Woodlouse and Waterlouse Recording Scheme

Scheme Organiser: Thomas Hughes

The Non-marine Isopod Recording Scheme was established in 1968 to collate biological records of all species of Terrestrial Woodlice (suborder Oniscidea) and the Aquatic Waterlice (or water-slaters) (suborder Asellota).  Updated distributional data for woodlice is presented in Woodlice and Waterlice in Britain and Ireland (Gregory, 2009), which adds to the analysis of the ecological data presented in Woodlice in Britain and Ireland (Harding & Sutton, 1985).  An account of the first 50 years of the Isopod Survey Scheme is given by co-founder Paul Harding (2018)  per isopoda ad astra (through Isopoda to the stars).

The recording scheme also collates records for the Landhopper Arcitalitrus dorrieni (also known as the Woodhopper or Lawn Shrimp) since it is the only British Amphipod to penetrate inland (the rest are marine or supralittoral).

The scheme welcomes records for all species of woodlice, waterlice or landhoppers. Many of the records presented in the current distribution atlas (Gregory, 2009) date from the 1990s and are in urgent need of updating. All records, even those for common species or those that don’t add new ‘dots’ to the maps, are valuable. Records may be submitted on recording cards or in electronic spreadsheets. Those accompanied by ecological information are especially welcome as this can only lead to better understanding of the conservation needs of our species. Records from new recorders will need to be supported by images or a voucher specimen to ensure reliability of species identification (see the individual species accounts and the recommended literature for guidance on key identification features). Records may also be submitted via iRecord (BRC's website for collating species records), but please include images of the specimen to enable verification and as much ecological information as possible.

New contributors to the scheme are most welcome and support and guidance with collection, preservation of specimens and identification will be offered where required. With experience, most species can be readily identified in the field, but a few require examination under higher magnification. This is reflected in the difficulty rating given in the individual species accounts. BMIG's Facebook group Isopods and Myriapods of Britain and Ireland is an excellent place for advice too. Scheme organisers are usually happy to check the identity of individual specimens but please do not send large collections of material without prior agreement. (Please ensure that specimens are sent in appropriate containers that will not be damaged or broken in the post.)

The scheme organisers will only normally deal with British material, but may be able to help with some specimens collected in other countries. Please do not send these without checking first.