The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Head morphology of the Polyxenida millipedes



Quick facts

Project title: 
The head morphology of the bristle millipedes (Polyxenida)
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 
Diplopoda, Morphologie


The bristle millipedes (Penicillata: Polyxenida) differ from all other millipedes (Diplopoda) by possessing a non-calcified cuticle, trichobothria and bristles arranged in tufts. In all present phylogenetic analyses the Polyxenida are retrieved as sistertaxa to all remaining millipedes. Therefore, understanding the morphology of  bristle millipedesis essential for our understanding of the millipede evolution. Because of their small size (2-3 mm) morphological investigations are difficult, but modern non-invasive synchrotron-micro-computer tomography offers the possiblility to obtain high resolution x-ray images and to depict the animals morphology in 3D. In this project the morphology of the three species belonging to all three known families, Phryssonotus novaehollandiae, Polyxenus lagurus and Lophoproctus coecus is described and compared in detail. T3D-reconstruction will be made. This work will lay the foundation for future studies of the morphology of millipedes and for the reconstruction of the millipede phylogeny based on morphological data.


Contact person

+49 228 9122-423
+49 228 9122-212
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