Armadillidium pulchellum (Zencker, 1798)


GB IUCN status: Least Concern

ID Difficulty



Armadillidium species and Eluma caelata are readily recognised in the field by their truncated 'square' uropods that end flush with the body and their abilty to roll into a ball.

This is an attractively mottled pill-woodlouse (to 5mm). It shares its distinctive mottling and the dark patch on the 7th epimera with A. pictum. There is considerable overlap in the distribution and habitat preferences of A. pulchellum and A. pictum and the two are easily confused. A. vulgare juveniles are never as attractively mottled, and lack the dark patch on the 7th epimera (See Gregory & Richards, 2008).

Keith Lugg
J.P. Richards
John Bingham
John Bingham
Keith Lugg
John Bingham
Keith Lugg
Keith Lugg

Distribution and Habitat

It is widely distributed across the Irish midlands and across Britain from south-west England, through Wales and across northern England to the Scottish borders (as far north as Aberdeenshire; Davidson, 2010).  It favours rural semi-natural habitats, often associated with open grassy habitats, mainly on the coast or in upland areas, including limestone pavement.

It occurs under stones or mats of plants, among sparsely vegetated screes, leaf litter, grasses, mosses, sometimes associated with ants (rarely within rotten wood).

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.

Gregory, S. & Richards, P. (2008) Comparison of three often mis-identified species of pill-woodlouse Armadillidium (Isopoda: Oniscidea). Bulletin of the British Myriapod & Isopod Group, 23: 9-12.



BRC Code