Miktoniscus patiencei Vandel, 1946

Common name

Coastal Black-eye


GB IUCN status: Least Concern
GB rarity status: Nationally Scarce

ID Difficulty



This is a small white, to off-white, woodlouse, reaching 4mm.  The eyes consist of a prominent single black ocellus, its colour retained in alcohol, and the entire body is covered in coarse spiny tubercles.

The coastal Trichoniscoides saeroeensis is similar  in appearence, but has reddish/orange ocelli, which rapidly lose their colour in alcohol, and the dorsal surface is less coarsely tuberculate.

Keith Lugg
Keith Lugg
Steve Trewhella
Steve Trewhella

Distribution and Habitat

Although never common, this species occurs widely along the southern coasts of England and Ireland with outlying populations as far north as eastern Scotland. 

It is exclusively coastal, primarily associated with pockets of damp friable peaty soil occurring in supralittoral habitats, such as salt marsh, sparsely vegetated shingle banks, erosion banks and at the base of sea cliffs.  It is frequently found associated with other soil-dwelling trichoniscids, such as Trichoniscoides saeroeensis and Trichoniscus pygmaeus.

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.



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