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.