Currently viewing the category: "Crustaceans"
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Subject: Legalities of sow and pill bugs in California.
August 8, 2015 2:54 pm
Is it legal to sell and buy sow and pill bugs in California.
Signature: Andrew smith

Dear Andrew,
To the best of our knowledge, there is no state law prohibiting the sale or purchase of Pill Bugs, Sow Bugs or Woodlice in the state of California, but there may be local laws.  We cannot fathom why a person would want to buy or sell Pill Bugs in California or elsewhere.  We have used an image of Pill Bugs from our archives to illustrate your query.

People have been using them for reptile food. But more importantly they’re being used in their terarriums to keep mold bacteria and such things under control. So kinda like a live in cage cleaner.

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Subject: Found at Crissy Field
Location: Chrissy Field Beach, San Francisco
June 2, 2015 11:19 am
Hey Mr Bugman, what’s my bug?
Signature: Griffin

Beach Hopper


Hi Griffin,
This is a Marine Amphipod commonly called a BeachHopper, probably
Megalorchestia californiana.  Your submission will post live to our site later in June while we are away from the office.

Thanks for getting back to us.  We found this guy on the beach and he was resourceful, so we really wanted to know what he was.
Thank you!

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Subject: Bright Orange Woodlouse
Location: Missouri, United States
March 20, 2015 11:49 am
during my searches for various bugs and critters I’ve come across a total of three of these bright orange woodlice. I have a large plastic tub full of woodlice that I feed and observe, so the three I’ve found are part of my little ecosystem now.
what I’m wondering is, is this a rare genetic coloration of some sort? or a different species of woodlouse than the gray ones? perhaps neither and it’s something else, so I thought I’d ask you!
Signature: Stolz

Orange Woodlouse

Orange Woodlouse

Dear Stolz,
Long ago we fielded a question about a Blue Sowbug and we learned it was infected with an Iridovirus which caused the coloration.  We found a similar question posted to BugGuide, but there is no response other than that it is identified as the European Sowbug,
Oniscus asellus.  On the Woodlice Oddities Page, it states:  “Orange Porcellio scaber This orange form appears to be rare in this region. The example here is the only one found in a collection of over 400 from the same compost heap – it is also the only one, of two, that I have observed over the last 10 years. The red forms of woodlice are genetically determined but their rarity suggests that this form is not as well adapted to the habitat as the darker gray forms.”  On it states:  “The Orange woodlice is a rare colour form the the common slater  Porcellio scaber.”  On BugGuide we learned that Porcellio scaber is a synonym for Oniscus granulatus.

Habitat with Woodlice

Habitat with Woodlice

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Subject: freshwater aquarium isopod?
Location: Australia
March 13, 2015 8:04 am
Hi, I found this bug in my tank after adding some new plants. I think it might be an isopod of sorts but am unsure as to what type it is. I have it currently in a cup of water with some moss and the small mystery snail that also came with the plants. I’m too worried to keep it in the tank in case it is a parasitic bug that could harm my fish. If the bug is completely harmless please let me know so that I can add it back int the tank instead of them being stuck in a small cup. If it helps, I have noticed that it tends to roll into a ball when it feels threatened. Thanks.
Signature: weilmanu

Aquatic Isopod

Aquatic Isopod

Dear weilmanu,
We agree that this is some aquatic Isopod and we cannot guarantee that it will not cause problems in your aquarium.  We would not recommend introducing it to your aquarium.

Aquatic Isopod

Aquatic Isopod

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Subject: Dead bugs outside door?

Location: Huntington Beach, ca
December 7, 2014 8:56 am
We woke up today with a bunch of small brown bugs with pincars. Just by back door outside all dead. Can you let me know if they are something we should be concerned about?
Signature: Liz

Lawn Shrimp

Lawn Shrimp

Dear Liz,
The presence of Lawn Shrimp,
Arcitalitrus sylvaticus, in the landscaping generally goes unnoticed until we have a good rain that soaks the ground, at which time they often emerge in alarming numbers, dying on the concrete or entering homes to die.  Lawn Shrimp are native to Australia and they are also known as House Hoppers.  See BugGuide for additional information on Lawn Shrimp.

Lawn Shrimp

Lawn Shrimp

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Subject: not a fruit fly
Location: Toledo District, Belize
September 20, 2014 3:29 pm
Hi, folks,
Just sending this along for fun; thought you might get a kick out of it.
My kitchen is open air and we get plenty of critters, but this was a first.
Signature: Tanya

Fiddler Crab

Blue Land Crab

Hi Tanya,
What a pretty little Fiddler Crab, and what a poser.  The Smithsonian has a nice article on Fiddler Crabs.

Hello, Daniel,
Glad you liked the photo.  But it’s not a fiddler crab.  It’s a blue land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) also known as duppy.  They get very large (“huge” says my Peterson Field Guide).  The one in the picture is a small, young animal.  When the mating season is on, they run in large numbers.  Their claws are capable of puncturing vehicle tires which is a hazard when they cross roads in swampy areas.  They are very tasty and are a much-prized delicacy in Belize.
I’m having lots of fun (and learning plenty) reading through the archives of WTB.  What a terrific job you and your small staff are doing.  Plenty of stars in your crowns.

Thanks for both the compliment and the correction Tanya.

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