Metatrichoniscoides leydigii (Weber, 1880)

Status

GB IUCN status: Data Deficient
GB rarity status: Nationally Rare

Identification

Metatrichoniscoides is a difficult genus and only male specimens of M. leydigii can be distinguished from M. celticus or preserved specimens of Trichoniscoides.  Identification is made by microscopic examination of male pleopods.

M. celticus is very small (up to 2.5mm long), pure white, entirely lacking ommatidia and the dorsal surface is covered in coarse tubercles.

J.P. Richards
J.P. Richards
J.P. Richards

Distribution and Habitat

It was first discovered in Britain in 1989 in the grounds of a garden centre in Oxford city where it occurred deep among peaty compost accumulated within stones and gravel (BISG Newsletter 28).

In 2011 a second site was discovered in Kent, under a stone on peaty soil beside the River Medway. This habitat is akin to that noted in The Netherlands, the core of this species native range, suggesting that it may be an overlooked native species in eastern Britain (Gregory, 2012).

A third site discovered in Derbyshire (Richards, 2016) is from an ornamental garden (akin to the original Oxford site).

It has been found associated with other soil dwelling trichoniscids, such as Haplophthalmus mengii, Trichoniscoides albidus and T. sarsi.

Distribution

Reference

Richards, P. (2016) A third British site for Metatrichoniscoides leydigii (Weber, 1880). Bulletin of the British Myriapod & Isopod Group 29: 34-36.

Gregory, S.J. (2012) The occurrence of two elusive woodlice, Metatrichoniscoides leydigii (Weber, 1880) and Trichoniscoides sarsi Patience 1908, in semi-natural habitat in Kent. Bulletin of the British Myriapod & Isopod Group 26: 37-40.

Gregory, S. (2009) Woodlice and Waterlice (Isopoda: Oniscidea & Asellota) in Britain and Ireland.  Field Studies Council/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

idBmigTaxa

72

BRC Code

Cru_1489