Symphyla

As they can be found in greenhouses, symphylans are sometimes known as ‘glasshouse symphylans’ or ‘garden centipedes’. There are approximately 200 described species.

Symphylans are small arthropods resembling centipedes. They are:

  • small (measuring from 2 to 10mm)
  • blind
  • soft-bodied
  • translucent

Their unpigmented bodies have between 15 to 24 segments. Adult symphylans have 12 pairs of legs, but they start life with only 6 pairs and add on a pair at each moult.

They are primarily detritivores and herbivores, feeding on plant matter. 

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