A modern atlas of Nottinghamshire Woodlice
Despite the near certainty of at least two (probably three) species of Woodlouse being present in every single square kilometer of the county, the recording of these particularly common and easily accessible invertebrates in Nottinghamshire has always been limited.
Even when the great Victorian naturalists were at their peak, collecting and recording our local invertebrate fauna over a century ago, virtually none of them seemed to have any real interest in Woodlice and there were just eight species on the Nottinghamshire list by the turn of this century.

Recent years have seen a renewed interest in both Myriapods (Centipedes and Millipedes ) and Isopods (Woodlice and Waterlice) and that interest has generated a huge increase in the number of records from Nottinghamshire of both groups. Our own contribution has been over 1,500 records since our interest began in 2013, with over 500 of these being records of Woodlice.

These records have recently been passed on to the Nottingham Biological and Geological Record Centre, and will subsequently filter down to the respective national recording schemes. With many records coming during the colder months of the year, one of the attractions for someone wishing to broaden their natural history interest, would be to begin recording Centipedes and Millipedes. That then, usually leads to an interest in recording Woodlice. This updated (February 2018) Atlas attempts to produce up to date distribution maps of all the Woodlice recorded in the county over recent years.

We have again not used any historical records in the maps, but have listed all the species we can trace as having been recorded in the county. Waterlice (Asellidae) have not been included again, but Asellus aquaticus is abundant in most water bodies throughout Nottinghamshire.

Nottinghamshire's historical Woodlice records

With a general lack of interest in Isopods remaining until 2013, J.W. Carr's book "The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire" published in 1916, was all we had available to us, from which to source records for a county atlas of Nottinghamshire Woodlice. As prolific as most of the Victorian naturalists were, it seems that only C.E. Pearson and J.W. Carr himself, actually did any Woodlice recording in the county. Pearson provided Nottinghamshire's only record of Porcellio dilatatus from a Chilwell greenhouse, while both naturalists also recorded the county's only records of Porcellionides pruinosus from Chilwell, Lowdham and Sherwood Rise in Nottingham.

Between them, Carr and Pearson recorded Armadillidium vulgare (Common Pill Woodlouse), Oniscus asellus (Common Shiny Woodlouse), Philoscia muscorum (Common Striped Woodlouse), Platyarthrus hoffmannseggi (Ant Woodlouse), Porcellio dilatatus, Porcellio scaber (Common Rough Woodlouse) Porcellionides pruinosus (Plum Woodlouse) and Trichoniscus pusillus (Common Pygmy Woodlouse) in Nottinghamshire.


Androniscus dentiger

Haplophthalmus danicus

Haplophthalmus mengii

Trichoniscoides albidus


Trichoniscus provisorius

Trichoniscus pusillus

Trichoniscus pygmaeus

Philoscia muscorum


Platyarthrus hoffmannseggi

Oniscus asellus

Porcellio dilatatus

Porcellio scaber


Porcellio spinicornis

Porcellionides pruinosus

Armadillidium depressum

Armadillidium nasatum


Armadillidium vulgare

Several other discoveries followed in the 1960's and 1970's. All involved very small, soil-dwelling woodlice including Haplophthalmus danicus from near Rufford CP in 1961 (Standen, V.), both Trichoniscus pygmaeus and Trichoniscoides albidus from West Bridgford in 1975 (Rundle, A.J.) and Trichoniscus provisorius from Sutton Bonington (Fussey, G.D.). All four species have been recorded again in the past year or so.

Recent Woodlice recording in Nottinghamshire

Aware that no naturalists had made any recent attempts to record Woodlice for a number of years, we began to make efforts to record them in 2013. Within just a few months, we had added both Androniscus dentiger (Rosy Woodlouse) and Armadillidium depressum as being new to Nottinghamshire in 2013. It must be considered likely, that more species are awaiting discovery. In September 2016 we recorded Armadillidium nasatum from Southwell Garden Centre and then later from the site of the former Bilsthorpe Colliery in July 2017. Haplopthalmus mengii was also added to the county list in 2017 and more species must surely be awaiting discovery.

Porcellionides pruinosus and Porcellio dilatatus records on the NBN Atlas

A search of the NBN Gateway, provided recent records for both Porcellionides pruinosus and Porcellio dilatatus from over the Nottinghamshire border in Leicestershire at Normanton (Daws, J.), but our research provided no modern Nottinghamshire records. However, both species have recently been recorded (late 2015 and early 2016).

In suitable habitat, Porcellionides pruinosus is probably widespread over much of Nottinghamshire, but Porcellio dilatatus may prove to be more difficult to find. Porcellio dilatatus often associates with Porcellionides pruinosus and the two species are characteristic Woodlice of farms, often found in well-established manure heaps, but also under stones and other farm debris/rubbish.

Carr, J.W. (1916) The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire. Nottingham: J.& H. Bell Ltd.
Carr, J.W. (1935) The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire. Supplement. Nottingham: J.& H. Bell Ltd.
Gregory, S. (2009) Woodlice and Waterlice (Isopoda: Oniscidea & Asellota) in Britain and Ireland.  Field Studies Council/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.
NBN Gateway.
Species distribution maps

The distribution maps are presently built upon the records of the following contributors. Keith and Belinda Lugg, Wil Heeney, Derek Whiteley, Paul Richards , Meg Skinner, Tim Sexton, Darren Matthews, Trevor and Dilys Pendleton, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Netherfield Wildlife Group and the National Trust.

Androniscus dentiger (Verhoeff, 1908)   Haplophthalmus danicus (Budde-Lund, 1880)
Nottinghamshire distribution: A small (4-5mm) Woodlouse which is found under logs and stones. This beautifully coloured species is turning out to be widespread, but thinly scattered across much of western Nottinghamshire and has been recorded from a number of synanthropic sites.   Nottinghamshire distribution: This is a tiny Woodlouse and one of three extremely similar species of Haplophthalmus found in the UK. Because they are so small (to as little as 4mm) and are completely soil-dwelling, there are still very few Nottinghamshire records, but it is starting to be found more. Now known from Rufford, Sherwood Forest CP, Clipstone Old Quarter and found at Cuckney in early 2018.
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Haplophthalmus mengii (Zaddach, 1844)   Trichoniscoides albidus (Budde-Lund, 1880)
Nottinghamshire distribution: Haplophthalmus mengii is another tiny subterranean Woodlouse, which seems to have been unknown from Nottinghamshire, until a single specimen was found underneath a small log part-buried in old bark chippings at Ransom Wood in August 2017 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). It was recorded at Clipstone Old Quarter in Sherwood Forest (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) in October that same year and at Attenborough NR (Sexton, T.) in early 2018. Probably more common than the lack of records suggests.   Nottinghamshire distribution: Discovered as new to Nottinghamshire when found at two sites on the River Trent at Farndon near Newark (Whiteley, D.) in January 2016 and more recently found amongst flood debris along banks of the Trent at Stoke Bardolph (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) in February 2017.
Trichoniscus provisorius (Racovitza, 1908)   Trichoniscus pusillus (Brandt, 1833)
Nottinghamshire distribution: Almost certainly as common and widespread as the visually identical Trichoniscus pusillus. Because of the identification difficulties, the male needs examining under a microscope to identify to species level. Trichoniscus provisorius was once considered to be a form of Trichoniscus pusillus Brandt, 1833, but was given full species status a number of years ago. The only records are from Sutton Bonington in 1979 (Fussey, G.D.) and Sherwood Forest CP in February 2018 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.).   Nottinghamshire distribution: An extremely common and very small Woodlouse, with a length of just 4mm at maximum. These are often found under logs in most damp habitats, but there is one other visually identical species of which the male needs examining under a microscope to identify.
Trichoniscus pygmaeus (Sars, 1898)   Philoscia muscorum (Scopoli, 1833)
Nottinghamshire distribution: Almost certainly more widespread than the distribution map would suggest. This tiny woodlouse was not recorded in Nottinghamshire for many years after records from West Bridgford in 1975 (Rundle, A.J.) and Sutton Bonington in 1979 (Fussey, G.D.) and 1990 (Daws, J.). Single specimens were found at Market Warsop (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) and Cockglode Wood (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) in 2018.   Nottinghamshire distribution: A common Woodlouse, usually found in more vegetated areas and regularly encountered on low foliage after dark. A fairly fast moving and well marked species, which has turned up in urban and suburban gardens.
Platyarthrus hoffmannseggi (Brandt, 1833)   Oniscus asellus ssp. asellus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Nottinghamshire distribution: A small, but regularly encountered white Woodlouse, which is far more widespread in the county than our distribution map would suggest. It spends its entire life underground in ant nests, with Lasius niger, Lasius flavus and Myrmica rubra, being the commonest host species for this 3-4mm long Woodlouse.   Nottinghamshire distribution: A very common Woodlouse, which is probably present in every single Km square in Nottinghamshire. It is found in all habitats including urban gardens and is one of our most familiar species.
Porcellio dilatatus (Brandt, 1833)   Porcellio scaber (Latreille, 1804)
Nottinghamshire distribution: Nationally described as being rare, Porcellio dilatatus is typically a Woodlouse of synanthropic sites and often found on or around farms. In Nottinghamshire, the only known record was from a greenhouse in Chilwell in the early 1900's and there were no subsequent records, until we found it present in an old milking shed at a Lambley farm in January 2016. Despite seemingly being so rare in the county, it is likely to be present at other Nottinghamshire farms.   Nottinghamshire distribution: An extremely common Woodlouse across the whole of Nottinghamshire and probably present in every square Km of the county. It is found under logs and stones etc, often in large numbers.
Porcellio spinicornis (Say, 1818)   Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833)
Nottinghamshire distribution: A common and well distributed Woodlouse over most of the UK, although large areas devoid of records are more likely representative of recorder coverage than species distribution. In Nottinghamshire, Porcellio spinicornis was previously known only from a single West Bridgford record in 1975 (Holdich, D.M.) but we found this Woodlouse to be common underneath loose mortar on several Nottinghamshire Churches during 2015.   Nottinghamshire distribution: A common and well distributed Woodlouse over most of the UK and presumably in Nottinghamshire, although there have been only two recent records. Found at Tug Bridge Farm near Eakring in December 2015, just a few weeks after one was found at Brackenhurst near Southwell (Heeney, W. and Skinner, M. . Lugg, K. and Lugg, B.). Despite the scarity of county records, Porcellionides pruinosus will very likely be encountered within the manure heaps of many Nottinghamshire farms.
Armadillidium depressum (Brandt, 1833)   Armadillidium nasatum (Budde-Lund, 1885)
Nottinghamshire distribution: A large Woodlouse with the ability to roll into a slightly open ball when threatened. This characteristic is a useful technique in helping to determine identity, but should not be used alone when confirming identification. Armadillidium depressum was a surprise find on the wall of Carr Bank Park, on Bath Lane in Mansfield in 2013 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.), when found tucked into a small eroded piece of stonework and measured 18mm in length. Has been recorded at the same location since and also at Mapperley. Generally a Woodlouse of the south-west UK.   Nottinghamshire distribution: Discovered as new to Nottinghamshire in September 2016, when several specimens were found at the Southwell Garden Centre (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). It was also found in good numbers on the site of the former Bilsthorpe Colliery in 2017 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). It is often recorded from old quarries, garden centres and brownfield sites and has been well recorded in neighbouring Leicestershire for years (Daws, J.) and should continue to turn up at more sites in Nottinghamshire.
ISOPODA - ONISCIDEA - CRINOCHETA - Armadillidiidae    
Armadillidium vulgare (Latreille, 1804)    
Nottinghamshire distribution: A common Woodlouse which could easily be mistaken for the Pill Millipede (Glomeris marginata). It is usually found under logs or stones, but does not seem to be widespread in the county. However, it can be found in small numbers at Warsop Main Pit Top and at many other sites in the Mansfield area. Armadillidium vulgare rolls into a complete, enclosed ball in defence.    
Modern Atlases of Nottinghamshire Woodlice

The second revision of our Atlas of Nottinghamshire Woodlice is now available to download as a pdf file. There have been a number of new species of Woodlice added to the county list since 2015, so this revision sees updates to all species accounts and the latest (Jan 2018) distribution maps for each species. Published February 2018