Common Shore Crab

Carcinus maenas

Also called the ‘European Green Crab’, this crab is fairly variable in colour, but typically marbled dark green, brown or reddish. It has an angular-oval carapace with 5 teeth on each side and 3 rounded lobes between the eyes. Carapace width up to 10cm.

The Common Shore Crab is a scavenger of carrion and plant material, it also feeds on molluscs, other crustaceans and worms.

Found on all shore types middle to lower shore, under seaweed or rocks, and in rock pools. Common and widespread. Britain’s most commonest seashore crab.

Photographs taken April 2014, Llanduno, Wales and August 2015, Meadfoot Beach, Torquay, Devon

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.

Common Striped Woodlouse

Philoscia muscorum

It is grey-brown in colour, with a dark head and dorsal stripe. Length 11mm.

Seen after dark where they forage for dead organic matter.

Seen all year round. Found in damp leaf litter, under rocks and stones in various habitats, including gardens. Common and widespread.

Photographs taken May 2014, rear garden, found under stone, Staffordshire.