Common Striped Woodlouse (Philoscia muscorum)

9 April

Now for something really exciting … who needs all those flashy birds and butterflies when you can enjoy not only a woodlouse, but an alien woodlouse from Europe. It is quite remarkable the number of species in a long-settled location such as Montreal Island that are aliens brought here more or less unwillingly by our ancestors. Nevertheless, there he is and he is contributing to the 1000 species – can’t afford to let stuff get away unidentified in these months of sociual distance and lockdown we are enjoying.

Woodlice have a basic morphology of a segmented, dorso-ventrally flattened body with seven pairs of jointed legs, specialised appendages for respiration and like other peracarids, females carry fertilised eggs in their marsupium, through which they provide developing embryos with water, oxygen and nutrients. The immature young hatch as mancae and receive further maternal care in some species. Juveniles then go through a series of moults before reaching maturity.