2007 March 24


This week’s arthropod is probably Porcellio scaber, the common rough woodlouse. I found these under a toolbox in the basement. We don’t have many of them at the moment, because the basement is currently quite dry. Since they are crustaceans and actually breathe through gills, woodlice can’t tolerate dry conditions because their gills dry out. In the summer, when condensation makes the basement kind of damp, they become much more plentiful. They seem to be eating mildew and similar organic debris.


One Response
  1. Tim C permalink
    June 7, 2008

    One interesting tidbit about these (and pillbugs) is that they give birth to live young. In my younger years, as I was doing some gardening, I’d often tear these apart (they were often culprits for preying on our strawberries) and the larger ones would burst with tiny yellow miniatures. Kinda gross and skin-tingling, I know.

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