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 (January 2023) Atlas attempts to produce up to date distribution maps of all the Woodlice recorded in the county over recent years. Historical records have not been incorporated into the maps, but all those species traceable as having been recorded in the county are indeed listed. Waterlice (Asellidae) have not been included again, but Asellus aquaticus is abundant in most water bodies throughout Nottinghamshire.

Nottinghamshire's historical Woodlice records

A general lack of interest in Isopods remained 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 (one time) 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 affinis


Philoscia muscorum

Platyarthrus hoffmannseggi

Oniscus asellus

Porcellio dilatatus


Porcellio scaber

Porcellio spinicornis

Porcellionides pruinosus

Trachelipus rathkii


Cylisticus convexus

Armadillidium depressum

Armadillidium nasatum

Armadillidium vulgare

Several other discoveries followed in the 1960's and 1970's. Most involved the smaller, 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.) in 1979. The much larger Cylisticus convexus, was recorded from the old Boughton Tip (now known as Ollerton Pit Woods) in 1986 (Langston, M.R.). All five 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 and within the space of a few months had added both Androniscus dentiger (Rosy Woodlouse) and Armadillidium depressum as being new to Nottinghamshire in 2013 and we always considered it likely, that more species still await 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, Philoscia affinis in June 2020 and Trachelipus rathkii was found at Stoke Bardolph in March 2021.

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 Atlas.
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, David Shaw, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Netherfield Wildlife Group and the National Trust. All maps are updated as of December 2022.

Androniscus dentiger (Verhoeff, 1908)   Haplophthalmus danicus (Budde-Lund, 1880)
Nottinghamshire distribution: A small Woodlouse found under logs and stones, usually in synanthropic situations such as urban gardens, post-industrial brownfield sites and several former Collieries. Recent surveying has showed this beautiful pink coloured species to be widespread, but thinly scattered across much of western Nottinghamshire.   Nottinghamshire distribution: This is a tiny cream coloured Woodlouse and one of three extremely similar Haplophthalmus speciesfound in the UK, although only two species are known from Nottinghamshire. Because they are so small (under 4mm) and soil-dwelling , there are few Nottinghamshire records, but this Woodlouse is starting to be found through careful surveying.

So far known only from the Sherwood Forest area of Nottinghamshire, Haplophthalmus danicus was first recorded from near Rufford CP in 1961 (Standen, V.). There were no further records until 2017, but it has been found on a number of occasions since, with known sites including Clipstone Old Quarter , Sherwood Forest CP, Cuckney and Cockglode Wood (all Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). A record from Warsop Main Pit Top in 2017 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) is currently the only county record from a brownfield site. Likely to be more common than records suggest.

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Haplophthalmus mengii (Zaddach, 1844)   Trichoniscoides albidus (Budde-Lund, 1880)
Nottinghamshire distribution: Another tiny subterranean Woodlouse, which seems to have been unknown from Nottinghamshire, until a single specimen was found at Ransom Wood in August 2017 (Pendleton, T .A. and Pendleton, D.T.).

It has since been recorded at Clipstone Old Quarter in Sherwood Forest (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) in October 2017 and then at both Attenborough NR (Sexton, T.) and Warsop Main Pit Top (Pendleton, T .A. and Pendleton, D.T.) in early and late 2018 respectively. Almost certainly a good deal more common than the current lack of records would suggest. All specimens have been found underneath partly buried logs or stones.

  Nottinghamshire distribution: A small reddish-brown Woodlouse, similar in appearance to Trichoniscus pusillus and usually found under stones in wet/damp locations.

Recent research has discovered that Trichoniscoides albidus was originally found new to Nottinghamshire in 1975, when recorded from West Bridgford (Rundle, A.J.). This was found to precede records from two sites along the River Trent at Farndon near Newark (Whiteley, D.) in January 2016, which at the time were thought to represent the first records for the Nottinghamshire. It was subsequently found in flood debris along the bank of the River Trent at Stoke Bardolph in February 2017 (Pendleton , T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.).

Probably more widespread along many of the county's rivers, than present records would suggest, but especially likely to occur along other stretches of the Trent Valley.

Trichoniscus provisorius (Racovitza, 1908)   Trichoniscus pusillus (Brandt, 1833)
Nottinghamshire distribution: Almost certainly as common and widespread as the visually identical Trichoniscus pusillus, but because of the identification difficulties, the male needs examining under a microscope to identify to species level. Found under stones, logs and other debris in a range of habitats, including gardens.

Once considered to be a form of Trichoniscus pusillus Brandt, 1833, Trichoniscus provisorius was given full species status a number of years ago. But because of the difficulties in identification, the only county 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, very small Woodlouse, with a length of just 4mm at maximum and coloured reddish/purple. It is found under logs in most damp habitats, but because of the visually identical Trichoniscus provisorius, the male needs examining under a microscope to identify for certain.
Trichoniscus pygmaeus (Sars, 1898)   Philoscia affinis (Verhoeff, 1908)
Nottinghamshire distribution: Another very small, soil-dwelling Woodlouse, characterised by having a pale pink, or yellowish colouration, with an almost white head. To date, Trichoniscus pygmaeus has proved to be a rare species to find, with the first Nottinghamshire record being from West Bridgford in 1975 (Rundle , A.J.). There were no other records until single specimens were found underneath a piece of wood buried under leaves at Market Warsop (in company with Androniscus dentiger) and at Cockglode Wood in 2018 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.), this time found with numbers of Haplophthalmus danicus. Likely to be a much under-recorded species.   Nottinghamshire distribution: Only known from an area of (mostly Poplar) woodland at Meden Vale, where it was found on two occassions during 2020 and from the Sherwood Forest CP in early 2023 (Pendleton, T.A.).

Note:- There is likely confusion with Philoscia muscorum (Scopoli, 1833), which is extremely similar in general appearance to Philoscia affinis. The similar pigmentation of the head and body is a good indication towards suspecting any likely P. affinis from P. muscorum, but reliable identification ideally requires microscopic examination of a male specimen.
Philoscia muscorum (Scopoli, 1833)   Platyarthrus hoffmannseggi (Brandt, 1833)
Nottinghamshire distribution: A common, fast moving and well marked Woodlouse, Philoscia muscorum is usually found in well vegetated, grassy sites, but seems to be very common in most of the county's woodlands. It regularly occurs in suburban parks and gardens.   Nottinghamshire distribution: A small, pure white 3-4mm long Woodlouse, spending its entire life underground. It is commonly found inside the nests of various species of ants including Lasius niger, Lasius flavus and Myrmica rubra. This is one of the easiest Woodlice to record, as there are no identification difficulties and it is certainly much more widespread than the distribution map would suggest. There are large areas of the county still awaiting records.
Oniscus asellus ssp. asellus (Linnaeus, 1758)   Porcellio dilatatus (Brandt, 1833)
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.   Nottinghamshire distribution: Nationally described as rare, Porcellio dilatatus is a Woodlouse of synanthropic sites and often found on, or around farms. In Nottinghamshire, the only historical record was from a Chilwell greenhouse in the early 1900's. There were no subsequent records, until it was found in an old milking shed at a former Lambley farm in January 2016 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). Despite seemingly being so rare in the county, it is likely to be present at other Nottinghamshire farms.
Porcellio scaber (Latreille, 1804)   Porcellio spinicornis (Say, 1818)
Nottinghamshire distribution: An extremely common Woodlouse, often showing some striking variations in colour. Another very widespread species, abundantly common in all habitat types throughout Nottinghamshire. It is regularly found under logs and stones etc, often in large numbers and is one of the two large Woodlice commonly found in any garden.   Nottinghamshire distribution: A common and well distributed Woodlouse over most of the UK, Porcellio spinicornis can be common underneath the loose mortar of old stone walls. Since 2015, several targeted surveys have showed that this species is relatively widespread in Nottinghamshire, with records from Cuckney, Edwinstowe, Sookholme and Lowdham Churches, Worksop Priory, the old kitchen garden at Nettleworth Manor and Arnot Hill Park. Yet until recently, the only county record was from West Bridgford in 1975 (Holdich, D.M).
Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833)   Trachelipus rathkii (Brandt, 1833) 
Nottinghamshire distribution: A common and well distributed Woodlouse over most of the UK. It is without doubt, considerably under-recorded in Nottinghamshire. Despite the scarcity of county records, Porcellionides pruinosus is likely to be encountered within the manure heaps of most Nottinghamshire farms, but it has occurred within the grounds of two sites with no obvious links to manure.

Recent records have come from the grounds of Hawton Church (Whiteley, D.) and Epperstone Church (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). One was also found under the loose bark of a cut branch on The Carrs at Market Warsop (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton , D.T.), a few months after adjacent fields had had manure spread on them. Records from more typical habitat have been from manure heaps at Tug Bridge Farm near Eakring (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) and the Nottingham Trent University's Brackenhurst Campus near Southwell (Heeney, W. and Skinner, M. Lugg, K. and Lugg, B.) in 2015, and from a former farm Lambley in early 2016 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.).

  Nottinghamshire distribution: New to Nottinghamshire in March 2021, when found at Stoke Bardolph. Always found near to water Trachelipus rathkii occurs under stones and other long standing flood debris.

Nottinghamshire's first were located under the loose bark of some felled trees in a disused car park near Burton Joyce, but more turned up under an old rabbit hutch door and then underneath stones on the bank of the River Trent. The site had recently been under water, following the Trent bursting its banks earlier in the year.
Cylisticus convexus (De Geer, 1778)   Armadillidium depressum (Brandt, 1833)
Nottinghamshire distribution: Only recorded in Nottinghamshire on two occasions. Both records are from two former Colliery sites, with a record from the old Boughton Tip (now known as Ollerton Pit Woods) in August 1986 (Langston, M.R.) and from the former Warsop Main Pit Top in November 2018 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). Almost certainly under-recorded in the county.   Nottinghamshire distribution: This large Woodlouse rolls into a slightly open ball when threatened. This characteristic is a useful technique to help towards determining the species, but should not be used alone in confirming identification. Generally a Woodlouse of south-west parts of the UK, Armadillidium depressum was a surprise find on the stone wall of Carr Bank Park 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. It has been recorded from the same location since, but there was a surprising record from Mapperley in 2016 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.).
Armadillidium nasatum (Budde-Lund, 1885)   Armadillidium vulgare (Latreille, 1804)
Nottinghamshire distribution: A distinctive Woodlouse, often recorded from old quarries, garden centres and brownfield sites. Armadillidium nasatum had been well recorded in Leicestershire for a number of years (Daws, J.), before several specimens were discovered at the Southwell Garden Centre in September 2016 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.).

It has since turned up at two other sites, with an obviously long established population found to be present on the site of the former Bilsthorpe Colliery in 2017 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.). In November 2018, it was found on the site of the former Warsop Main Colliery at Warsop Vale (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton , D.T.). This record surprised us to a large degree, as the site had been well recorded for a number of years, but A. nasatum is likely to be found at many other former Colliery sites in Nottinghamshire, especially where conditions are dry and stony.

  Nottinghamshire distribution: A common Pill Woodlouse usually found under logs or stones and one which regular recording has showed to be widespread in the county. It can often be found in numbers, usually in company with Oniscus asellus and Porcellio scaber. Armadillidium vulgare rolls into a complete, enclosed ball in defence.
Modern Atlases of Nottinghamshire Woodlice

The fourth revision of our Atlas of Nottinghamshire Woodlice is now available to download as a pdf file. This revision again sees the species accounts completely re-written and updated, along with the very latest (December 2022) distribution maps for each species.

Last revision published in January 2023

Centipedes, Millipedes and Woodlice