Scutigerella immaculata

Description

Though this resembles a small white centipede, it is a Symphylid, part of the class Symphyla. Examination with a glass will reveal that the adult has 12 pairs of legs, which are rather short, and a pair of fairly long antennae. These animals are around 5 mm long though sometimes more.

There are other very similar species in this genus which means that detailed examination of an actual specimen is generally needed to identify the exact species. A red box around the image indicates that we think it is likely to be this species but can't be 100% certain.

Similar Species

There are several very similar species which can only be confidently identified using a key and a microscope or good lens.

Photo ID?
Habitat

They live in the soil surface zone or compost heaps.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

They feed on decaying vegetation. They don't have eyes and rely on their antennae to 'feel' their way. Adults can live for as long as 4 years. Once the female has laid her eggs they hatch in 1 or 2 weeks. The young have only 6 pairs of legs. They will gain an additional pair with each moult. They moult even in adulthood.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map