The Giant Pill-Millipedes of Madagascar: Revision of the Genus Sphaeromimus, with a Review of the Morphological Terminology (Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida, Sphaerotheriidae).

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Fourth Series 12/2005; 56(29):557-599.

ABSTRACT The Malagasy sphaerotheriid genus Sphaeromimus DeSaussure and Zehntner, 1902 is revised. Known heretofore from a single male specimen, the genus now contains three species, Sphaeromimus musicus (DeSaussure and Zehntner, 1897), Sphaeromimus splendidus sp. nov. and Sphaeromimus inexpectatus sp. nov. The female of S. musicus is described here for the first time. The mouthparts of giant pill millipedes were observed for the first time using scanning electron microscopy and species- and genus-level characters are illustrated. Intraspecific variation of the female stridulatory organ, the ‘washboard’ is described. For the first time in Malagasy Sphaerotheriida, some ecological comments are given. Characters found in the male
telopods and the female stridulatory organ (the washboard) indicate that characters employed previously for the definition of subfamilies and tribes cannot be maintained and the monophyly of such groups remains questionable.

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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the second species of sphaerotheriid millipede to be recorded from Western Australia, Epicyliosoma (Epicyliosoma) sarahae sp. nov. It is restricted to low rainfall biotopes in the southeast coastal province of Western Australia and may be under threat from climate change and fire. Epicyliosoma sarahae is more restricted within its range than the other Western Australian species, the threatened Cynotelopus notabilis Jeekel, and both species are short-range endemics.
    Records of the Western Australian Museum. 24:113-119.
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    ABSTRACT: The Malagasy fire millipede genus Aphistogoniulus (Silvestri, 1897) is revised. All previously described species, A. cowani (Butler, 1882), A. erythrocephalus (Pocock, 1893), A. hova (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897), A. corallipes (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1902), A. sakalava (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897), are redescribed. Four new synonyms are confirmed: Aphistogoniulus sanguinemaculatus (Silvestri, 1897) new synonym of A. cowani, A. quadridentatus (Attems, 1910) new synonym of A. erythrocephalus, A. polleni Jeekel, 1971 and A. brolemanni Jeekel, 1971 new synonyms of A. hova. Scanning electron microscopy is utilized to investigate the sexual differences on the antenna, mandible and gnathochilarium in A. cowani. The intraspecific variation of the taxonomic characters within and between different populations of A. erythrocephalus (Pocock, 1893) is examined. Five new species (A. sanguineus Wesener, n. sp., A. infernalis Wesener, n. sp., A. diabolicus Wesener, n. sp., A. aridus Wesener, n. sp., A. vampyrus Wesener, n. sp.) are described, including the first records of the genus from the Malagasy spiny forest and azonal Western deciduous forest ecosystem. A key to Aphistogoniulus species is provided.
    International Journal of Myriapodology. 05/2009; 2(1):15-52.
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    ABSTRACT: To elucidate the speciation mechanisms prevalent within hotspots of biodiversity, and the evolutionary processes behind the rise of their species-rich and endemic biota, we investigated the phylogeny of the giant fire-millipede genus Aphistogoniulus Silvestri, 1897, a Malagasy endemic. This study is the first comprehensive (molecular and morphological) phylogenetic study focusing on millipede (class Diplopoda) speciation on Madagascar. The morphological analysis is based on 35 morphological characters and incorporates ten described as well as two newly described species (A. rubrodorsalisn. sp. and A. jeekelin. sp.) of Aphistogoniulus. The molecular analysis is based on both mitochondrial (COI and 16S), and nuclear genes (complete 18S rDNA), together comprised of 3031 base pairs, which were successfully sequenced for 31 individual specimens and eight species of Aphistogoniulus. In addition to the null-model (speciation by distance), two diversification models, mountain refugia and ecotone shift, were discovered to play a role in the speciation of soil arthropods on Madagascar. Mountain refugia were important in the speciation of the A. cowani clade, with three species occurring in the Andringitra and Ranomafana Mountains in the southeast (A. cowani), the Ambohijanahary and Ambohitantely Mountains in the mid-west (A. sanguineus), and the Marojejy Mountain in the northeast (A. rubrodorsalisn. sp.). An ecotone shift from the eastern rainforest to the unique subarid spiny forest of Mahavelo was discovered in the A. vampyrus-A. aridus species-pair. In the monophyletic A. diabolicus clade, evidence for divergent evolution of sexual morphology was detected: species with greatly enlarged gonopods are sister-taxa to species with normal sized gonopods. Among the large-bodied Spirobolida genera of Madagascar, Colossobolus and Sanguinobolus were found to be close sister-genera to Aphistogoniulus. Forest destruction has caused forest corridors between populations to disappear, which might limit the possible resolution of biogeographic analyses on Madagascar.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(12):e28035. · 3.53 Impact Factor


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Jun 1, 2014