Porcellio scaber Latreille, 1804

Common name

Rough Woodouse


GB IUCN status: Least Concern

ID Difficulty



A large woodlouse (to 17 mm) with a rough, heavily tuberculate body, antennal flagella comprising two segments and and two pairs of pleopodal lungs.

Although typically uniformly slate-grey, it is not uncommon for the base of the antennae to be pale orange and numerous brightly mottled varieties are frequent. However, this pattern is random, and not arranged longitudinally, as seen in P. spinicornis or Trachelipus rathkii.

J.P. Richards
Warren Maguire
Keith Lugg
Alan Outen
Warren Maguire
Warren Maguire
Warren Maguire
Warren Maguire
Nicola Garnham
Nicola Garnham

Distribution and Habitat

This species (along with Oniscus asellus) represents the archetypal ‘woodlouse’ familiar to the general public and is abundant under stones and dead wood throughout Britain and Ireland. 

There are few habitats where it does not occur, but it is more tolerant of dries sites than O. asellusP.scaber is the woodlouse most commonly encountered inside houses and readily climbs walls and trees. 

This summary is based on the detailed account in Gregory (2009).



Gregory, S. (2009) Woodlice and Waterlice (Isopoda: Oniscidea & Asellota) in Britain and Ireland.  Field Studies Council/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.



BRC Code