Millipede Project

In the glamour of big mammals, birds and snakes, many a times one can see that micro fauna is always being neglected. Apart from few medically important groups of micro fauna, no substantial efforts are taken to understand these lesser known creatures. The diplopods or millipedes are one of such groups which are poorly studied.

The class Diplopoda, or the millipedes, contain about 10,000 described species. The animals have a long distinguished history on our planet, spanning over 400 million years. Their ecological importance is immense: the health and survival of every deciduous forest depends on them, since they are one of the prime mechanical decomposers of wood and leaf litter, especially in the tropics. Despite their importance, they are poorly known and have long been neglected in all areas of biological research. Even basic identification of specimens is a challenge.

The project aims to do a systematic study of millipedes found in Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary. With the help of pit-fall traps, opportunistic surveys and random quadrant sampling, different specimens will be collected from various parts of the sanctuary. These specimens will then be thoroughly studied for their taxonomic features. This study hopes to provide some baseline data on the class diplopoda of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, and subsequently add to the existing literature of millipedes in India.