Minibeasts to look for in February — Centipede


Where to look

In leaf litter, under rocks and stones


Centipedes have segmented bodies, jointed legs and a hard exoskeleton (skeleton on the outside). There are 57 different species of centipede in the UK, and although they may look very different, they all have lots of legs! Despite their name, they don’t actually have a hundred! They always have an odd number of pairs of legs, with British centipede species having between 15 to 101 pairs. The easiest way to tell them apart from millipedes is that they have a single pair of legs on each body segment. All are predators, hunting small prey in the fallen leaves and soil. They do not rely on sight when they are hunting. Instead they rely on their very sensitive antennae (feelers) and modified legs to sense prey and feel their way around. When they sense potential prey, usually a smaller insect, spider, or even earthworms or slugs, they can move very quickly. If they catch them, they use their modified hollow legs as fangs and inject venom into their prey and over power it!

Where we've found Centipedes

Centipede spottings journal (9 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
26 Feb 2021 Selsley common Alex Foxmoor Primary
4 Feb 2021 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
3 May 2020 cam Wild group Emptying out the soil of my plant pot in my garden
8 Apr 2020 Bisley old Rd allotment Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
7 Apr 2020 Garden Jo The Weaver's
27 Mar 2020 Capel's mill ELLA The Weaver's
26 Mar 2020 Stroud Emma Snails Centipied
24 Mar 2020 Rock, Cornwall Gavin Blended Spotted in a garden in Rock, Cornwall.
27 Feb 2020 Stroud Valley Community School


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