Minibeasts to look for in November — Woodlouse

Photo credit: Alfred Owen

Where to look

Damp places - leaf litter, under logs


There are 40 known species of woodlouse in Britain. Woodlice are the only land-living Crustacean (the group which has crabs, lobsters and shrimps) and belong to the smaller group, Isopoda, which means ‘equal feet’. This name comes from their seven pairs of nearly identical legs. Their bodies are made up of 12 segments and are flattened from top to bottom to help walking. Woodlice are detritivores (feeding on and breaking down dead plant or animal matter). Their diet is mainly made up of dead leaves, dead wood and some will also graze algae and fungi. They breathe through gills (like water animals) and so need water to be able to breathe which is why they live in damp places. Females carry a ‘brood pouch’ between their front legs which is where the eggs are kept. Once the eggs have hatched, they will stay in the pouch until they are big enough to survive on their own. Woodlice can live up to four years!  

Where we've found Woodlouses

Woodlouse spottings journal (5 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
4 Feb 2021 CasparB Caspar B Woodlouse
20 Nov 2020 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
5 May 2020 Garden Amélie Cooks&Co
30 Mar 2020 Gardn Ella The Weaver's
23 Mar 2020 Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project Found this woodlouse when planting some seeds today


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