The water and temperature relationships of Ommatoiulus moreletii (Diplopoda: Iulidae)


  • G. H. Baker

    1. Department of Entomology, Waite Agricultural Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond 5064, South Australia
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    • *Department of Agricultural Biology, University CoUege, Dublin, Ireland.


During summer, Ommatoiulus moreletii aggregates in cool, moist sites. O. moreletii prefers high relative humidities and temperatures of 20 to 25°C throughout the year. These preferences explain the summer aggregations.

O. moreletii develops a strong ability to survive exposure to low humidity and high temperature during summer. This may explain why summer mortality of the millipede has only been demonstrated during an extremely hot and dry summer. The percentage water contents of O. moreletii are higher during spring and summer than during autumn and winter. They are also higher in small animals than in large. The ecological and physiological significances of these facts are discussed.