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

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.

Common Rough Woodlouse

Porcellio scaber

This woodlouse is narrower than the Common Shiny Woodlouse (Oniscus asellus), and greyer, although it can also appear mottled and lighter in colour. It has a rough surface, covered in tiny bumps, The end of the antennae (flagellum) is in two segments. Length 10mm.

After dark they forage for dead organic matter.

Seen all year round. Found in a wide variety of habitats, including woodland, hedgerows, waste ground, and quite numerous in gardens. They shelter under rocks or stones, rotting logs or plant detritus. This woodlouse may also be found inside dwellings, and can withstand more drier conditions compared to other species of woodlice. Probably the most common woodlouse found in Britain. Common and widespread throughout.

Photographs taken March and April 2014, rear garden, found under rotting log, Staffordshire