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Centipede

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  • Graeme Stroud
    Hi guys, I have reproduced below a conversation I had on this forum back in 2007. I had dug up a strange centipede in my back garden and was trying to identify
    Message 1 of 7 , May 2, 2012

    Hi guys,

     

    I have reproduced below a conversation I had on this forum back in 2007.

    I had dug up a strange centipede in my back garden and was trying to identify it.

    I included a picture hand-drawn from memory, (attached), but never came up with a definite ID.

     

    But last year I bought Richard Lewington’s Guide to Garden Wildlife, and the centipede, or at least one very similar, is in it.

    It is listed as the Luminous centipede Geophilus carpophagus, which is apparently capable of giving off a phosphorescent glow.

    It is not included in my Collins guide to British Garden Wildlife. Is it a newcomer or unusual?

     

    I was reminded to resurrect this thread because I dug up another one last weekend.

    I think it’s the same anyway; the colouring definitely matches, and it was very slow-moving.

    The order Kieren suggested in 2007 is definitely correct, and maybe his moulting theory could account for the thickening in the middle.

    Or is it a bog-standard ordinary yellow centipede, but they look grey and move slowly after a moult?

     

    I managed to get some photos this time, (also attached).

    That’s two in 7 years. I’m not exactly tripping over them every day.

     

    Cheers,

    Graeme

    Gravesend

     

     

     

    From: Kieren Pitts [mailto:Kieren.Pitts@...]
    Sent: 24 March 2005 16:48
    To:
    bugclub@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: RE: [bugclub] Centipede

    Hi Graeme

     

    Hmmm, i'm not really sure what it could be. Your drawing suggests it's one of the 'earth' centipedes in the Order Geophilomorpha, like the ones I mentioned in my earlier email. Unfortunately the colouring doesn't seem to fit although the long antennae and the legs protruding from the sides of the body definitely makes me think it's a centipede too.

     

    Could it have been a Geophilomorpha centipede that had undergone a recent moult? That might explain the colouration and the relectance to move?

     

    Cheers

    Kieren

     

     

     

    From: Graeme Stroud
    Sent: 24 March 2005 07:31
    To: 'bugclub@yahoogroups.com'
    Subject: Centipede

     

    Thanks Kieren, excellent info!

     

    No, it definitely wasn't a flat-backed millipede.

    I've looked up cylindrical millipedes as well, but it wasn't one of those either. I probably had time to go and get the camera, but it's not digital so I would have had to wait for it to be developed, then the creature might have moved... blah blah blah, excuses, excuses...

    Here, how about a drawing?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This probably doesn't tell you much, but the important bits are:

    1) Body thin at both ends, wider in the middle,

    2) Densely packed but very fine legs, (can't remember how close to head or tail they went), longer at fatter part of body,

    3) Colouration – brown at head and tail, grey in the middle.

     

    Regards,

    Graeme

     

     

     

    From: Kieren Pitts [mailto:Kieren.Pitts@...]

    Sent: 23 March 2005 13:29

    To: bugclub@yahoogroups.com

    Subject: Re: [bugclub] Centipede

     

    Hi Graeme

     

    In my digging experience....

     

    The thin, yellowish species belong to the Order Geophilomorpha. I often find _Necrophloeophagus flavus_ or one of the _Geophilus sp._ e.g.

    http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P4/P46057.HTM

    http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P7/P742.HTM

     

    The larger, orangey/brown ones belong to the Order Lithobiomorpha and the most common one I see is _Lithobius forficatus_ e.g.

    http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P1/P18065.HTM

     

    Unfortunately I've not really dug up anything that would fit the description below - although if it was curled up tightly could it have been  a plated/flat-back millipede instead?

     

    e.g _Brachydesmus superus_

    http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P2/P25797.HTM

     

    or

     

    _Polydesmus angustus_

    http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P1/P17716.HTM

     

    Cheers

    Kieren

     

     

     

    From: Graeme Stroud
    Sent: 23 March 2005 08:31
    To: 'bugclub@yahoogroups.com'
    Subject: Centipede

     

    Does anyone here know anything about centipedes?

     

    Digging the garden (NW Kent, Southern England), over the weekend, I found plenty of 'normal' common centipedes - the light tan thin ones and the flatter, wider dark brown ones, (sorry for that highly technical description), but then I found one I had never seen before. It was longer than usual, about 2 1/2", very narrow at the head and tail end, but wider in the middle. The head and tail were light brown, but the body was mostly a ghastly shade of grey, like a maggot. It didn't seem in much of a hurry. I found it curled up tightly between the folds of a lily bulb. I'd love to know what it was, or indeed, correct names for any of the species!

     

    Thanks,

    Graeme

    Comma Oil & Chemicals Limited
    Dering Way, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2QX
    
    (Registered in England: Number 2075698. Registered Office as above)
    
    (If the e-mail is received in error, inform the sender immediately and do not copy the e-mail, use its contents or disclose them to any unauthorised third party).
  • Kieren Pitts
    Hi Graeme If it is _Geophilus carpophagus_ then I think it s fairly common in the UK. The NBN suggests it s pretty patchy in distribution but I think it s
    Message 2 of 7 , May 2, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Graeme

      If it is _Geophilus carpophagus_ then I think it's fairly common in the
      UK. The NBN suggests it's pretty patchy in distribution but I think it's
      actually an artefact of the records and it's much more common/widespread:-

      http://data.nbn.org.uk/gridMap/gridMap.jsp?allDs=1&srchSpKey=NBNSYS0000011408

      This page from iSpot might be useful too as it has plenty of great info
      on the identification:

      http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/686

      Unfortunately the Collins guide to British Wildlife is pretty patchy on
      inverts.

      Hope that helps

      Cheers

      Kieren



      On 02/05/12 09:11, Graeme Stroud wrote:
      > Hi guys,
      >
      > I have reproduced below a conversation I had on this forum back in 2007.
      > I had dug up a strange centipede in my back garden and was trying to identify it.
      > I included a picture hand-drawn from memory, (attached), but never came up with a definite ID.
      >
      > But last year I bought Richard Lewington's Guide to Garden Wildlife, and the centipede, or at least one very similar, is in it.
      > It is listed as the Luminous centipede Geophilus carpophagus, which is apparently capable of giving off a phosphorescent glow.
      > It is not included in my Collins guide to British Garden Wildlife. Is it a newcomer or unusual?
      >
      > I was reminded to resurrect this thread because I dug up another one last weekend.
      > I think it's the same anyway; the colouring definitely matches, and it was very slow-moving.
      > The order Kieren suggested in 2007 is definitely correct, and maybe his moulting theory could account for the thickening in the middle.
      > Or is it a bog-standard ordinary yellow centipede, but they look grey and move slowly after a moult?
      >
      > I managed to get some photos this time, (also attached).
      > That's two in 7 years. I'm not exactly tripping over them every day.
      >
      > Cheers,
      > Graeme
      > Gravesend
      >
      >
      >
      > From: Kieren Pitts [mailto:Kieren.Pitts@...]<mailto:[mailto:Kieren.Pitts@...]>
      > Sent: 24 March 2005 16:48
      > To: bugclub@yahoogroups.com<mailto:bugclub@yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: RE: [bugclub] Centipede
      > Hi Graeme
      >
      > Hmmm, i'm not really sure what it could be. Your drawing suggests it's one of the 'earth' centipedes in the Order Geophilomorpha, like the ones I mentioned in my earlier email. Unfortunately the colouring doesn't seem to fit although the long antennae and the legs protruding from the sides of the body definitely makes me think it's a centipede too.
      >
      > Could it have been a Geophilomorpha centipede that had undergone a recent moult? That might explain the colouration and the relectance to move?
      >
      > Cheers
      > Kieren
      >
      >
      >
      > From: Graeme Stroud
      > Sent: 24 March 2005 07:31
      > To: 'bugclub@yahoogroups.com'
      > Subject: Centipede
      >
      > Thanks Kieren, excellent info!
      >
      > No, it definitely wasn't a flat-backed millipede.
      > [cid:image002.jpg@01CD2843.9CA9DC70]I've looked up cylindrical millipedes as well, but it wasn't one of those either. I probably had time to go and get the camera, but it's not digital so I would have had to wait for it to be developed, then the creature might have moved... blah blah blah, excuses, excuses...
      > Here, how about a drawing?
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > This probably doesn't tell you much, but the important bits are:
      > 1) Body thin at both ends, wider in the middle,
      > 2) Densely packed but very fine legs, (can't remember how close to head or tail they went), longer at fatter part of body,
      > 3) Colouration - brown at head and tail, grey in the middle.
      >
      > Regards,
      > Graeme
      >
      >
      >
      > From: Kieren Pitts [mailto:Kieren.Pitts@...]
      > Sent: 23 March 2005 13:29
      > To: bugclub@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [bugclub] Centipede
      >
      > Hi Graeme
      >
      > In my digging experience....
      >
      > The thin, yellowish species belong to the Order Geophilomorpha. I often find _Necrophloeophagus flavus_ or one of the _Geophilus sp._ e.g.
      > http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P4/P46057.HTM
      > http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P7/P742.HTM
      >
      > The larger, orangey/brown ones belong to the Order Lithobiomorpha and the most common one I see is _Lithobius forficatus_ e.g.
      > http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P1/P18065.HTM
      >
      > Unfortunately I've not really dug up anything that would fit the description below - although if it was curled up tightly could it have been a plated/flat-back millipede instead?
      >
      > e.g _Brachydesmus superus_
      > http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P2/P25797.HTM
      >
      > or
      >
      > _Polydesmus angustus_
      > http://www.bioimages.org.uk/HTML/P1/P17716.HTM
      >
      > Cheers
      > Kieren
      >
      >
      >
      > From: Graeme Stroud
      > Sent: 23 March 2005 08:31
      > To: 'bugclub@yahoogroups.com'
      > Subject: Centipede
      >
      > Does anyone here know anything about centipedes?
      >
      > Digging the garden (NW Kent, Southern England), over the weekend, I found plenty of 'normal' common centipedes - the light tan thin ones and the flatter, wider dark brown ones, (sorry for that highly technical description), but then I found one I had never seen before. It was longer than usual, about 2 1/2", very narrow at the head and tail end, but wider in the middle. The head and tail were light brown, but the body was mostly a ghastly shade of grey, like a maggot. It didn't seem in much of a hurry. I found it curled up tightly between the folds of a lily bulb. I'd love to know what it was, or indeed, correct names for any of the species!
      >
      > Thanks,
      > Graeme
      >
      > Comma Oil& Chemicals Limited
      > Dering Way, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2QX
      >
      > (Registered in England: Number 2075698. Registered Office as above)
      >
      > (If the e-mail is received in error, inform the sender immediately and do not copy the e-mail, use its contents or disclose them to any unauthorised third party).
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