The life history and ecology of the millipede Tymbodesmus falcatus (Polydesmida: Gomphoclesmidae) in northern Nigeria with notes on Sphenodesmus sheribongensis


  • J. G. E. Lewis

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and Department of Zoology, University of Bristol, Bristol
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    • *22, Brook Street, Cannington, Bridgwater, Somerset.


The life history of the gomphodesmid millipede Tymbodesmus falcatus in Zaria, Nigeria is described. Larvae of stadia I to VI are soil-dwelling, stadium VII and adults are surface active.

Tymbodesmus probably completes its life cycle in two years; the adults are relatively shortlived and die before the onset of the dry season. The species survives the dry season as dia-pausing larvae in moulting chambers in the soil.

The biology of Sphenodesmus is, in general, similar to that of Tymbodesmus.

Body form in the species is described and compared with that found in other polydesmoids. A possible relationship between brood size and the degree of surface activity in polydesmoids is discussed.