Millipedes have a long and distinguished history on our planet, spanning over 400 million years. Their ecological importance is immense; the health and survival of every deciduous forest depends on them, as they are one of the prime mechanical decomposers of wood and leaf litter, especially in the tropics.

Polydesmida, family Xystodesmidae Below is an introduction to the study of millipedes in several languages, available as downloadable PDF files. If you are willing to translate the document into a language that is not represented in the current list, please contact Petra Sierwald.