Brown Centipede

Lithobius forficatus

Brown Centipede (Lithobius forficatus)

This is one of the first creepy-crawlies I was fascinated by when I was a boy.

Also called the ‘Garden Centipede’, this is a glossy brown centipede with 15 pairs of legs, 2 on each segment. The back legs are longer than the others which are used to capture prey. Behind the head is a pair of venom claws which they use to attack prey, injecting poison and paralysing them. Can be confused with Lithobius variegatus. Length 30mm.

It feeds on insects and other invertebrates. It can live for up to 6 years.

Seen all year round. Found in various habitats, including woodland, grassland and gardens. Often found sheltering in garden sheds, garages or other outbuildings. Discovered in leaf-litter, or under rocks, stones and logs. A common and widespread species throughout.

Photograph of Brown Centipede (Lithobius forficatus) taken June 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.


5 thoughts on “Brown Centipede

      • Yes, the more I have been learning about insects as I photograph them, the more I have been thinking about how odd it is that we focus so much on their adult stages, when for many of them that stage is so short compared to their earlier stage. I guess it’s because that’s the stage that is easiest for us to see.

        Liked by 1 person

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