The distribution and dispersal of the introduced millipede, Ommatoiulus moreletii (Diplopoda: Iulidae), in Australia


  • G. H. Baker

    1. Department of Entomology, Waite Agricultural Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, South Australia, 5064
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    • *Orielton Field Centre, Pembroke, Dyfed, Wales.


The millipede, Ommatoiulus moreletii, is indigenous to South-Western Europe. The species has been introduced to Australia where it is in large numbers and constitutes a severe nuisance.

The distribution of O. moreletii in Australia is increasing. Man appears to be a major factor in the establishment of new outbreaks of the species. Individual outbreaks spread slowly but steadily (an expansion of up to 200 metres in radius per year).

The abundance of O. moreletii in Australia relative to its apparent rarity in Southwestern Europe cannot be explained by differences in general climate.

The variety of habitats colonized by O. moreletii in Australia is already wide and there is no reason to doubt that the species will continue to spread much further.