Stone Centipede - Lithobius microps


Lithobius microps rarely grows longer than 9mm and is a light chestnut brown with slightly paler legs. It has a tendency to curl up when disturbed. Three ocelli in a row on either side of the head are characteristic of this species (rarely a fourth may be present above the row).

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • c9mm
  • 15 pairs of legs
  • 3 ocelli in a row
  • 2+2 teeth on forcipular coxosternite
  • 14th & 15th legs thickened
  • double claw on last leg (usually)
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.


It is a ground dwelling species of gardens and bare soil, often associated with human habitation.

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Fairly frequent, particularly in the southern half of Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland where it has been recorded from at least 150 sites.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map