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Creepy-Crawly  Centipedes

Centipede - Photo  Copyright 2003 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
A great way to get a close up view of centipedes and other minibeasts is with a special magnifier box - click here

Latin name: Lithobius forficatus

Size: Around 30mms long

Distribution: Found throughout the UK

Months seen: All year round

Food: Some centipedes are vegetarians, although this species eats other small insects.

Habitat: Often found under logs, stones and tree bark.

Special features: Although some centipedes (41 known species in the UK) can have over 100 legs, this particular species has just 15 pairs of legs - one pair on each body segment. The extra long legs at the back are used to feel their way around, as are the long antennae.

They are also equipped with a poison claw on each side of the head. Although these are not dangerous to humans, they are used to catch and kill their prey.


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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved