Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833) – a new woodlouse species (Isopoda: Oniscidea: Porcellionidae) in the fauna of Belarus
expand article infoArtsiom M. Ostrovsky
‡ Gomel State Medical University, Gomel, Belarus
Open Access


We presented our findings of woodlouse Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833), a new Porcellionidae species for the fauna of Belarus. We collected this species in Gomel region (June 2020). We also presented the data on species distribution.


Porcellionides pruinosus, Isopoda, Oniscidea, Porcellionidae, new record, Belarus


Among the edaphic organisms, the terrestrial isopods are fundamental representatives of the soil fauna, playing an important role in decomposition of leaf litter and in mineralizing of organic matter (Sutton 1980). Despite the fact that representatives of this group are well visible and extremely widespread, they are inadequately studied in Belarus. Some authors reported 4-8 species found in Belarus (Maximova 2005, Kuznetsova & Gongalsky 2012, Novitsky 2013). Nevertheless, we recently added new species to this list and classified their periodical occurrence (Ostrovsky 2019a, b). Thus, we registered the Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833) in Belarus territory that was the result of our continuous research.

Material and methods

New species was identified from author field survey data. The species was assigned to the suborder Oniscidea Latreille, 1802 of the crustaceans order Isopoda Latreille, 1817.


Ligiamorpha Vandel, 1943

Porcellionidae Brandt, 1831

Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833)

Figure 1

Material examined

1♂, 1♀, Republic of Belarus, Gomel Region, near horticultural partnership “Romantika” not far away vill. Klenki under the bark of a fallen oak on the edge of the swamp, 52°27'45.4"N, 31°5'42.8"E, 21.06.2020; 1♂, 1♀, in the same place, 25.06.2020. A.M. Ostrovsky leg. et det., 2020. The examined specimens are preserved in ethanol 70% and housed at the author's collection.

Figure 1.

Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833): A – general view, B – 1 pleopod ♂, С – 2 pleopod ♂.


P. pruinosus is widespread synanthropic species of Mediterranean origin, currently known from many European and American countries, as well as in Transcaucasia and Pakistan (Schmalfuss 2003, Kuznetsova & Gongalsky 2012, Kazmi 2015). In European part of Russia this species has previously been found in central and southern parts of the country. It was also known from Siberia (Kuznetsova & Gongalsky 2012, Khisametdinova et al. 2016, Nefediev et al. 2018). The nearest localities of P. pruinosus are registered in Poland, Ukraine and the European part of Russia. The distribution of this species is associated with human settlements and dung heaps as compost substance keeps the warm temperature during winter periods (Cawley 1996).


P. pruinosus is known to exhibit patterns of geographical variation between populations, and has been suspected to consist of several very closely related species (Salzat et al. 2001). Ten subspecies are recognized. Recent investigations have suggested that some morphologically similar populations may consist of separate species. For example, the previously reported single North American species P. pruinosus in fact consisted from two separate species. Although these species had subtle physiological and morphological differences, they were electrophoretically, reproductively, and distributionally distinct (Garthwaite & Sassaman 1985). Formally, P. pruinosus can be distinguished from other species by the extent of white bands at the antennae. We supposed that world taxonomic status of P. pruinosus should be re-evaluated.


The genus Porcellionides with woodlouse species Porcellionides Miers, 1877 and Porcellionides pruinosus (Brandt, 1833) are formally new to the Belarus faunistic list. We suggested that these species were probably arrived here by human activity.


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