Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833)

Common name

Plum Woodlouse


Metoponorthus pruinosus (Brandt, 1833)


GB IUCN status: Least Concern

ID Difficulty


Porcellionides pruinosus is a medium sized (to 12mm body length) woodlouse of distinctive appearance (and habitat). It is typically a purplish-brown in colour with a characteristic blue-grey bloom (but rarely it may be orange). The body colour contrasts against the long whitish legs and the pale annulations on the antennae.  The body has an obviously stepped outline allowing rapid movement, the antennal flagella comprising two segments and with two pairs of pleopodal lungs.

J.P. Richards
Keith Lugg
Bill Urwin
Warren Maguire
Warren Maguire
Warren Maguire
Warren Maguire
Warren Maguire


Porcellionides pruinosus is widely distributed throughout Britain and Ireland, perhaps most common in central and eastern England (but it is under-recorded in many areas). 


Characteristically it is found within manure heaps, even those in fields (where it can be abundant within the heap), but also associated with out-buildings of dairy farms, stables or riding schools, and compost heaps in churchyards, gardens and allotments.

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