Rough wood-louse

Porcellio cf.scaber

The rough woodlouse (Porcellio cf.scaber) is a terrestrial crustacean from the order Isopoda. Opposite to Armadillidum vulgare, the most common species of woodlouse in gardens and orchards, Porcellio can’t roll as a ball. When Porcellio feels threatened, it keeps quiet as dead.

Porcellio scaber measures 17-18 mm length. Its dorsal surface is even grey but variable intensity amongst individuals and rough because engraved points. It has a pair of caudal appendices that easily differentiate between the family of Porcellio and that of Armadillidum.

Porcellio scaber requires humid air, otherwise it dries out. Therefore, it moves by walls or into fissures. Porcellio scaber lives mostly in forests. It eats vegetal detritus and fungi from the soil.

There are many species of genus Porcellio, sometimes difficult to sort. Therefore, the identification of the individual from the picture that was picked in Montserrat must be cautiously considered.

[photo Montserrat Porta and Jordi Badia]