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Common woodlouse

Common woodlouse
Photo Information
Copyright: Adrian Szatewicz (aes_thor) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 198 W: 29 N: 592] (2489)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-09-18
Categories: Crustacia
Camera: Fuji Finepix S20 Pro, Fujinon 6x zoom
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/4 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-06-17 12:06
Viewed: 7044
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi all!

Photograph taken on Jersey Island, UK, somewhere near Rozel Bay on rocky cliffs. Picture shows common woodlouse and unknown for me, black fungi.
Cropped from original shot, just some colour balance, resized, framed and sharpened for TN.

Some more species information....
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Oniscus asellus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Isopoda
Family: Oniscidae
Genus: Oniscus
Species: O. asellus

Binomial name
Oniscus asellus
Linnaeus, 1758
Oniscus asellus, the common woodlouse, is one of the largest and most common species of woodlouse in the British Isles and Western and Northern Europe, growing to lengths of 16 mm and widths of 6 mm. They are generally flatter than other large woodlice, and their bodies are usually brownish-black in colour, with paler mottling and very pale edges to their segmental plates. Their carapace is usually rather shiny, while the underside is pale. The species can also be identified by its long pointed telson. Oniscus asellus has a strong exoskeleton and seven pairs of legs, but are born with six pairs. They have antennae that reach about half of their body length, which they use to feel around in their dark environment.

The species is particularly fond of rotting wood and are one of the commonest species found under garden logs and stones in their range. They are also likely to be found in houses which have damp porches, in outhouses, back kitchens and so on.

These woodlouse eat vegetables, various types of detritus such as dead plant and animal matter, including rotting wood. They are very effective decomposers; this means they are often an integral part of a compost heap.

Oniscus asellus predators include toads; shrews, hedgehogs, young owls and foxes, centipedes and spiders such as the woodlouse spider (Dysdera crocata), which has evolved fangs which are well-suited for piercing the woodlouse's exoskeleton and injecting poisons.

Oniscus asellus has reflexes such as running away or rolling into a ball upon seeing a predator. Upon meeting, these woodlouse tap each others antenna as if swapping messages. After a moult, the woodlouse may eat its own exuvia to reabsorb the calcium carbonate. Oniscus asellus can reproduce both sexually and asexually. In sexual reproduction, which usually occurs in the dark, the male courts the female by waving his antennae at her. During reproduction the male climbs onto the female's back. He licks her head and taps her back with his front set of legs. The male will then move into a diagonal position to one side, he then bends his body under her so his genitalia reach her genital opening on the opposite side. Sperm is transferred within 5 minutes, the process is then reversed and the male approaches from the other side.

Thanks for watching and have a nice evening!

LordPotty, red45 has marked this note useful
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Hi Adrian

Good macro of this woodlice.
I didn't know they were interested in fungi, but I guess you get lots of fungi on rotting wood!
Good sharpnes and composition.


Hi Adrian,
A piece of useless trivia for you: this is the 17th shot of Woodlouse here on Trek Nature.I have posted two myself.
This one looks as though it is feeding on a slime mold (possibly growing on another fungus or another slime mold).
Its a good clear image,nicely composed.
A very interesting note too.
Nice work.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-06-22 23:17]

Czesc Adrian!

Nie wiem czemu, ale lubie 'stonogi' :-) Bardzo rzadki okaz na TN, ladnie sfotografowany. Podoba mi sie surowe tlo, pasuje jak ulal do zwierzaka.

Calibration Check