There are around 40 different species of woodlice occurring naturally outdoors in the British Isles and despite being an invertebrate that commonly crosses paths with people, relatively few people know how to identify the different species we share our homes and gardens with. Join our tutor in the field to search for, find and discuss the identification features of a variety of UK woodlice species that can be identified in the field.

Learn about the different body shapes of woodlice to help you tell your rollers from your clampers, and which features to look at in the field. For example, the pleopodal lungs are a feature that is extremely difficult to see in preserved specimens but can be seen on live specimens with a hand lens. We will cover the ‘Famous Five’ woodlice species that are common and widespread, including the Common Shiny Woodlouse (Philoscia muscorum), Common Rough Woodlouse (Porcellio scaber),  Common Smooth Woodlouse (Oniscus asellus), Common Pygmy Woodlouse (Trichoniscus pusillus) and the Common Pill Woodlouse (Armadillidium vulgare). We’ll then look at other distinctive species such as the Rosy Woodlouse (Androniscus dentiger) and the Ant Woodlouse (Platyarthrus hoffmannseggi) that lives in ant nests and has no eyes! 

This course marries together the use of classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities led by a specialist tutor to give learners the skills to be able to identify distinctive species of woodlice in the field.

  • Certificate upon course completion.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.
  • This course is limited to the identification of distinctive species that can be identified in the field.

This course is aimed at adults only and course attendees must be at least 18 years old in order to attend.

What will be covered during this course?

  • An introduction to woodlice classification and how their morphology and ecology are interconnected.
  • Identification of distinctive species of woodlice using a hand lens and field characters.
  • Support from a specialist woodlice tutor when practicing field identification techniques.
  • Guidance on how to submit woodlice records.

See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections below for more information about this course.

Course Fees

Regular Price: £75   For professionals and residents outside of the UK.  Select ‘Attendee: In Person’ Sold Out

Subsidised Price: £10   Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students. Available to UK residents only. Select ‘Attendee Subsidised: In Person’

Tutor: Steve Gregory

Steve Gregory is a member of the British Myriapod and Isopod Group, one of the editors of the group’s annual Bulletin and organiser of the national Woodlouse Recording Scheme.

Steve is also author of Woodlice and Waterlice in Britain and Ireland (2009), an updated account of the distribution and habitat preferences of the British and Irish fauna. He has had an interest in woodlice, millipedes and centipedes for many years and has published a number of scientific papers on all three groups. His particular interests include the ecology and distribution (biogeography) of the British fauna and current projects include woodlice, millipedes and centipedes of heated ‘tropical’ glasshouses and those occurring in the south Wales valleys.

Covid Measures

In order to keep our customers and staff safe we ask that anyone attending our centres:

  • wears a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).
  • maintains social distancing.
  • cleans their hands regularly.
  • takes a Covid-19 test before they arrive.

Example Timetable

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00 am.
  • Refreshments will be available from 9.45 am.
  • The course will end at 4:00 pm.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • 6 hours of tuition.
  • Certificate of attendance.
  • Access to identification resources.

Bursaries and Subsidies

FSC BioLinks

FSC BioLinks is an exciting project for FSC in the South East and West Midlands, bringing together existing volunteers with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers.

This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.

Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning there is a lack of data.

We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £1.23 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project.

Before You Attend

Getting to FSC London: Bushy Park

Information on getting to the site can be found here.

When you arrive at The Stockyard gate you may need to call the centre to open the gate. You can reach the staff on site on 020 8941 4398.

Due to the outside nature of part of this course, participants are advised to bring suitable clothing and footwear in order to access the Bushy Park site in various weather conditions.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch
  • A hand lens (equipment will be provided for those that need it)
  • Any woodlice specimens that you'd like verified (tutor availability during the course permitting)

Please note that this course will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Clear