|Platyarthrus hoffmannseggi revealed in my garden in|
the "nest" of Lasius niger. 17 March, 2014
Oniscus asellus is extremely common if marginally less so than Porcellio scaber, and tends to be a little larger. The exoskeleton of a woodlouse is impregnated with calcium salts and so in general they are commoner on limy soils, but Oniscus asellus seems able to tolerate acid conditions better than most.
|Oniscus asellus in my back garden|
29 March, 2014
Glossy, with pale edges to the sternites, Oniscus asellus is distinctive.
|Tachypodoiulus niger Found under a log at Calves Close |
Spinney, near Chipping Warden. 13 March 2013
Some 45 species of millipede are found in Britain, with the majority generally occurring beneath stones or logs. The most familiar are the Julids, and the picture shows a typical and very common species, Tachypodoiulus niger.
Slugs are much-maligned creatures - and understandably so if you are a gardener. In fact, with over thirty species native to Britain, they deserve a blog to themselves. Many dwell beneath stones. The most infamous of all is the Common Garden Slug, Arion hortensis. The under-side of the animal (the sole) is orange in colour, as is the mucus. Also very common - and very distinctive - is the Leopard Slug, Limax maximus.
|Leopard Slug at Steppington Spinney SP533568|
3 April, 2014. The
The Leopard Slug (the specimen shown has drawn its head in) is large, reaching 20 cms. The name is quite appropriate as it is usually distinctly spotted, although there are several colour varieties.
Creatures living under logs and stones - in fact animals in any habitat of this nature - are known as cryptozoans. The distribution and behaviour of many cryptozoans is poorly understood, making any observations useful. And always try to replace objects with as little disturbance as possible.