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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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