• IPA: /ˈwʊd.ˌlaʊs/

woodlouse (plural woodlice)

  1. Any of the terrestrial isopod crustaceans of suborder Oniscidea, which have a rigid, segmented exoskeleton, often being capable of rolling into a ball, and feed only on dead plant matter, usually living in damp, dark places, such as under stones or bark.
    • 1995, Olaf Breidbach, Wolfram Kutsch (editors), The Nervous Systems of Invertebrates: An Evolutionary and Comparative Approach, page 193 ↗,
      In addition, both the woodlouse and the crayfish possess an unpaired medial nerve which runs along the whole length of the ventral nerve cord, linking adjacent ganglia.
    • 2001, John L. Capinera (editor), Handbook of Vegetable Pests, page 566 ↗,
      Woodlice commonly produce offspring 1-3 times per year, with spring and autumn broods most common. Woodlice often survive for longer than a year, with longevity of 2-5 years not uncommon.
    • 2011, Ruth Owen, Creepy Backyard Invaders, page 18 ↗,
      The sections allow woodlice to bend and curve their armored bodies. Some types of woodlice can roll into a tight ball. They do this to protect themselves when threatened by a predator.
      Female woodlice carry their eggs in a liquid-filled pouch under their bodies. When the young woodlice hatch from the eggs, they crawl out of the pouch.
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