Geophilus proximus C.L. Koch, 1847


  • GB IUCN status: Data Deficient
  • GB rarity status: Nationally Rare

ID Difficulty


Ten species of Geophilus are known from Britain and Ireland. 

Geophilus  proximus is a yellowish-orange centipede (to 40 mm length) of very similar in appearance to the common G. impressus (formerly known as G. insculptus), but lacks the isolated coxal pore of this latter species (and also differs in other subtle microscopic characters).  

More information to allow accurate identification is given in the published identification keys by Tony Barber (2008 & 2009). Colour images of characters needed for identification are given by Lugg, Gregory & Pennington (2022).

Keith Lugg
Keith Lugg


Geophilus  proximus is a northern species, known from a single site on Unst, Shetland, where it was first found in 1974. This remained the only record of this 'Scandinavian' centipede until its re-discovery a few kilometers away in 2021 by Keith Lugg and Mike Pennington (Lugg, Gregory & Pennington, 2022).


This is a soil dwelling centipede. The specimen collected in 1974 was found under boulders in a Nettle filled hollow. In 2021 specimens were found under partly embedded stones and from among soil underneath at a base of a limestone wall. Both sites are in an area where limestone outcrops. 

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

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