Invertebrate Armadillidium vulgare (Common pill bug)

Dusty Miller

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Comon Names: Common Pill Bug

Scientific Name:Armadillidium vulgare

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum: Crustacea

Class: Malacostraca

Order: Isopoda

Suborder: Oniscidea

Family: Armadillidiidae

Other Names: Rolypoly, Potato bug, Woodlice, sow bugs.

Distribution: Found worldwide in decaying vegetaion.

Habitat: Moist underside of decaying material. Common in mulched gardens, under rotting logs.

Field Notes: Not an insect but a crustacean, these creatures take about one year to mature, live for abut three years and breed once or twice a year, depending on climate. Often found with slaters, millipedes and centipedes. The most distinguishing feature of the pill bugs (and the unrelated pill millipede) is its ability to roll into a tight ball, presenting its hard plates to any would be predator. Seven pairs of legs and one pair of antennae. Less than about two centimeters.

Uses Pill bugs are edible, as are many crustaceans. However, pill bugs strongly resemble pill millipedes, which secrete noxious substances and may be toxic. If unsure then do not eat. Some of the common names also refer to other similar organisms.

bug.jpg
Top view 1.7 cm "bug".

pillbugunder.jpg
Underside
pillcureloed.jpg
Defensive posture, can close a little further.
 
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