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Key to centipede species


As of 25 September 2013, I no longer maintain this website. For taxonomic and distribution information about Tasmania's millipedes, go to Millipedes of Australia. Send me an email if you have technical queries about other groups, but please note that the information here is likely to be out of date.


1a.  15 pairs of very long, thin legs; 7 tergites (plates on back)
..........Scutigeromorpha

Scutigeromorpha

1b.  15 pairs of legs, 15 tergites
..........Lithobiomorpha; go to 2

Lithobiomorpha

1c.  15 pairs of legs, 21 tergites
..........Craterostigmomorpha

Craterostigmomorpha

1d.  21 pairs of legs
..........Scolopendromorpha; go to 8

Scolopendromorpha

1e.  29 or more pairs of legs
..........Geophilomorpha; go to 10

Geophilomorpha
 

2a.  3 or more eyes on each side of head; large spines on all legs (see drawing at right)
..........go to 3
2b.  1 eye on each side of head or no eyes; large spines, if present, only on legs 14 and 15
..........go to 4

peregrinus
 

3a.  Adult at least 20 mm long; 15-18 eyes on each side of head
..........Lithobius peregrinus

peregrinus

3b.  Adult 10 mm long or less; 3 eyes in row on each side of head
..........Lithobius microps

microps
 

A centipede leg (right). Segment names: Co = coxa, Tr = trochanter, Pr = prefemur, Fe = femur, Ti = tibia, Ta = tarsus, Tc = tarsal claw

leg
 

4a.  No eyes, orange body colour; very large spine on leg 14 prefemur, leg 15 coxa and prefemur; coxal pores on legs 14 and 15 only (see drawing at right)
..........Anopsobiinae
4b.  1 eye on each side of head and brown body colour, or no eyes and orange body colour; no very large spines on legs 14 or 15; coxal pores on legs 12 to 15
..........Henicopinae; go to 5

anopsobiine
 

5a.  2+2 teeth on front edge of coxosternite (see image at right); adult 12 mm long or less
..........go to 6
5b.  At least 3+3 teeth on front edge of coxosternite; adult 15 mm long or more
..........go to 7

hellyeri
 

6a.  Brown or reddish; 1 eye on each side of head; usually 25 segments on each antenna
..........Lamyctes emarginatus
6b.  Orange; no eyes; usually 31 segments on each antenna
..........Lamyctes hellyeri

 

 

7a.  3+3 teeth on front edge of coxosternite; tarsi of legs 1-12 in 3 parts, of leg 15 in 6-7 parts; 37-44 segments on each antenna
..........Henicops maculatus


Henicops
Henicops

7b.  4+4 teeth on front edge of coxosternite; tarsi of all legs in 2 parts; 25-28 segments on each antenna
..........Paralamyctes (Edgecombegdus) mesibovi

Edgecombegdus

7c.  8+8 or 9+9 teeth on front edge of coxosternite; tarsi of legs 1-12 not divided, of legs 13 to 15 in 2 parts; 19-24 segments on each antenna
..........Paralamyctes (Haasiella) subicolus

Haasiella 
 

8a.  Adult to 60 mm long; blue or greenish colour; 4 eyes
..........Cormocephalus westwoodi

Cormocephalus

8b.  Adult 30 mm long or less; yellow or brown colour; no eyes
..........Cryptops species; go to 9

Cryptops
 

9a.  Last leg prefemur with groove free of setae (see image at right)
..........Cryptops hortensis
9b.  Last leg prefemur with no seta-free area
..........undescribed native Cryptops species

hortensis 
 

10a.  Antennae club-shaped
..........Ballophilus australiae

Ballophilus

10b.  Antennae tapering
..........go to 11

Steneurytion1
 

11a.  Cephalic plate (yellow in drawing at right) at least 1.5 times as long as wide; up to 41 leg-pairs
..........Steneurytion species

Steneurytion2

11b.  Cephalic plate about as wide as long or slightly longer; 41 or more leg-pairs (rarely 39)
..........go to 12

Geophilidae
 

12a.  Last sternite (yellow in drawing at right) wider than long, normally only 2 pores visible on each last leg coxopleuron; coastal areas only
..........Tuoba species

Tuoba

12b.  Last sternite about as wide as long, 6-10 large pores in 2 close rows on each last leg coxopleuron; gardens only
..........Geophilus flavus

Geophilus

12c.  Last sternite as long as wide or longer, numerous pores on all surfaces of last leg coxopleuron; all natural habitats and some gardens
..........Tasmanophilus species

Tasmanophilus

12a key drawing after Jones (1998)