Pill Woodlouse

Armadillidium vulgare

This woodlouse rolls itself up into a tight ball when threatened. They are light brown to purplish-black in colour, or grey and mottled yellow. They have several plates at the rear which help distinguish it from similar pill millipedes, and have fewer legs. Underneath, towards the rear, it has pale patches which are 2 pairs of lungs. Often confused with the Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata). Length 18mm.

After dark they forage for dead organic matter.

Seen all year round. Found in various places, including woodland, hedgerows and gardens. It can tolerate drier conditions than other species of woodlice. Common and widespread throughout.

Photographs taken May 2014, rear garden, on patio, Staffordshire.


4 thoughts on “Pill Woodlouse

  1. Pillbugs were part of my life growing up, but I seldom saw them. They avoided sunlight and scuttled back under vegetation or into cracks if discovered. Many years later when I returned I was surprised to find them out on sidewalks and steps, unphased by heat and light. I don’t know if they had adapted or a new species had taken their place … so many things are changing in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had not seen one before in my garden before 2014, or maybe I had and just though it an ordinary woodlouse. But this was out in the open on a bright day also. But I also see the other species out and about in the day. Maybe it is the amount of rain we are getting now.


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