PaulChallinor's picture

Oniscus asellus_13-04-21_02

Observed: 21st April 2013 By: PaulChallinorPaulChallinor’s reputation in InvertebratesPaulChallinor’s reputation in InvertebratesPaulChallinor’s reputation in InvertebratesPaulChallinor’s reputation in Invertebrates
Oniscus asellus_13-04-21_02

Found under wood planks in the veg garden. Did not roll up when disturbed. About 8-10mm in length. Shiny in appearance.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture


Excellent photo Paul, despite movement.
It is SO nice to see Description Notes. I DO wish everyone would do this. Well done.

PaulChallinor's picture

Thanks dejayM

Last year started to try and record the wildlife appearing in the garden. Slowing getting through it where I can provide some chance of a correct identification.

stevegregory's picture

Could Oniscus asellus ssp. occidentalis

The small size, bright colour and slightly domed body make me think this could be the Western Shiny Woodlouse Oniscus asellus ssp. occidentalis, mostly known from south-west England and south Wales. Unfortunately need a male to be certain!

PaulChallinor's picture

Thanks Steve

SWEBREC is holding an ID course in September, so I've applied to get on it to help me. If I see anymore what could I do with it to get an ID?

stevegregory's picture

Oniscus asellus occidentalis

Hi Paul

Oniscus asellus occidentalis is more brightly coloured and 'domed' than the average flat grey O.a.asellus, but can only be reliably identified from a male specimen. Pop some specimens in a tube of 70% alcohol (isopropyl alcohol can be bought from chemist?) or vodka in short term! Hybrids are frequent, and these are most likely common in South Wales. You'll need a handlens and a copy of David Bilton's 1994 paper (I can email a pdf). See abstract (or download if you have access) at:

Bilton's 1999 paper puts the two sub-species into context - download pdf at:

Badger Greg Jones for more details about O.a.occidentalis when you're doing your course (though this is hardly beginners woodlousing!). It should be about in South Wales!

I'm always willing to check specimens (or images if good enough!) of any woodlice, millipedes or centipedes.

Sorry - lots of waffle, but a subject I know lots about....


dejayM's picture

no waffle

Gosh Steve - that what I would call a response!
Join us in Marine Inverts!

stevegregory's picture

Me got no coast to play with :-(

Unfortunately only Jurassic/Cretaceous coastline in Oxfordshire, but thanks for the offer :-)

PaulChallinor's picture

Thanks again

No waffle detected! Missed out on the woodlouse ID course, but got a place on the beginners cranefly course. Off to the chemist when I get back to the chemist. Thanks also for the links, however unable to access the Wiley article - only have access to my dialysis journals.