FSC Centipedes AIDGAP is an identification guide to all 57 species of centipede in Britain. It includes 7 species that only occur in greenhouses.
Centipedes are some of the commonest larger arthropods in gardens, woodland and moorland. Indeed urban wasteland can be particularly rich. Additionally several species occur almost exclusively on the sea shore. They are immediately recognisable by their large number of legs, with one pair per segment.
However centipedes are relatively under-recorded. Although it is possible to identify a few species in the field, most need microscopic examination. Fortunately centipedes are fairly easy to find. Hand sorting under logs, stones and in leaf litter is useful. Many people use forceps to capture fast-moving animals.
Some specimen preparation is necessary after collection. This AIDGAP guide contains both a traditional dichotomous key plus tabular keys to the four British orders. Accompanying species accounts will help confirm identification. Overall this is the first accessible guide to these insects since Eason (1964). At least 10 new species have joined the British list since then.
This centipedes guide is part of the FSC’s AIDGAP series (Aids to Identification in Difficult Groups of Animals and Plants). The aim of AIDGAP series is to produce accessible keys suitable for non-specialists from age 16+. Although written by specialists, all AIDGAP guides go through field tests in draft form. As with all guides in the series, the Centipedes AIDGAP underwent extensive testing before publication, by beginners and specialists alike. The author has revised this, the first published version, in the light of the testers’ experience.
An erratum slip is available for this title.