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Open Access Centipede (Chilopoda) richness and diversity in the Bug River valley (Eastern Poland)

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The main aim of the survey was to describe the diversity and richness of Chilopoda in the selected area of the Bug River valley. The study sites were located in two regions differing in the shape of the valley, the presence of thermophilous habitats and the size of riparian forests. Pitfall traps were used as a sampling method. As a result, 444 specimens belonging to 12 centipede species of two orders – Geophilomorpha (four species) and Lithobiomorpha (eight species) were caught. Lithobius (Monotarsobius) curtipes C.L.Koch, 1847, Pachymerium ferrugineum (C.L.Koch, 1835), Lamyctes (Lamyctes) emarginatus (Newport, 1844) and Lithobius (Monotarsobius) dudichi Loksa, 1947 were the most common and the most numerous species. Of particular note is L. dudichi found in Poland for the first time and previously known based on a single specimen. Two to 10 Chilopoda species were found in each habitat under investigation. The greatest species richness was found in thermophilous thickets (10 species), sandy grasslands (eight), xerothermic grasslands (eight) and mesic meadows (six). The fewest number of species (two) was found in rushes at oxbows and in wet meadows. We found differences in the species composition and the number of Chilopoda between the lower (102 specimens, six species) and the middle (324 specimens, 11 species) section of the river valley. Our results confirm the need to protect xerothermic habitats, unique almost throughout entire Central Europe, which due to their distribution and their small area covered are fairly easily subject to the process of destruction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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