Bute’s woodlice & friends – a checklist

Woodice (slaters), waterlice and landhoppers are crustacea; they are more closely related to crabs, lobsters and shrimps than to insects.

In general terms, crustacea are predominantly creatures of aquatic environments, sea and freshwater, whereas insects are predominantly creatures of the land and air.

With insects, it is easy to think of exceptions to the general rule. Insects adapted to aquatic environments  include water beetles, aquatic bugs, mayflies, and so on.

With crustacea, there are far fewer exceptions to the general rule. The main non-aquatic group are woodlice (slaters) which are well adapted to terrestrial environments, with some species able to survive even desert conditions.

There is also a small number of species of terrestrial amphipod crustacea (landhoppers), all native to the southern hemisphere. One of those species is now established in many parts of Britain, primarily in the west, including the Isle of Bute.

For convenience Britain’s single species of  terrestrial amphipod is included in the same recording scheme as woodlice.

Because Britain has very few species of freshwater isopod crustacea (waterlice or water slaters) these too are included in the same recording scheme as woodlice.

A checklist of Bute’s woodlice, waterlice and landhopper

CLASS Crustacea

   ORDER Isopoda

      SUBORDER Oniscidea: woodlice or slaters.

         Family Ligiidae
         Ligia oceanica, Sea Slater.

         Family Trichoniscidae
         Androniscus dentiger, Rosy Woodlouse.
         Trichoniscus pusillus agg, Common Pygmy Woodlouse (not yet clear whether this is T.pusillus
                  sensu stricto or T. provisorius)
         Trichoniscus pygmaeus,
Least Pygmy Woodlouse.
         Haplophthalmus mengei agg, Common Ridgeback (not yet clear whether this is H.mengei
                  sensu stricto or H.montivagus)
         Trichoniscoides saeroeensis, Coastal Red-eye.

         Family Philoscidae
         Philoscia muscorum, Common Striped Woodlouse or Fast Woodlouse.

         Family Oniscidae
         Oniscus asellus, Shiny Woodlouse.

         Family Armadillidididae
         Armadillidium vulgare, Common Pill Woodlouse.

         Family Cylisticidae
         Cylisticus convexus, False Pill Woodlouse.

         Family Porcellionidae
         Porcellio scaber, Rough woodlouse.
         Porcellio spinicornis, Painted Woodlouse.

      SUBORDER Asellota

         Family Asellidae: waterlice or water slaters
         Proasellus meridianus, One-spotted Waterlouse

   ORDER Amphipoda

         Family Talitridae
         Arcitalitrus dorrieni, Australian Landhopper


Collis, G.M. & Collis, V.D. (2004).  Woodlice and waterlice on Bute. Transactions of the Buteshire Natural History Society 26, 60-64.

Collis, G. & Collis, D. (2008).  The Pill Woodlouse, Armadillidium vulgare, at one-time horticultural nursery sites on Bute. Transactions of the Buteshire Natural History Society 27, 87-88. pdf

Collis, G. & Mulholland, N. (2012).  Cave spiders and Australian Landhoppers in a small Bute garden. Transactions of the Buteshire Natural History Society 28, 62-63.

Further reading

Gregory, S.J. (2009).  Woodlice and waterlice (Isopoda: Oniscidea and Asellota) In Britain and Ireland. Wallingford,: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Hopkin, S.P. (1991).  A key to the woodlice of Britain and Ireland. Preston Montford: Field Studies Council.

Internet resources

Recording Scheme / British Myriapod and Isopod Group


Last updated May 2013