Natur Cymru is a quarterly magazine about the wildlife of Wales and available by subscription. To find out more about the magazine and how to subscribe please visit www.naturcymru.org.uk
Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Strong winds peeled the bark and sapwood off an old oak leaving it naked amongst the rest of the moss clad trees.
A network of gouged-out channels marked the progress of the woodlice in dismantling the tree. I picked up a piece of soggy wood a few metres from the trunk and separated the fibres revealing a hungry woodlouse chomping away, oblivious to the mayhem all around.
My book tells me woodlice are not insects, but crustaceans; more closely related to crabs and shrimps than insects. Do they turn pink when boiled? A woodlouse cocktail as a starter?