Cryptops


Cryptops sp
Cryptops sp
Cryptops sp

Class Chilopoda (Centipedes)
Order Scolopendromorpha (Scolopendrid centipedes)
Family Cryptopidae
Genus Cryptops Leach, 1815

There are 3 species of Cryptops in the UK, and all need microscopic examination to determine species by an expert.

Cryptops hortensis (Donovan, 1810) is the she smallest of the 3 at 20-30 mm long, and the most common, with most records in Engalnd and Wales, less so further north.

Cryptops anomalans Newport, 1844 is the largest and most impressive of the 3 species growing up 50 mm long. Only 17 records at time of writing in England and Wales.

Cryptops parisi Brölemann, 1920 is often found in woodland areas. Very few records in England and Wales, none in Scotland or Ireland.

Of further interest there is a actually a fourth species of Cryptops called Cryptops doriae Pocock, 1891, which is only known from the Eden Project (Rainforest Biome), in Cornwall.

The genus can be recognised by having 21 pairs of legs with the rear pair being significantly larger and pointing backwards. They have no eyes and are completely blind.

Seen all year round, they feed on other invertebrates. Found in woodland and gardens, under rocks, stones and logs, and amidst leaf litter.

Found in back garden, South Staffordshire. April 2020. © Peter Hillman.

Species identification confirmed and recorded by an expert from iRecord.