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Common Centipede

picture of a centipede

Scientific Name: Lithobius forficatus

Centipedes are reddish-brown, flattened, elongated arthropods in the Order Chilopoda. They usually have between 30 and 80 legs with one pair attached on most of their body segments. The first pair of legs is modified into poisonous fangs (chelicerae) located below the mouth, they inject a poison which immobilises the victim allowing the jaws to macerate the body and the fluids to be extracted. Their antennae are longer than those of millipedes. They are totally carnivorous, feeding on live insects and other small animals, they do not damage plants. They may bite if crushed, causing some pain and swelling. A natural predator of vine weevil eggs and grubs, so leave them alone!
They overwinter as adults and lay eggs during the warm months. Usually eggs are laid in the soil and are protected by adults. A few species give birth to living young.

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