Currently, the extant species of the class Diplopoda are placed in 16 orders: Penicillata, Glomerida, Glomeridesmida, Sphaerotheriida, Platydesmida, Polyzoniida, Siphonocryptida, Siphonophorida, Stemmiulida, Chordeumatida, Polydesmida, Callipodida, Spirobolida, Spirostreptida, Julida and Siphoniulida. We hope to make millipede identification accessible to many by providing an identification key to the orders in several languages. The key was constructed with ease of use in mind. We tried to use characters that are easy to recognize and will allow non-millipede specialists to identify specimens to order both quickly and correctly. Several "couplets' are not dichotomous, but present multiple choices in which discrete, mutually exclusive alternative characters are listed. In this case, as in dichotomous couplets, only one of the choices will apply to any organism being taken through the key. After you have become familiar with the identifying features, you may often just use the flow chart at the end of the key to identify a millipede to order.Polydesmida, family Xystodesmidae Once you have identified your specimen to order, turn to the Identification Tables for verification and further identification of your specimens. Below is a key to the millipede orders in many languages, available as downloadable PDF files. We urge you to read the Introduction to Millipedes on this website to learn more about the ecology and anatomy of millipedes and to familiarize yourself with proper handling techniques when working with preserved specimens. If you are willing to translate the Key to Orders into a language that is not represented in the current list, please contact Petra Sierwald.