Adenomeris gibbosa Mauriès, 1960


  • GB IUCN status: Data Deficient
  • GB rarity status: Nationally Rare

ID Difficulty


The pill millipedes, Glomeridae, are distinctive short stout millipedes that are able to roll into a defensive ball when disturbed.  When adult they have just twelve arched body tergites (including the collum and the telson) bearing 17 (female) or 19 (male) pairs of legs. 

Adenomeris gibbosa is a small pallid pill-millipede rolling into a ball of no more than 3 mm in diameter. The posterior margin of each body typically bears tubercles, but (unlike Trachysphaera lobata) it lacks ommatidia (eyes).

Video footage of a live specimen of this tiny millipede observed at Aston Clinton, Bucks can be viewed here.

Steve Hopkin
J.P. Richards
J.P. Richards
J.P. Richards


This species was first collected from a site near Dublin in 1978. Further specimens were found on this site in 1979 and another location near Dublin in 1981. During the BMIG Field Meeting in 2004 it was collected with Geoglomeris subterranea from Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire (Harper & Richards, 2006). Further specimens were collected from a nearby site later the same year and from Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire in February 2006.  

Outside of Britain and Ireland it is known only from the western Pyrenees. However, Kime (2001) considers it may have been overlooked in western France and may possibly have an Atlantic distribution. 


Insufficient habitat data are available for analysis but the British and Irish sites share similarities with the French sites in the western Pyrenees (Mauriès, 1960; Demange, 1981). The French and British specimens were all collected from scrub or woodland on calcareous soils. At least one of the Irish sites was an area of cleared scrub on limestone (Blower, 1985). Although all of the specimens found so far were collected by hand searching (in soil, under stones, under moss, and in leaf litter), it is possible that Berlese extraction or related techniques would be more productive for sampling this species.


The Irish records have included adult females in September, November and February and adult males in February. Adults of both sexes were found in April in Buckinghamshire.

This species account is based on Lee (2006).


Blower, J.G. 1985. Millipedes. Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series), No. 35. London: Linnean Society.

Demange, J.-M. 1981. Les Milles-Pattes. Paris: Boubée.

Harper. J. & Richards, P. (2006) Adenomeris gibbosa -  new to the UK. Bulletin of the British Myriapod & Isopod Group 21: 14-18.

Kime, R.D. (2001) The continental distribution of British and Irish millipedes, part 2. Bulletin of the British Myriapod and Isopod Group, 17, 7-42.

Mauriès, J.-P. (1960) Diplopodes de la Région Toulousaine. Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse, 95, 100-104.

BRC code