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Isopods - Are they Roly-poly bugs?


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Are isopods roly poly (pill, sow etc) bugs?

I remember these large roly-poly bugs that were two or three times as big as the usual ones you see around commonly, they were light to medium grey, very glossy, had hard shells, rolled into perfect spheres, and had two or three yellow spots on just about each segment of their body. Are these the same things, or are they something else?

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I'm fairly certain they more closely resemble the first photo (so I guess they are isopods ^_^ ), but the yellow spots on the shell were about like the middle two stripes on the second one, although the color was also more of a light/bright 'lemon' yellow. I also remember them being very large and very hard-shelled for a roly-poly, and when unrolled and walking, were much more rounded/domed than the smaller ones. I also remember that they took much longer to unroll than the plain gray ones, when held.

It would be interesting to find those particular ones again. Maybe next spring I'll see if I can find some around here in Colorado. Those described above were at the base of the Bighorn Mountains, in Wyoming (USA), but the same type can probably be found all over. It's been a long time since I turned over a log or stone and paid attention to them.

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OMG! :blink:

I just did a lookup on 'giant isopods' in google! There's this picture of someone holding a giant undersea (distant) relative of the ones used as clean-up crews in our vivariums, and it's like a foot long!

All I can say is Wow!

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Isopods are very common while the small pill millipedes (at least in the US) are extremely rare.

The biggest terrestrial species is Ligia oceanica... it lives near the sea in North Europe...

Check out the video and size of some of the larger Ligia pallasii on this page, the largest meet or exceed the posted maximum size of Ligia oceanica:

Ligia -sea slaters

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Hey, on the bidabug auction site, the icon for the "other live bugs" has a picture of the "roly poly" bug with the yellow spots I was talking about!

How weird is that! Is that just an Armadillium vulgare, or is that some other species?


Orin, those Ligia pallasii that you added the link to are really cool!

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