Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside



Apologies to any squeamish readers, but I went out on a woodlouse hunt, to see if I could find the three different species that I found back in June when I did my ‘bioblitz‘.

It didn’t take long to find them, but taking their photos was a bit trickier, as they really don’t like sitting still in bright light.  I deleted a large number of blurred shots to get these more reasonable ones.

I don’t expect everyone to appreciate their beauty, but I do really rather love them.  When I was little, we used to collect them in jars, and have woodlouse ‘farms’ in cardboard boxes.  I was vaguely aware that they didn’t all look the same – I thought the flatter ones looked a bit scary – but just thought they were different stages of the same thing.  But no!  I think these are correctly named, but please let me know if you know otherwise, thank you.

Here’s the Rough Woodlouse again – great sculptural detail on the body plates.  I don’t think these roll up.

rough woodlouse

Rough Woodlouse (Porcellio scaber) – I presume the scientific name means ‘rough piglet’, which is rather cute.

Now the Common Shiny Woodlouse (the ones I used to be scared of).  I don’t think these can roll up.

Common Shiny Woodlouse

Common Shiny Woodlouse (Oniscus asellus) – I don’t think this one rolls up.

And finally, the Common Pillbug or Common Woodlouse or Roly-poly – which definitely does roll up.  this was a particularly shiny one (or maybe I’ve misidentified it).

Pill Woodlouse

Pill Woodlouse (Armadillidium vulgare) – I presume that means common little armadillo – even cuter.

Pill Woodlouse

Pill Woodlouse – rolled up

And finally, a beautiful little yellow snail – only about 1cm across.

A small yellow snail

A small yellow snail


Author: Hedwigia

Gardener, wildlife geek, and very slow runner.

14 thoughts on “Mini-beasts

  1. Love these photos! I noticed the “rivets” on the first one and thought it almost appears to be man-made. We collected them when we were children, too, but only to watch them roll up, much the same as when we touched the sensitive plant to watch it wilt.
    Thanks for sharing these!
    And I would love to visit England some day, and visit all my blog friends there and in Scotland. Mmm…:)

  2. I like the last little fellow but I can run very swiftly past woodlice!

    • My youngest is completely phobic about them (refuses to look at pictures of them) – probably from when we had a rickety old shed that usually dropped woodlice into your hair when you opened the door. You wouldn’t have liked that much, either.

  3. I’m so shallow. I was all cringing until I realized it was a rolly polly and then I went “awwww!”
    In other news, I had to google bed bugs today and just looing at the photos of them made me feel itchy all over.

  4. Bedbugs at work? Eeeeeuuuuuggggghhhh!

  5. “Bedbugs at work”…would make a GREAT yellow caution sign for a bedroom! 😆

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