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Isopods (Pillbugs, Sowbugs, and Roly polys)

Isopods are normally referred to as pillbugs, sowbugs, or roly polys. They are nocturnal and can be found under rocks, under logs, or in crevices.

Oniscidae (Woodlice, Sowbugs, Pillbugs)
Oniscus asellus European Sowbug

Oniscidae, Oniscus asellus
European sowbug (Oniscus asellus) burrowing into the compost.

AKA Common Shiny Woodlouse
This family is closely related to lobster and shrimp. They are good at composting and eating the roots and foliage of tender seedlings. The difference between sowbugs and pillbugs are the tail-like structures on sowbugs. Notice the tail end in the photo. Pillbugs do not have these and I’m not sure what function they serve.

This is a very common, non-native terrestrial crustacean found in almost all of the United States. I find them in my compost pile and appreciate the work they do there! It also is the largest of the Oniscidae.

Trachelipodidae
Trachelipus rathkii

Trachelipodidae, Trachelipus rathkii
Trachelipodidae, Trachelipus rathkii

Trachelipodidae, Trachelipus rathkii

Trachelipodidae, Trachelipus rathkii
Trachelipodidae, Trachelipus rathkii