Geophilus flavus (Family: Geophilidae)

Recorded here as a most likely species as we cannot be sure of it’s identification. Online sources state this species has no true sense of vision but can detect light, smell and movement (vibration). We come across them from time to time but generally only when digging, moving objects or turning compost.

Below are a couple of short clips, the first showing this species in its soil environment, hiding from the microscope light. The second once isolated in a petri dish to get a better focus. In the first video, note the damaged bristletail. It is unclear if this injury, which eventually killed the creature, was by our hands or by G.flavus or perhaps some other species.

Whilst reading up about this species online we did stumble on an interesting fact about centipedes in general. The number of pairs of legs a centipede has is always odd, so for example you don’t get centipedes with 100 legs (50 pairs) as the name suggests. This is because at the embryonic stage segments are add one at a time but that segment then always divides into two (effectively it halves), this means you add two segments at a time. However when the first segment divides into two, one contains the claws and the other the first pair of legs. So you start with one pair of legs and then subsequently add two segments (2 pairs of legs) each time, so 1pair, 3 pairs, 5 pairs etc….