Subphylum : Myriapoda
Class : Chilopoda
Order : Lithobiomorpha
Family : Lithobiidae
Genus : Lithobius
Species : L. forficatus
Length : Up to 2in (5cm)
IUCN Status : Not Listed
The Brown Centipede is a very common species of Myriapod that can be found most often in Europe, though their distribution extends outside that range.They are a reddish-brown color, have large antennae, and live in a variety of different habitats.
As adults, Brown Centipedes have 15 pairs of legs, giving them thirty overall. You can tell a juvenile from an adult by counting up the digits. Less than 30 legs means that it still has some growing to do. Brown centipedes are born with 7 pairs, and they have to molt their exoskeletons as they age. Each molt grants them a new set of legs!
Females have an interesting way of laying their eggs. They dig a hole and deposit one egg. Then they dig another hole for another single egg, and so on. Eggs are laid in summer, and Brown Centipedes can live as long as 6 years!
Brown Centipedes are nocturnal carnivores, and they have a couple of neat features that help them to hunt and devour prey. First off, they have two venomous claws they they use to paralyze their targets. Secondly, their back set of legs is much longer than any other set, which allows them to hold on to and carry around meals. Humans should not be fearful of Brown Centipedes. They may try and attack with the venom if threatened, but they rarely break skin. Even if they do, the injury is more mild then your average bee sting.