Lithobius calcaratus C.L. Koch, 1844
Lithobius (Lithobius) calcaratus C.L. Koch, 1844
GB IUCN status: Least Concern
Lithobius is a difficult genus and at least 17 species are known from Britain and Ireland.
This is one of seven 'smaller species' with 2 + 2 forcipular teeth that lack backward projections on tergites 9, 11 and 13. Lithobius calcaratus is typically very dark, almost black, as seen in L. muticus, but differs in having a normal shaped head and by having an 'accessory' claw on the last legs. The male is readily identified by the presence of a hairy 'wart-like process' on the last leg pair (see mages).
More information to allow accurate identification is given in the published identification keys by Tony Barber (2008 & 2009).
It is very widely distributed across Britain, but absent from northern Scotland. Interestingly, for such a widespread centipede, it has not been recorded from Ireland.
It occurs in rural sites, with a preference for drier open habitats such as grassland, heathland and moorland, both inland and coastal. It is most easily found under stones and dead wood or among leaf-litter and (on the coast) shingle.
This account is based on the 'Centipede Atlas' (Barber, 2022).