Lithobius piceus L. Koch, 1862
Lithobius (Lithobius) piceus L. Koch, 1862
- GB IUCN status: Least Concern
- GB rarity status: Nationally Rare
Lithobius is a difficult genus and at least 17 species are known from Britain and Ireland.
Lithobius piceus is one of five large brown Lithobius (to 21 mm in this species) with >4 + >4 forcipular teeth and strong projections on tergites 9, 11 and 13. It is not possible to reliably identify specimens in the field and it is easily over-looked as the ubiquitous L. forficatus. Identification is confirmed by the presence of the diagnostic spine 15 VaC on the coxae of the last legs and females having 3 or 4 gonopod spurs on each side (see images).
More information to allow accurate identification is given in the published identification keys by Tony Barber (2008 & 2009).
Lithobius piceus is widely recorded in Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire (though there have been few records in recent decades). Recently populations were also discovered in south Wales, including during the 2018 BMIG field meeting. It has not been recorded from Ireland.
This centipede is typically associated with woodland and usually found under dead wood or among leaf litter.
This account is based on the 'Centipede Atlas' (Barber, 2022).