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Neglected for decades by all but a small number of taxonomists, millipeds are gradually becoming recognized as important members of the soil and litter biotopes around the world. Aside from their role in soil formation, these animals provide exceptionally valuable materials in the study of biogeography and evolution. Since probably less than 20 percent of the actual world fauna has yet been described, basic taxonomy will merit the highest priority for many years to come.
Checklist of the Millipeds of North and Middle America by VMNH curator of Recent Invertebrates Dr. Richard Hoffman, provides a complete summary of 2,167 species considered valid. It not only incorporates the numerous taxonomic innovations of the past 30 years, but presents complete bibliographic information on the nearly equal number of names provisionally considered to be invalid synonyms. Each entry encapsulates data about original description, major subsequent changes in status or affiliation, location of type material, brief statements of distribution, and references to published maps. Those species of still-uncertain status are grouped under specific categories, often with hints concerning their possible identities.