What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown “insect” under water
Geographic location of the bug:  Madison county Kentucky USA
Date: 04/05/2019
Time: 01:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these in a communications manhole. They seem to have 6 legs per side for a total of 12.
How you want your letter signed:  Ian


Dear Ian,
These are sure puzzling creatures, and we cannot devote the time we would like to their identification at this moment.  We are posting your images and we hope to hear from our readers while we do additional research.  Are you able to provide any information on their size?



Update:  We suspected these were Crustaceans.  We wrote to Eric Eaton who wrote back “Some kind of amphipod, not sure beyond that as they are not insects nor arachnids.”  In researching Freshwater Isopods, we found these image of a cave dwelling Isopod on Encyclopedia of Arkansas, and since there are numerous caves in Kentucky, we speculated that it would be easy for some cave species to survive in a sewer.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Madison County, Kentucky

5 Responses to Isopods found in Manhole in Kentucky

  1. Jim Harrison says:

    This is probably a crazy suggestion, but when I saw the pictures I was reminded of an obscure crustacean group, the ramipedia. Ramipedes are colorless, multi-legged cave dwellers and Madison county is karst country. Unfortunately, known species occur in saline, ocean-adjacent caves in the Caribbean, Azores, and Western Australia. I only know about ’em because I’m interested in phylogeny, and ramipedes have been suggested as the sister group to hexapods (= insects + springtails and protura.) The other possibility that occurred to me was some odd-ball kind of fairy shrimp.

  2. Grant says:

    Superficicially it looks like a centipede. And then the more I look the more everything still adds up to a centipede.
    I wanna believe in aquatic centipedes I really do. Clear colouring, no notable eyes, wet environment obviously a native cave dweller. Found nothing online relevant.

  3. Black Zarak says:

    After some Googling, they look to be groundwater isopods?

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