Chilopoda

ChilopodaChilopoda (centipedes), together with Diplopoda and the often neglected Pauropoda and Symphyla, belong to the myriapod Antennata (Myriapoda). Worldwide currently 3.000 species, and for Central Europe more than 500 species of Chilopoda are known. Generally all Chilopoda are furtive, hygrophilic and predatory soil organisms.

ChilopodaThey are commonly found in leaf litter, deadwood and also on tree trunks. They are nocturnal invertebrate predators, feeding on, e.g., springtails (Collembola), worms, plant lice and insect (dipteran) larvae. Chilopoda show almost no preference for certain rock or soil types, but are more influenced by prey availability and Strigamia_acuminatamicroclimate conditions (vegetation cover, humus form). The strongest preference for certain soil types is found in the euedaphic Geophilomorpha.

Thus, they are more suitable as indicators for soil conditions than the epedaphic Lithobiomorpha. However, the high biological indicatory importance of this animal group predominantly emerges at the community level, i.e., species composition and their changes in time and space can indicate changes in the local soil structure.