Though this resembles a small white centipede, it is a Symphylid, part of the class Symphyla. Examination with a glass will reveal that the adult has 12 pairs of legs, which are rather short, and a pair of fairly long antennae. These animals are around 5 mm long though sometimes more.
There are several very similar species in this genus and microscopic examination of an actual specimen is needed to identify the exact species.
There are several very similar species which can only be confidently identified using a key and a microscope or good lens.
They live in the soil surface zone or compost heaps.
All year round.
They feed on decaying vegetation. They don't have eyes and rely on their antennae to 'feel' their way. Adults can live for as long as 4 years. Once the female has laid her eggs they hatch in 1 or 2 weeks. The young have only 6 pairs of legs. They will gain an additional pair with each moult. They moult even in adulthood.
Common and widespread in Britain.
Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
Enter a town or village to see local records