jpinnick's picture

Marine centipede

Observed: 27th April 2013 By: jpinnick
Marine centipede

I found this creature buried inside a partially submerged traffic cone whilst taking part in a beach clean. It appears to me to be some kind of marine centipede.
The only species which I could find on the MarLIN website is Strigamia maritima but the appearance doesn't match and S.maritima appears to have an exclusively west coast distribution in the UK.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture


I have agreed with Mark.
It has the anatomy of a ragworm and appears to be exiting from a burrow.
Probably like Mark (I do not want to do him an injustice though) I spent a good while on the web looking for clues. He beat me to a low-level ID by 30 seconds.
Start here perhaps
You are looking for the head shape, which seems distinctive.

stevegregory's picture

Marine Centipedes in Britain

Centipedes are never truely marine. In Britian, Hydroschendyla and Strigamia maritima will occur just below the high tide mark, and within the supralitorral above. S. maritaima is common around the ENTIRE coast of Britain. MarLIN and NBN data are not up to date for centipedes (work in progress).


dejayM's picture


Nice to see this sort of Comment Steve - thanks.
Only 102 records via NBN - a poor record considering the number of contributing datasets.
Do you have any more precise thoughts about the ID above? The 'head' looks pretty IDable.

stevegregory's picture

I can't do better

I can't do better than 'ragworm'. Polychaete annelids are not my area. However I do know that the centipede Hydroschendyla submarina feeds on polycheates (but that doesn't help with your id).

dejayM's picture


Thanks Steve..
I see this one is gathering agreements.
You are quoted here

stevegregory's picture


Hi Derek,

Thanks for the heads-up. As you have probably guessed I'm not here for personal glory, but to assist others to avoid falling into the 'traps' that lead to incorrect identifications. I am also learning a lot from others (that includes you) who know more about the many 'things' that I don't know much about. It's a two way process for me.