Millipedes are ecologically important creatures. Their foraging activity makes significant contributions to the nutrient cycling in forests. The extent of their impact is understudied and their biodiversity is poorly known. Some large-bodied millipedes are easy to keep as pets or classroom mascots and can aid in teaching about biodiversity and ecology in schools.
Plans are underway to develop lessons and teaching materials for various age groups. This page will also eventually feature a short summary on millipede husbandry.
Spirobolida, family Messicobolidae
Four popular books can be used as a starting point to introduce millipedes into the classroom:
Levi, H.W & L.R. Levi. 1990. Spiders and Their Kin. A Golden Guide. Golden press, New York, 160 pp.
There are several pages at the end of the book devoted to millipedes, centipedes and other terrestrial arthropods. For a long time, this was the only account of millipedes in the popular literature.
McMonigle, Orin. 2005. Giant Millipedes: The Enthusiast’s Handbook. Elytra & Antenna, 44 pp.
Contains beautiful color photographs and useful information on raising various millipede species.
Shelley, R.M. 1999. Centipedes and Millipedes with Emphasis on North American Fauna. The Kansas School Naturalist, 45 (3), 15 pp. Emporia State University.
An accurate systematic account of the different groups of millipedes and centipedes from one of the world’s leading experts.
Walls, J.G. 1999. The Guide to Owning Millipedes and Centipedes. T.F.H. Publications, 64 pp.
Introduction to millipedes and millipede husbandry.