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Centipede - Lithobius forficatus.


 
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: Centipede - Lithobius forficatus. Reply with quote

Centipede - Lithobius forficatus
by GPI

Plants affected
No noteworthy effect on plants.

Season(s) present.
All year round

Centipede - Lithobius forficatus , photo / picture / image.

Appearance of damage.
None

Cause/appearance
Arrow Our common Centipede is around 30mms in length with longer antennae than those of millipedes.
Arrow Contrary to popular belief, most of the centipedes found in Irish gardens do not in fact have one hundred legs per insect (fifty pairs). Instead it is more common to see them with fifteen pairs, one pair attached to each of its reddish-brown body segments.
Arrow The front pair of legs are modified into poisonous fangs located below the mouth, whereas the legs at the back of the insect are noted for being lengthy, allowing it to feel its way around.
Arrow Centipede are to be found under pots, pieces of wood, stones and the bark of trees.

Trouble?
Arrow Not at all. The Centipede poses no noteworthy threat to plants or the gardener.
Arrow They just feed on insects, spiders, and most importantly the eggs and larvae of that troublesome pest, the vine weevil.

Organic or cultural control.
None needed normally. However, removing plant debris, rubbish and hiding places for the Centipede around the site will result in a reduction of numbers.

Other Control.
None needed.


Video. Our common Centipede having dinner
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Nature notes.
Please note that Irishgardeners.com does not advocate the removal of animal or insect life, instead, this forum encourages wildlife preservation. However, there are occasions where a wildlife becomes a problem within the garden for certain people. Be aware that wildlife is a link in the chain of life, benefiting something or someone down the chain. Please at least think about this before you remove wildlife from your site.

Any queries or comments on Centipede - Lithobius forficatus, please post below.

Back to Pests of the Garden in Ireland - Prevention and Control.

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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James, as always, great reading. I have a question, as I was a bit worried about the large number of centipedes sheltering under the leaves of the lettuce in my polytunnel - and it is this:

Are they definitely not interested in eating veg? And are there other insects that look almost identical that are? Just that their appearance has been at the same time as a fair bit of biting going on across my lettuce plants. Probably slugs to blame, but I want to be sure.

Thanks!
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


Are they definitely not interested in eating veg?


No, not interested in Veg.


Quote:
And are there other insects that look almost identical that are?


Millipedes possibly.
They have shorter almost non existent antennae.
They can munch on seedlings alright.

I'd say your problem is slugs though.

If you can will you post up a pic of your Centipede/Millipede.
Then I can tell you more.

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galwaybeginner
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Location: Galway, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks James. Taking it that I fount 10 slugs in the last 24 hours I'd say the centipedes are innocents accused of heinous crimes against vegetation!
If I see more of the centipedes I'll get a pic and post.
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