Woodlice, Crustaceans



Woodlice are crustaceans and fall into the order Isopoda. They are predominantly vegetarian, eating mainly decomposing plant matter. They have seven pairs of legs and external 'book-lungs' which makes them vulnerable to drying out, hence they are nocturnal and hide in damp places during the day. There are 37 known species in the UK, some of which are very common and familiar. Six species in particular (the big 6) are found just about everywhere and are probably in your garden (if you have one).

Other UK non-marine crustaceans include Crayfish and an array of mainly small aquatic species.

Leicestershire and Rutland Resources

Leicestershire Woodlice - Jon Daws

Useful Websites and Publications


British Myriapod and Isopod Recording Group - a useful portal to resources such as keys for millipedes, centipedes and woodlice.

The Cladocera Interest Group host an excellent website with free downloadable keys and guides to species in the group, including Daphnia sp.

Video: Identifying UK Woodlice


A Key to the Woodlice of Britain and Ireland - part of the AIDGAP series produced by the Field Studies Council. Excellent. Includes good photos as well as the key.

Woodlice and Waterlice (isopoda: Oniscidea & Asellota) in Britain and Ireland - includes photos, descriptions and distribution maps. Has useful photos to help with identification, though not designed as an id guide.

If you know of other websites or books that you would recommend, do let us know: info@naturespot.co.uk

Recording Schemes

As with all records, any submissions you make to NatureSpot will be automatically forwarded to both local and national recording schemes.

Visit our County Recorders page to find out who is the CR in VC55 (Leicestershire and Rutland).