Stone Centipedes

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The Stone Centipedes of the BC coastal region

Flat Back Centipede, stone centipedes
Flat Back Centipede, Photo By Bud Logan

Stone Centipedes (Flat Centipedes) are part of the Lithobiidae family. Stone Centipedes can live up to 3 years. Stone centipedes can be found in a wide variety of environments. Centipedes have a wide geographical range, reaching beyond the Arctic Circle, they are quite common on all of Vancouver Island. Centipedes can be found in many types of habitats from tropical rain forests to deserts and everything between.

Centipedes require a moist habitat because they lose water rapidly through the skin. Look for them in soil and leaf litters, under stones and dead wood, and inside logs.

Centipedes hunt for their food at night and are very active. One of their favorite types of food is the woodlice. The stone centipede is an omnivore that uses venom to kill their prey. Their venom is located in the first pair of modified legs, there are modified fangs at the ends. Centipedes hunt insects like earthworms, spiders, and other small creatures. The stone centipede uses his antennas to seek out their prey.

They have a flattened, segmented body, long antennas and many legs. The centipede’s body is divided into two parts, the head and a segmented trunk and they breathe through holes in their body. Centipedes have a hard exoskeleton that protects their soft internal organs.

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