Totem Animals

Page 189

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By SisterCyber

Click the links to see pictures of a pill woodlouse (Armadillidium) that can roll into a ball when
disturbed. They look a little like one of my other childhood favorite creatures, the Armadillo,
which I truly was fascinated with! As a child, I thoroughly enjoyed playing with these
"creatures" ~ I always thought they were insects, but thanks to autumn mouse, who found some
information on them, I learned differently! (No links available)

“This topic was prompted by several enquiries about the control of woodlice found invading and
infesting cellars, basements and other interior areas of buildings and homes . . .
Woodlice are crustaceans related to slaters, shrimps, lobsters and crabs, and belong to a group of
arthropods called the Isopoda (suborder Oniscoidea). They are the only crustaceans that have
properly invaded land, without the need to return to water in order to breed, although they tend to
be restricted to fairly damp places. There are several common woodlice similar to the species
shown opposite. Most are flat oval creatures up to 15 mm (half an inch) long, with a grey or
yellowish speckled back composed of 13 horny articulated plates. The head is quite small with a
pair of angled, S-shaped antennae. There are seven pairs of short translucent legs, and a pair of
very short caudal (or tail) appendages.

Woodlice breathe through air-holes on the hindmost pair of legs and they feed chiefly on rotting
wood and other decaying vegetable matter. The species illustrated above is abundant throughout
Britain and Europe in woodland, hedgerows and gardens, especially under logs, leaf litter and in
compost heaps. There are some woodlice, called pill woodlice or pill-bugs, that are able to roll
themselves into balls when disturbed - a habit that often leads to confusion with the rather similar
looking pill millipede. The pill millipede (Glomeris), however, is much blacker and shinier, with
many more legs (17-19 pairs) and a broad, almost semi-circular plate at the rear instead of the
numerous small plates which form the tail-end of the woodlouse. Millipedes belong to a different
class of arthropods, the Myriapoda.

Woodlice are quite harmless and in fact beneficial in their proper habitat by promoting the
breakdown of dead vegetation and organic matter in the soil. They normally live outdoors but
shun the light by hiding under stones, logs, loose bark, leaf-litter etc., or in hollow tree-trunks -
almost anywhere that is fairly damp. However, they frequently come indoors and may take up
residence inside buildings, surviving in any dark, damp places they can find. When large
numbers of woodlice are found indoors, perhaps clustered in wall crevices or under skirting
boards etc., it is always worth checking for excessive dampness in these places - just in case
there is a structural problem with the damp proofing or damp course.

Woodlice (although not insects) are killed by most insecticides, and infestations inside houses
and other buildings can be controlled by several of the insecticides sold for household or garden

The information says "Woodlice are crustaceans related to slaters, shrimps, lobsters and crabs,
but there are no topics here (yet) on any of those, so I hope it's okay to stick it in here rather than
start a new topic.

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INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
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INDEX Page 4
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INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
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INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
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