The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Evolution of Chinese cave millipedes



Quick facts

Project title: 
Evolution of Chinese cave millipedes
ZFMK Project lead: 


Southern Chinca is especially rich in caves. Caves are a different world, a world which differs in almost all aspects from the one on the Earth surface. Aside from the obvious lack of light, is the climate inside a cave relatively constant (with low temperatures); caves also lack food, but predator groups like vertebrates such as birds, rodents or shrews are totally absent. These caves are inhabited by a unique, still little-known fauna, especially diverse are different groups of millipedes.

These cave millipedes, not closely related to one another, all show similar adaptation to the life inside a cave and look vastly different from their close relatives which live in the forests on the surface.

Currently, a joint team of researchers from Russia, China and Germany studies general adaptations of millipedes to the life inside caves using comparative morphology.



Contact person

Head of Section Myriapoda
Responsible Editor Bonn zoological Bulletin - Supplementum
+49 228 9122-425
+49 228 9122-212
t.wesener [at]