Lithobius forficatus


A European species which has been in the country for many years and has in the last thirty years become the dominant centipede of modified habitats. It is especially common in unkempt gardens, compost heaps and similar situations. It may enter houses and there live within the darker spaces. However, several specimens were first recorded, as Lithobius argus in Wellington, N.Z. in 1845. In all likelyhood it did not become established as there are no intervening records between then and the 1950's.
It should not to be confused with the similar but slightly smaller native Paralamyctes validus and Paralamyctes harrisi. All the species of Lithobius have multiple lenses (ocelli) in the eyes whereas endemics have only the one or none.


Text updated: 14/12/2014