A coastal centipede (Strigamia maritima)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Strigamia maritima is a centipede, its worm-like body is divided into a head and a trunk. The trunk is subdivided into segments, all but two of which have a pair of walking legs. Segment number may vary between Strigamia maritima individuals. The first pair of modified legs are poison claws on the head. The last pair are strong and brightly coloured and used in display. It has two pairs of antennae coming off the head region.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded off the south-west coasts of England and the west coasts of Scotland. Possibly under recorded.

Global distribution



Strigamia maritima is a littoral and supralittoral species found in a variety of coastal habitats.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Up to 15 cm in length.
  • Segmented worm-like body with one pair of legs per segment.
  • Fourteen segments in the antennae.
  • A spiracle is present on every segment except the first and last.
  • Pores over ventral surface of the the first segment of each leg.

Additional information

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Listed by

- none -


  1. Cheng, L. (ed.), 1976. Marine insects. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company.

  2. Eason, E.H., 1964. Centipedes of the British Isles. Frederick Warne, Oxford.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Lewis, J.G.E. 1981. The Biology of Centipedes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.


  1. Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre, 2017. BRERC species records recorded over 15 years ago. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/h1ln5p accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Buglife, 2017. Invertebrate records from sites that are mainly across Scotland. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/aaxvmc accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-18.

  3. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  4. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  5. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. Fife Nature Records Centre combined dataset. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ccc1ip accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  6. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/xtrbvy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  7. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  8. Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, 2017. NBIS Records to December 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jca5lo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. North East Scotland Biological Records Centre, 2017. NE Scotland other invertebrate records 1800-2010. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ifjfxz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-04-25

  11. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Myriapods, Isopods, and allied species (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/rvxsqs accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  12. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service., 2017. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service (SBIS) Dataset. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ab4vwo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  13. West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre, 2017. WTSWW Data: All Taxa (West Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/gaakk2 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Strigamia maritima A coastal centipede. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25-04-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/88

Last Updated: 22/05/2008