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A preliminary survey of micro-organisms in the gut and pellets of a tropical millipede Doratogonus uncinatus Attems (Diplopoda, Spirostreptida, Spirostreptidae)

T. Mwabvu
A. Mswaka
G. Mlambo


Millipede gut microbiology and decomposition of faecal pellets over a period of eight weeks were studied in the laboratory. Bacterial numbers, carbon and nitrogen content, pH and weight loss were monitored. Heterotrophic bacteria were the most abundant and reached a peak in the first two weeks of decomposition. The amount of carbon was constant while ammonium nitrogen decreased from 1.51 % to 0.03 % after eight weeks. The pH of the pellets was slightly acidic and did not change much during the course of decomposition. A succession of micro-organisms was observed on decomposing pellets. Zygomycetes were replaced by Ascomycetes after 20 days of decomposition. Decomposition was significantly affected by temperature. The rate of decomposition was highest at 35oC.

Key words: decomposition, pellets, bacteria, fungi, succession

(Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences: 2003 9(2): 171-176)

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eISSN: 2992-4464
print ISSN: 1118-0579