Eluma caelata (Miers, 1877)


Eluma caelatum (Miers, 1877) (incorrect gender)
Eluma purpurescens Budde-Lund, 1885


GB IUCN status: Not applicable (non-native)
GB rarity status: Naturalised

ID Difficulty



As with Armadillidium species, Eluma caelata has truncated 'square' uropods that end flush with the body. 

This is a large pill-woodlouse (to 15mm), virtually identical to Armadillidium vulgare in size and shape and is able to roll into a perfect sphere.  It is easily distinguished from all Armadillidium spp. by possessing eyes composed of single prominent ommatidium (see image right).

J.P. Richards
Keith Lugg
Stephanie Skipp
Stephanie Skipp
Stephanie Skipp

Distribution and Habitat

It is mainly found across the extreme south-east of England, but outlying populations occur elsewhere, notably Co. Dublin, Ireland and Cumberland coast, northern England. It favours disturbed habitats, whether this is on the coast (e.g. ‘soft’ slumping cliffs) or synanthropic habitats (e.g. waste ground, railway lines and gardens).

It typically takes refuge under mat-forming plants, beneath stones and dead wood, or among leaf-litter, tussocks, rubbish and other debris.

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