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How do woodlice live?

A woodlouse curling up into a ballWoodlice are small crustaceans, arthropods that have hard, segmented exoskeletons. They have two pairs of antennae and seven pairs of legs. Some kinds curl up into a ball when they are threatened. The female woodlouse carries her eggs in a pouch on the underside of her body, until they hatch out into tiny babies.

The woodlouse must shed, or moult, its exoskeleton as it grows.


Woodlice rapidly dry out when it is warm. That is why they are usually found under rocks and logs, places where it is always damp. Most species are nocturnal and feed on dead plant matter.

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Some kinds of woodlice were introduced to the Americas through arriving on ships from Europe.

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