Giant-pill millipede diversity on Madagascar
The collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and new samples were examined for Malagasy sphaerotheriid species. Samples from 38 collection sites, all situated in main Malagasy ecosystems, included 80 sphaerotheriid species. This inventory at least doubles the number of known Malagasy sphaerotheriid species. The largest number of species was detected in the montane rainforest (23 species), whereas the littoral forest and spiny forest yielded the lowest number (8 species in each). Every ecosystem includes a high number of endemic giant-pill millipedes. The number of species occurring at only one site was exceptionally high (87.5 %). This study highlights the need for faunal inventories to focus on diplopod species in order to find invertebrate hotspots for conservation efforts.