A small woodlouse, found under a flower pot. No more than 1cm in length. Did not roll into a ball. Appears to have orange edges to its body.
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Apologies WR! Didn't intend to add a second ID - took me so long to mull this one over that I didn't realise you'd already posted! I'm slightly less confident now. What do you think?
You could be right Porcellio spinicornis has obvious lemon markings that i cant see
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You could be right Porcellio spinicornis has obvious lemon markings that i cant see but I have just noticed the second image and this is not typical as you say I am sure Steve Gregory can give an ID I've revised it to Porcellio Again I am not sure what level of matuurity the specimen might be etc
...but not an easy call. Atypical for both species. On balance I would go for P.scaber. I ruled out Cylisticus which has a similar pigment pattern. The pattern is 'wrong' for P.spinicornis. It has to be P.scaber, which is very variable. I guess this is the sort of unhelpful comment that only an expert could get away with?
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Yes, I'm really not confident either way. Am using Stephen Hopkins key to Woodlice and only really beginning to familiarise myself with them in the field, so don't have a great amount of experience with live specimens and variations to draw upon. The head is also quite dark which kind of egged me on to plump for spinicornis. Will be really interested to see what Steve Gregory comes up with.
I am greatly reassured by Steves Comments as I kept looking for the spinicornis markings Perhaps its a pigment maturing or the like as common with many insects . What can you tell if any thing about the level of maturity ??
We are certain it is a Porcellio though
Sometimes things need to be classified in the great i-spot category known as unknown mysteries . Happy spotting to all and keep snapping Clare
Again I was pipped by another post! Steve - i posted my last comment before seeing yours - apologies! Your comment was far from unhelpful - as WLR says, I feel reassured by your assessment of this one! Will look forward to more woodlouse discussions soon...........
to you both..........
Not to confuse the issue, (which is why I've not added a possible ID... ;-) but could this be Trachelipus rathkii? I can't quite make out the details of things like the antennal flagellum segmentation, but the form and colour pattern are getting very familiar to me from all the ones I've seen lately over here...
Feel free to shoot this down in flames - consider it me being devil's advocate time. :o)
It's good to have additional input and you may be correct. Without examining the specimen we can't be certain.
Trachelipus is a species I am very familiar with (both live and dead). After Armadillidium vulgare, it is by far the most common woodlouse in pitfall traps where I am currently working, and I have been staring at hundreds of immature Trachelipus (of all sizes) for weeks now. I never once thought this iSpot image could be of that species. In the iSpot image the orange body fringe, and orange base to antennae, would be atypical. However, that doesn't mean that I am correct in that assumption of Porcellio. The Avon would be a classic Trachelipus location.
Thus, I went to Steve Hokin's 1991 AIDGAP key (pg 625) which uses the shape of anterior tergites as a character to separate Trachelipus from P. scaber (a character I don't consider easy to use). The iSpot image keyed out as P.scaber/spinicornis.
I have a tube full of Trachelipuses (or is it Trachelipi?). Perhaps I should post a selection of age classes on iSpot?
Fair enough, Steve, and thanks for checking - I just thought the patterning was close enough to the ones I'm seeing to be worth considering. I'm sure you're right, honestly... ;o)
Thanks for that Steve useul thread
Gosh, didn't realise one little woodlouse could cause so much confusion! :-)
So, is the general consensus P. scaber?
Hi All, yes I second both the above comments whole heartedly. WLR - this is an extremely useful thread - thanks so much to Steve for his expert input. And Liz yes, i too had thought about how much discussion that little unsuspecting critter had caused....!
On general consensus, I would not presume to speak for others but would it be ok to say, on the basis of the photograph it looks likely to be P. scaber but without examination of the specimen, in this case, we really cannot be sure?
Steve, as there is obviously some interest it may well be worth posting some photographs (if you have time!)of preserved specimens which we can then refer back to. Perhaps these could go in the Invertebrates strand of the forums section? I will draw attention to these whenever I can.
Many thanks all.
An interesting discussion.
Great images Steve, great resource thank you. Have put a comment & link in the Inverts forum for anyone else who may be interested.
Have fun with the woodlice, Steve
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