The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Two new species of chirping giant pill-millipedes



Quick facts

Project title: 
Two new species of chirping giant pill-millipedes from Madagaskar
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 
Riesenkugler, Millipedes, Millipedes, giant pill-millipede, endemic, Endemiten, Madagaskar, Barcoding, Critical Habitats, Myriapoda, Kugler, Taxonomy, Conservation


In the course of this project, a Master OEP student of the University of Bonn will learn how to do an integrative taxonomic description of an animal species. The student will do dissections and prepare samples for an integrative taxonomic description of two species of giant pill-millipedes from Madagascar, including DNA extraction, scanning electron microscopy, and micro-CT scans. The student will be required to thoroughly research the methods and suggest alternatives or modifications of the procedure to improve the results. The student will critically evaluate and edit all of the results obtained by the morphological and molecular analyses. The sequences obtained as well as the morphological characters illustrated within this project will be analysed and compared to available data from recent publications (10 species of the genus sequenced and (re)described in 2014) to assess the status of the two new Sphaeromimus from Madagascar, as well as determine their relationships. The student will learn how to use modern software and methods of sequence analyses.Finally, the student will critically interpret the results in the light of previously published data and write a draft article.

This study will not only educate the student in doing scietific taxonomic descriptions using a variety a methods. The study is of additional relevance in the age of the international "biodiversity crisis", as rainforests in many countries are removed before their unique fauna can be scientifically named and described.


Contact person

+49 228 9122-423
+49 228 9122-212
s6lemori [at]