Proceedings of the Zoological Society

, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Occurrence, Distribution and Morphological Description of 11 Species of Endemic Giant Pill-Millipedes of the Genus Arthrosphaera (Diplopoda: Sphaerotheriida: Arthrosphaeridae) in Southern India

  • Cheviri N. Ambarish
  • Kandikere R. Sridhar
Research Article


The endemic giant pill-millipedes belonging to the genus Arthrosphaera has a long history of occurrence and distribution in the Indian Subcontinent. According to the earlier and recent records, up to 40 species of Arthrosphaera are confined to southern India and Sri Lanka. Being detritus feeders, they are sensitive to narrow range of abiotic factors and their population is dwindling due to severe human interference especially landscape modification or modern forestry/agricultural practices. There is an urgent need to update the status, occurrence and distribution in distinct ecological conditions of pill-millipedes in southern India as they are important component in organic matter decomposition as well as nutrient turn over in the forests or plantations. Based on recent surveys, the present study attempts to update occurrence, distribution and morphological description (light and scanning electron microscopy) with a diagnostic key for identification of 11 species of pill-millipedes occurring in the Western Ghats of India with commentary on their distribution pattern in different ecological conditions and impact of edaphic factors.


Pill-millipedes Arthrosphaera Distribution Morphology Diagnostic key Western Ghats 



The authors are grateful to Mangalore University for permission to carryout studies on pill-millipedes in the Department of Biosciences. CNA acknowledges the award of INSPIRE Fellowship, Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi [DST/INSPIRE Fellowship/2011/(294): Award # IF110540]. KRS acknowledges the award of UGC-BSR Faculty Fellowship by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi. We appreciate statistical analysis by Sudeep D. Ghate, Department of Biosciences, Mangalore University. The authors are thankful to the editor and reviewers for valuable comments to improve the presentation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Zoological Society, Kolkata, India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistrySt. Aloysius CollegeMangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiosciencesMangalore UniversityMangaloreIndia

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