Geophilus electricus (Linnaeus, 1758)


GB IUCN status: Least Concern

ID Difficulty


Ten species of Geophilus are known from Britain and Ireland. 

Geophilus electricus is a large (to 40 mm or more in length) yellowish-orange centipede with 65 to 73 leg pairs (rather more than other similar Geophilus species) and with distinctly broad carpophagus fossae on the anterior sternites. The arrangement of the coxal pores of the last leg pair is also distinctive with an 'isolated pore' (otherwise only seen in G. impressus, which has far fewer leg pairs). 

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

R.E. Jones
Keith Lugg
Keith Lugg
Tim Sexton
Tim Sexton
Nicola Garnham
Nicola Garnham


Geophilus electricus occurs widely across Britain, though absent from northern Scotland, but in Ireland is mainly restricted to the southern half. 


Although typically found in rural woodlands or grassland, it is also often associated with human activity, such as gardens and churchyards.  It is is most easily found beneath stones and dead wood. 

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

BRC code