© Stuart M Bennett 2000
Haplophilus subterraneus

This is one of the longest and broadest of the British "geophilid" (ground lover) centipedes. It is up to 70 mm long, and it may be 1.5 mm at its broadest point. The body tapers markedly towards the head, but less so towards the hind end. There are between 77 and 83 pairs of legs (make sure that none have been lost if you are counting them) and the head is slightly broader than it is long. The body is yellow to pale brown and the head is somewhat darker. This species is especially common in grassland soils and in arable fields, but it frequently crops up in gardens throughout the country. Although a geophilid species, it is often found under stones. It is the only British centipede which is known to cause damage by nibbling plant roots.

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