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Sierwald, P.; Decker, P.; Spelda, J. (2024). MilliBase. Accessed at on yyyy-mm-dd.

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Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

A global species catalog of the myriapod class Diplopoda. more

At the very end of the section INSECTA APTERA in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae, Linneaus (1758: 619) introduced the genus Julus: ‘Pedes numerosi, duplo utrinque plures, quam corporis segmenta.’ Seven species were listed, two each from Asia, India, and Europe and one from America.
Since then, the number of described millipede species has surpassed 12,000, making the Diplopoda the most species-rich class in the arthropod subphylum Myriapoda. The Myriapoda also contain the classes Chilopoda, Symphyla and Pauropoda. For the Chilopoda, or centipedes, a global species catalog is available, listing about 3,300 species and over 700 subspecies. Symphylans and pauropods, also called the dwarf myriapods, contain significantly fewer species, 200 and 600 species, respectively. The symphylans and pauropods are have recently been included in MilliBase.
MilliBase Scope
MilliBase is a global taxonomic database, managed by a group of diplopod experts that aims to capture all described millipede, pauropod and symphylan species with the associated literature, the authorities and original descriptions of species, genera and all units of higher classification. Generic synonyms have largely been added to the database, species-level synonymies are under development. MilliBase also strives to add secondary citations from the taxonomic and systematic literature for all taxa, as well as important ecological and physiological works focusing on specific diplopod models. Whenever possible, we will attempt to link literature citations to freely available online sources, such as those on Biodiversity Heritage Library. It is the goal of the taxonomic editors to continuously update and improve the database to promote all forms of current and future millipede research and to support an active and vibrant global millipede research community.
History of MilliBase
MilliBase integrates/combines two, originally independent databasing projects: Jörg Spelda’s extensive SysMyr and Catalog of Life records and Petra Sierwald’s database, derived from H. W. Brölemann’s (1860-1933) ‘Iconography.’
SysMyr started as a collection of species names (checklist of myriapod species) in 1990, with associated taxonomic literature being added to a relational database. Several programs and initiatives in Germany supported the expansion and development of SysMyr database structure and its modules: German BIOLOG database development program, the GBIF program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, umbrella project ID: 01LI0205, Species 2000, and the 4D4Life project.
An initiative to unite existing databases of myriapod literature by German colleagues provided the literature citations for SysMyr. With the goal to generate a complete myriapod bibliography Jörg Spelda, Jörg Rosenberg and Karin Voigtländer cooperated in 2003 under the project name “GerMyLit”. Since 2005 Hans Reip acts as project manager; he merged first the databases of Jörg Spelda and Norman Lindner with his own. MyriaLit serves as literature source for SysMyr and Millibase.
Brölemann’s (1860-1933) illustrated species level card catalog, the ‘Iconographie’ was maintained in the Myriapod collection at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. In 2000, curatorial staff at the MNHN kindly gave Dr. S.I. Golovatch permission to transfer a copy of the index card catalog to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Long-time and dedicated volunteer Ms E. Simmons at the Field Museum initially typed the names into Excel spreadsheets, other volunteers entered genus-level data and the initial set of literature citation from Dr. Jeekel’s Nomenclator generum et familiarum diplopodorum (1971). The spreadsheet data were then transferred into an Access database, largely developed by Amber Billey, who also checked and entered the vast majority of the literature information containing the original descriptions for all millipede species in the database. During the past few years various collaborations resulted in species lists and catalogs, e.g., with P. Stoev, P. Marek and A.D. Nguyen. Ms Simmons continued to add species data to the Access database.
In 2009, at a Diplopoda workshop at the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich, Petra and Jörg began collaboration towards a combined, comprehensive world-wide taxonomic catalog of the class Diplopoda that was to be served freely online. In 2016, the data management team at the Flanders Marine Institute – VLIZ, Oostende, Belgium - migrated the data from Petra’s Access database to the Aphia (WoRMS) platform. WoRMS already had a nucleus of myriapod species in its database: the myriapods occurring in the littoral zone, initiated and managed by Anthony D. Barber. In 2017, the records from Jörg’s SysMyr database were transferred to the Aphia platform and the two datasets were merged.
Major MilliBase sources
MilliBase’s foundation is a body of catalog works and online resources, assembled by some of the foremost scholars of Diplopodology. Without such catalogs, updates and online resources, MilliBase could not have been realized. The data contained in the works cited below should all already reside in MilliBase or will be added in the very near future.

Biology > Ecology - biodiversity, Biology > Invertebrates
Marine/Coastal, Fresh water, Brackish water, Terrestrial, Classification, Diversity, Marine invertebrates, Species, Taxonomy, World, World Waters, Diplopoda, Myriapoda

Geographical coverage
World [Marine Regions]
World Waters [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
From 1758 on [In Progress]

Taxonomic coverage
Diplopoda [WoRMS]
Myriapoda [WoRMS]


Sierwald, Petradata managerdata creator
Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), moredatabase developer
Barber, Anthonytaxonomic editor
Decker, Petertaxonomic editordata creator
Akkari, Nesrinetaxonomic editor
Antić, Dragan Z.taxonomic editor
Barbosa, Joao Paulotaxonomic editor
Bonato, Luciotaxonomic editor
Bouzan, Rodrigotaxonomic editor
Bueno-Villegas, Julian
Enghoff, Henriktaxonomic editor
Iniesta, Luiz Felipe Morettitaxonomic editor
Marek, Paultaxonomic editor
Reip, Hanstaxonomic editor
Shear, Williamtaxonomic editor
Short, Megantaxonomic editor
Simmons, Elizabethtaxonomic editor
Stoev, Paveltaxonomic editor
Wesener, Thomastaxonomic editor
Nguyen, Anhtaxonomic editor
Spelda, Jörgdata creator
Means, Jacksontaxonomic editor

Related datasets
Published in:
WoRMS: World Register of Marine Species, more

Dataset status: In Progress
Data type: Data
Data origin: Literature research
Metadatarecord created: 2017-08-22
Information last updated: 2024-02-12
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