All hail Asellus aquaticus!

It may not have a backbone but it can stand tall and proud, for the humble water louse has been declared Latvia's Invertebrate of the Year by the Entomological Society of Latvia (LEB)!

With a name that makes it sound like commander of the entire Roman fleet, Asellus aquaticus or the water louse will enjoy 12 months with the laurel wreath of honor.

Its Latvian name 'ūdens ēzelīts' literally means 'water donkey' which is less grand than the Latin version but considerably more endearing than the English alternative.

Resembling the better-known woodlouse, the water louse is technically a freshwater crustacean and is common across Europe and North America in rivers, streams and pools.

Congratulations to this humble creature. In 2024 feeling lousy is nothing of which we should feel ashamed!

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