' the Woodlouse: Tangent


Friday, 4 September 2009


There's a danger that this blog could deteriorate into a woodlouse obsession and that really isn't the idea.  That said, I keep discovering more woodlouse related sites and I'm loving them.  I think the single one-inch black-and-white outline drawing with the word "woodlouse" underneath and nothing else on the page remains most inspired though.  I was trying to use google to find out who made that site and found http://www.woodlouseconservation.co.uk/ instead.  Not what I was hunting but sounds like a great small business to me.
And now I've just been back to check I knew what I was talking about and I realise that Woodlouse Conservation is based just outside Wiveliscombe, Somerset.  Wivey is just up the road from the workshop I shared with a potter friend for a year.  It wasn't the happiest year in either of our lives, but Wivey and surrounding area was lovely, so it's a pleasing connection to randomly discover, all thanks to woodlice.
I'm finding new sites while writing this.  Walking With Woodlice is on the Natural history museum site and has a series of maps showing UK distribution of different types of woodlouse; click on the map for a large version and a lovely picture of the relevant species.  Brilliant.
After a quick look at http://www.kendall-bioresearch.co.uk/wlice.htm I have learned that woodlice are the "the only crustaceans that have properly invaded land" and been reminded of a fact I read yesterday but couldn't remember: that Pill Woodlice (Armadillidium) are the only ones that can roll into a ball.
Okay, now I'm starting to find sites listing a number of ways to cause slow painful deaths to woodlice (like abrasive stuff that sticks to them, rubs holes in their shell, causing "dehydration and death") so I think I'd better stop.  Have found one final nice site though woodlice.co.uk
I promise the next post won't be about woodlice. 

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