Brown Centipede Lithobius (Lithobius) forficatus

Brown Centipede Lithobius (Lithobius) forficatus

Class Chilopoda (Centipedes)
Order Lithobiomorpha (Stone centipedes)
Family Lithobiidae
Species Lithobius (Lithobius) forficatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Length up to 30 mm.

The Brown Centipede has 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 it uses to attack prey, injecting poison and paralysing them. It can be confused with Lithobius pilicornis, which is nationally scarce. It feeds on insects and other invertebrates.

Seen all year round, it can be 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 Britain.

Discovered in back garden, South Staffordshire. June 2014. © Peter Hillman.

Species identification confirmed and recorded by an expert from iRecord.