Back to: Nature online

Walking with woodlice 2001


Other people's conclusions


It was a damp rainy morning, and we found mostly Oniscus asellus and about 10% Philoscia muscorum, especially under the laurels. Normally I would have expected to find a lot of Porcellio scaber (I've been observing our woodlice for 20 years!) but they didn't find many today. The woodlice under the planks had previously been subject to a mark and recapture exercise. We marked 38, and recovered 2 among the 17 total, sugesting a total population (other things being equal) of about 360 in that particular pile. - Hugh Farey, St. Richard's School, postcode HR7 4TD

 

WE found out that the most common woodlice is the philoscio muscorum. we also found that the south has the most woodlice and the north has the least.There are less woodlice now than what there were in 1985.I think all the species like roughly the same places. - Josh Czucha, Varndean school, postcode BN1 6NP

 

The Philosia muscomm is the most common woodlouse in the U.K. Cornwall has the most results in the U.K. And the least recorded woodlouse site is Ireland.. As far as research goes, Ireland has none. - Max Dickens, aged 12, Varndean School, postcode BN1 7FF

 

We found most woodlice under stones, under wood,under vegetation and in dark,damp places. - Year 4, Cwnfelinfach Primary School, postcode NP11 7HL

 

That the reason woodlice curl up into a ball is so they can protect themselves from prey. -
Chloe-Ann Crook, aged 12, The Ashcomb School, postcode RH5 5LN

 

I found a load of woodlice mixed in with an ants nest under some bricks, they turned out to be Philoscia muscorum although I wouldnt have known this without using your key. This was an enjoyable investigation! - Jamie-Lee Male, aged 14, Stonelands school, postcode BH8 0AD

 

In 1985 the population of woodlice covered the whole of Great Britain but now, 16 years later, they seem to have disappeared from Ireland and the extreme north of England and Wales. The total number of woodlice has decreased considerably. This may suggest that their habitat is being destroyed by deforestation etc. The land is being built on to provide more homes for humans but is taking away the homes of woodlice. Global warming has caused temperatures to rise, which is not suitable for woodlice. Therefore they are not surviving in such great numbers. Certain species favour certain regions because they have adapted to various factors of the regions, such as soil content and temperature. - Lucy Allen, aged 15, Stonelands school, postcode RH16 3TU

 

We found more shiney common woodlice than any other species. We found one common rough woodlouse and it gave birth to little woodlice.
- Danny Wood, age 14, Hardenhuish School, postcode: SN15 4RD

 

Seeing pictures and views of woodlice and finding different information. - Nathanial, age 9, Maryland School, postcode: E7 0AE

 

My conclusion is that I found both the Armadillium nasatum and the common rougths were the most common woodlice around our school. - Luke Prosser age 12, Matthew Arnald School, postcode: OX2 9JE

 

I have concluded that Philosica Muscorum is the most common breed of woodlice in woodland areas. They are a common breed and I was not surprised with this. - Nick Hargrave, age 13, RGS Guildford, postcode: GU1 3BB

 

The striped woodlouse is the less common in the UK. Many see the common rough woodlouse to be the most common - Tanya Ann Breach, age 12, Fisherton Manor School, postcode: SP2 7HJ

 

I found out that woodlice live in damp and light or dark places. I found 3 different types of woodlice which were: common rough, common shiney and common pygmy. The weather was pretty windy and damp. Also we found out that different kinds of woodlice live in different places - Ryan Moulton age 12, Woodland Middle school, postcode: MK45 1HY

 

Common pill woodlice are the least common in our area. - Ben McFarlane age 9, Cwmfelinfach Primary School

 

Most species of woodlice prefer gardens which means that they like some surroundings that humans provide. - Valya Aslanyan age 11, Burlington Junior School, postcode: KT3 5BD

 

I found different woodlice in different places. I found lots of different types. - Stephen Parker age 11, Heart of England School, postcode: CV77DX

 

We found out that there are lots of difrent speecees that we dint know abuot.we found it hard to find them because it was cold. - Samuel and Thomas aged 8, Tidcombe Primary School.

 

The common pill woodlouse was the only one found in drier areas of our school grounds. Perhaps rolling into a ball is an adaptation that reduces waterloss for survival. Some investigations possible here?
- Trinity Green Team, age : 12- 16 Trinity School, postcode : RG12 2DU

 

Woodlice prefer wet and dark places with food in.
- Paul Lewis, age 11, Emerson park school

 

I am not sure if my finding are correct as the woodlice were covered in mud
- Grace Connor, postcode CO12 5LL

 

We weren't sure when measuring the length how to deal with the question of whether they were full grown or not. The shiny question and darker stripe question we found could be subjective and was difficult in identifying species.
- Mike Clark, postcode CW2 8AE

 

We found the distinguishing character of 'shiny' in the key to be misleading, as both Oniscus and Porcellio seemed to us to be non-shiny on first observation. However, as an M.Sc Ecologist, I am reasonably confident of correct identification!
- Liz Gibbons, Yr 3, Fordingbridge Junior School, postcode SP6 1HJ

 

There don't seem to be many species of woodlice in one place at one time.
- Eddie Richards, postcode LD4 4DS

 

The key was very useful, but it didn't have all the woodlice we found in it. We didn't find the woodlice in the open we found them in soil and rockery. Some of them were to fast for us. I enjoyed finding them, and it was interesting.
- Yealmpton Primary School, postcode PL8 2HF

 

We found that hardly any off the woodlice we found rolled up into a ball.
- Gemma Humphreys, postcode Ex11 1nb

 

I think that a woodlice search is a very good idea, especially because it gets more people into woodlice and it makes them see for themselves that woodlice are NOT horrible, slimy and discusting pests.
- Lynne Medlock, postcode ME14 2JQ

 

This was the first real use of the internet for a group of 6 and 7 year olds. They found the work of identification difficult, but we feel quite sure that the woodlice listed were the ones we found. It was an excellent exercise for them. Please keep us posted with any new opportunities for investigation.
- SHIRLEY SCIENTISTS, postcode CB4 1RW

 

I found that the most common woodlouse that I found was the Common Pill woodlouse.
- Laura Bannister, postcode YO14 0AR

 

We had more common shiny woodlouces than any others so we think that they are more common than the other two speices of woodlouce that we found.- Rebecca Smith& Helen Shergold, postcode TN17 2PJ

 

They were all found in the same places and was amazed there are so many kinds-we think we found a nest of different woodlouse.
- Stephanie Willetts and Hayley Horton, postcode B63 2UL

 

Just before the survey was started, I was moving some limestone bricks in the graden, and uncovered an ant's nest. I saw a number of these small white woodlice and had trouble finding out what they were (until I visited your web site). I had assumed that they were juvenile forms. Now I know!! - Colin Hewitt, postcode PE8 5AN

 

The Ligidium hypnorum and the Androniscus dentiger are rare.- Joanne Lamb & Paula Flanagan, postcode BT7 3EF

 

We found it very difficult to positively identify all the woodlice we found. Two were definately a pinky / orangey colour although we could not clearly see a double yellow stripe. Rosy Woodlouse? Is there much colour variation within the same species or are these pinky coloured ones definately a different species?- Ben Flatt, postcode NR8 6UW

 

It was quite difficult to tell whether they where adult or baby woodlice!!
- The Greville School, postcode KT21 1SH

 

The common shiney woodlice were very large compared to the other types.
- Emily Alys Price, postcode LD2 3BS