supported sister-group relationships.|
|Figure 2. Distribution map of the three new Zoosphaerium species and the morphologically related species. Photograph shows the holotype of Zoosphaerium mangabe sp. nov., male.|
Genus Zoosphaerium Pocock, 1895
Zoosphaerium mangabe Wesener, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Zoosphaerium mangabe sp. nov. shares the large body size, surface structure (like the peel of an orange), presence of only one stridulation rib on the male harp, and > 10 apical cones on the antenna only with Z. coquerelianum (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897) and Z. tainkintana Wesener, 2009. Zoosphaerium mangabe sp. nov. differs from Z. coquerelianum in the long second locking carina on the anal shield (> times longer than the first), the hairy anal shield, and the presence of sclerotized teeth on the anterior telopods. The former differs from Z. tainkintana in the much shorter marginal bristles of the endotergum (reaching only 1/3 of the distance towards margin), the female operculum (two widely separated tips vs. fused tips), and in structures of the anterior telopod (e.g., three or four large teeth in Z. mangabe sp. nov. but seven in Z. tainkintana).
Etymology: The word mangabe is a noun in apposition, after the type locality of the species, the island of Nosy Mangabe at the NE coast of Madagascar.
Zoosphaerium bartolozzii Anilkumar & Wesener, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Zoosphaerium bartolozzii sp. nov. is most similar to Z. tigrioculatum due to the presence of three sclerotized crenulated teeth on the podomere three of the anterior telopod, and also in the visibility of the process of the 2nd podomere in anterior view (Figs 6D, 7G). Zoosphaerium bartolozzii sp. nov. differs from Z. tigrioculatum in the presence of a single row cuticular impression on the endotergum (two rows in the latter), the absence of sensilla basiconica on antennomeres one and two, and the presence of a well-rounded anal shield which is slightly bell-shaped in Z. tigrioculatum.
Etymology: Adjective, the species is named after the Italian beetle expert Dr. Luca Bartolozzi who collected this species.
Zoosphaerium taitii Anilkumar & Wesener, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Zoosphaerium taitii sp. nov. is mostly similar to Z. isalo, both differing from all other species in the anterior telopod where sclerotized teeth are absent on the third podomere. Zoosphaerium taitii sp. nov. differs from Z. isalo in the shorter marginal bristles of the endotergum (protruding above the tergite margin in Z. isalo), the higher number of ventral spines on leg 2 (four or five versus six or seven) and the slightly differently shaped anal shield (tapering in Z. isalo, well-rounded in Z. taitii sp. nov.).
Etymology: Adjective, the species is named after the land isopod expert Dr. Stefano Taiti who collected this species.
Thomas Wesener and Pooja Avinipully Anilkumar. 2020. The Millipedes Collected by the Museum "La Specola" on Madagascar 1989/1991, with the Description of Three New Species of Giant Pill-millipedes (Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida, Arthrosphaeridae). In: Korsós Z, Dányi L (Eds) Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Myriapodology, Budapest, Hungary. ZooKeys. 930: 3-35. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.930.47620