Eluma caelata (Miers, 1877)


  • Eluma caelatum (Miers, 1877) (incorrect gender)
  • Eluma purpurescens Budde-Lund, 1885


  • GB IUCN status: Not applicable (non-native)
  • GB rarity status: Naturalised

ID Difficulty


As with Armadillidium species, Eluma caelata has truncated 'square' uropods that end flush with the body (similar truncated uropods are also seen in the non-native Armadillidae species). 

Eluma caelata is a large pill-woodlouse (to 15mm), very similar to Armadillidium vulgare in size and shape and is able to roll into a perfect sphere.  It is easily distinguished from all Armadillidium spp. by possessing eyes composed of single prominent ommatidium (see image).

J.P. Richards
Keith Lugg
Stephanie Skipp
Warren Maguire
Stephanie Skipp
Warren Maguire


Eluma caelata is mainly found across the extreme south-east of England, but outlying populations occur elsewhere, notably Co. Dublin, Ireland and the Cumberland coast, northern England. 


It favours disturbed habitats, whether this is on the coast (e.g. ‘soft’ slumping cliffs) or synanthropic habitats inland (e.g. waste ground, railway lines and gardens).

It typically takes refuge under mat-forming plants, beneath stones and dead wood, or among leaf-litter, tussocks, rubbish and other debris.

This summary is based on the detailed account in Gregory (2009).


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

BRC code