Western Yellow Centipede Haplophilus subterraneus


Western Yellow Centipede Haplophilus subterraneus

Discovered in garden. 27th August 2017. © Peter Hillman

Western Yellow Centipede Haplophilus subterraneus

Discovered in garden.
27th August 2017. © Peter Hillma

Western Yellow Centipede Haplophilus subterraneus

Discovered in garden.
27th August 2017. © Peter Hillman

Western Yellow Centipede Haplophilus subterraneus

Discovered in garden.
27th August 2017. © Peter Hillman

Western Yellow Centipede Haplophilus subterraneus

Discovered in garden.
27th August 2017. © Peter Hillman

Western Yellow Centipede Haplophilus subterraneus

Discovered in garden.
27th August 2017. © Peter Hillman

Family Himantariidae

Length up to 70 mm.

This is Britain’s longest centipede. It belongs to a group called Geophilomorpha, the so-called ‘earth centipedes’ or ‘soil centipedes’. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘wire centipedes’ or ‘wireworms’, and you can see why because of their long length and thin appearance. If you took the trouble to count the leg segments you would count 81 of them, which adds up to 162 legs. They can have between 77 and 83 leg segments, which is a diagnostic feature of this species. Another key feature which helps identify it are the numerous small coxal pores on the last leg bearing section.

It is a predatory animal which will hunt other invertebrates, but will also nibble on the roots of plants.

Seen all year round it is found in various habitats, especially in urban environments like parks and gardens, under rocks and stones, paving slabs, small logs, in leaf litter and under moss, amongst other places. Common and widespread up to southern Scotland. Native to Britain.

Recorded and accepted via iRecord.