Common Striped Woodlouse

The Common Striped Woodlouse (Philoscia muscorum) is an isopod crustacean in the Philosciidae family of woodlice. It is also known as the Fast Woodlouse or the European Woodlouse. 

The Common Striped Woodlouse has a shiny, brown shell-like exo-skeleton (Iike armour), although it can be yellowish-brown with rows of spots. Its head is dark and it has a dark stripe on its back. It has long antennae. It has a segmented body. The last five segments are narrower than the other segments. 

Common Striped Woodlouse

It grows to about 1 centimetre (a third of an inch) long. 

The Common Striped Woodlouse is common throughout Europe. It can live in dry to wet habitats. It prefers to live in the base of old wood, like trees or wood piles. It eats leaf litter.

It is terrestrial because it lives on the ground. It can be seen all year round, but mainly from spring to autumn.

It can run faster than other woodlice. That’s why it is also called Fast Woodlouse.

The female Common Striped Woodlouse lays eggs, which she keeps in a pouch called a marsupium or a brood pouch, on the underside of her body. The eggs hatch into young woodlice.

Common Striped Woodlouse

Location of photographs: Paris, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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