New centipede uncovered in leaves of New York's Central Park

Newly discovered 12-millimetre centipede in New York's Central Park could be world's smallest and warrant a new category, scientists say.

Scientists in New York city say they've found a new type of centipede that may be the world's smallest.

The 12-millimetre centipede is the first new species to be found in Central Park in more than a century.

Richard Hoffman, a curator at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, discovered the centipede while compiling a list of all the species living in wooded sections of the park. The centipede is named Nannarrup hoffmani after its discoverer.

Researchers searched through piles of decomposing plant matter, sorted through the tiny insects and sent some centipedes and millipedes to Hoffman to identify.

Hoffman couldn't identify the tiny specimen and sent it to Italian scientists. They determined it was not only a new species, but also a new genus a broader category of similar animals that can include 100 or more species.

Hoffman said the poisonous centipede resembles some Asian species and probably hitched a ride to New York in potted soil.