Lithobius lapidicola Meinert, 1872


Lithobius (Lithobius) lapidicola Meinert, 1872


  • GB IUCN status: Near Threatened
  • GB rarity status: Nationally Rare

ID Difficulty


Lithobius is a difficult genus and at least 17 species are known from Britain and Ireland.

Lithobius lapidicola is one of seven 'smaller species' with 2 + 2 forcipular teeth that lack backward projections on tergites 9, 11 and 13 (though these may be feebly developed in some specimens). It is a small brown centipede (to 9 mm long), and perhaps most likely to be confused with the common L. microps (the latter characteristically has just three ommatidia on each side of the head; L. lapidicola has 7 to 11).

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

This is not the Lithobius lapidicola Latzel, 1880 of Eason's (1964) Centipedes of the British Isles (which is L. borealis Meinert, 1868)

Kith Lugg
Alan Outen
Alan Outen

Distribution and Habitat

Lithobius lapidicola is known from a handful of coastal sites in eastern Britain, but there are also widely scattered records from inside heated glasshouses in England, Wales and Scotland (Barber, 2011 ; Gregory & Lugg, 2020).

[The Cornish and western records on the NBN map (opposite) need to be verified. These may refer to L. borealis?]

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

BRC code