Centipedes 1, 2

Lithobius sp.

Lithobius sp., below, is fairly common in gardens and compost heaps. It is a fearsome predator and will attack and eat anything it comes across. Its main prey items are woodlice and insects. The one below, however was just a youngster of 2 cm., they can live for as long as five years.

Note that the dorsal plates alternate in size, one short and one long, whereas the tropical centipede the plates are of equal length.

centipede Lithobius sp showing poisonous claws

Scutigera coleoptrata

Scutigera coleoptrata head

Scutigera coleoptrata above and below is found in Europe and North America, usually around human habitations, sometimes like a spider it is found in the bath, but mostly it is found in the soil and leaf mould. It is completely harmless as its jaws are neither big enough nor strong enough to bite us. It does bite and eat mosquitoes, though, so could be considered a help in the home. All the centipedes of this type can run very fast.

Scutigera coleoptrata, centipede

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