Friday, April 24, 2009

Pillbug




This pillbug crossed my path today, trundling across the ground like a miniature armoured siege engine. It curled up in a ball in the palm of my hand when I picked it up, revealing the smaller tail segments that distinguish it from the superficially similar pill millipede (which also has many more legs). It's about as close as we get to an armadillo in Britain - which is reflected in its Latin name, Armadillidium vulgare .

3 comments:

  1. Excellent close up showing off his armour.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great close-ups, lovely detail in the enlarged version of the photos. Plenty of Woodlice round here but I don't think I have seen one of those about.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the comments. I read somewhere a story, no doubt apocryphal,that they are called pillbugs because physicians in the distant past prescribed that they should be swallowed live, while they were curled up in a ball, as a cure for ailments. Wouldn't have done much for your ailment, but certainly would have taken your mind off it when the pillbug uncurled in your stomach!

    ReplyDelete