Lithobius melanops Newport, 1845
Lithobius (Lithobius) melanops Newport, 1845
GB IUCN status: Least Concern
Lithobius is a difficult genus and at least 17 species are known from Britain and Ireland.
Lithobius melanops is one of five 'smaller species' with 2 + 2 forcipular teeth that have backward projections on tergites 9, 11 and 13. This is the most common of the options. It is usually pale brown in colour, with an indistinct darker longitudinal dorsal stripe (to 17 mm body length).
More information to allow accurate identification is given in the published identification keys by Tony Barber (2008 & 2009).
Lithobius melanops is very common throughout Ireland and Britain, including the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.
It is typically found in drier habitats, both both inland (woodlands, heathland, gardens, churchyards, etc) and on the coast (sand dunes, shingle, vegetated sea cliffs, etc).
Although it can be found at ground level, under stones and dead wood, Lithobius melanops is often found above ground under loose bark on trees, on walls and rock faces and is often seen indoors (climbing walls).
This account is based on the 'Centipede Atlas' (Barber, 2022).