Mecistocephalus guildingii Newport, 1843


GB IUCN status: Not assessed (non-native)

ID Difficulty


In Mecistocephalid centipedes the head is elongated being noticeably much longer than wide, leaving the forciples clearly visible when viewed from above (see image right). 

Mecistocephalus guildingii is a relatively large (to 42 mm long) and distinctive centipede: bright yellow with a reddish head of characteristic elongated shape and always with 49 leg pairs.

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

Tony Barber
Tony Barber
Keith Lugg
Keith Lugg
Keith Lugg
Keith Lugg

Distribution and Habitat

Only known from Eden Project (Rainforest Biome), Cornwall, where it was found by Tony Barber in 2005 and 2009. In 2020 an additional specimen (see photos) was found inside a rotten log. 

Elsewhere in Europe it is also known from inside heated glasshouses, but occurs outdoors around the tropical Atlantic coasts of the American and African continents. 

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


Barber, A.D. (2022) Atlas of the centipedes of Britain and Ireland. Telford, FSC Publications

BRC code