Henia vesuviana (Newport, 1845)


  • Chaetechelyne vesuviana (Newport, 1845)
  • Henia (Chaetechelyne) vesuviana (Newport,1845)


  • GB IUCN status: Least Concern
  • GB rarity status: Nationally Scarce

ID Difficulty


Henia vesuviana is a large robust species (to 50 mm long) of distinctive shape with relatively small head and tail end and with a large number (63-75) of leg pairs. It is often found curled into a defensive ball when encountered. Specimens often appear grey in life due to the purplish mottling on the brownish-orange body, with a thin white line running the entire length of the body and contrasting orange head and tail (also seen in Geophilus carpophagus s.str., which has fewer leg pairs).

More information to allow accurate identification is given in the published identification keys by Tony Barber (2008 & 2009).

J.P. Richards
J.P. Richards
Tony Barber
Andy Keay
Keith Lugg
J.P. Richards
J.P. Richards


Henia vesuviana is most abundant in southern coastal areas, but also occurs inland (e.g. London area) where it is often associated with human activity. Also isolated records from Northern Ireland by Anderson (2011) and Dublin. 


It is typically found under the usual stones and dead wood lying on the soil surface, often curled into a defensive ball. 

This account is based on the 'Centipede Atlas' (Barber, 2022).

BRC code