Currently viewing the category: "Sow Bugs, Pill Bugs, Isopods, Lawn Shrimp and Amphipods"

Subject:  Mystery Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Mid Michigan
Date: 08/23/2021
Time: 01:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These bugs were found on tree limbs that had been cut. I can’t find anything that says what they are.
How you want your letter signed:  unsure what this means

Sowbugs

Dear Unsure,
These are Sowbugs, Terrestrial Crustaceans that help break down decaying vegetable matter in the woods and garden.

 

Subject:  bug id
Geographic location of the bug:  Santa Cruz Mountains
Date: 08/08/2019
Time: 08:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these bugs in my spring water filter, and a few in my tank.  Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  lesley obermayer

Freshwater Crustacean

Dear Lesley,
We cannot provide you with a species identification, but this is some type of Freshwater Crustacean, probably an Amphipod or Isopod.  Most Amphipods are found in saltwater, but they can also be found in freshwater, including in caves.  According to BugGuide:  “A clear view of the antennae is needed to identify freshwater amphipods beyond order level.”  The only freshwater species pictured on the Natural History of Orange County is
Gammarus, and we would eliminate that as a possibility.  California Fish and Game has an online paper entitled Checklist of inland aquatic Isopoda (Crustacea: Malacostraca) of California, but there are no images.  BugGuide has an image of an Isopod in the family Asellidae and the genus Lirceolus that looks very similar to your individual, and we would attempt additional research by searching for members of the family Asellidae found in California.  The previously noted paper by California Fish and Game includes many family members, but again, there are no images.  This could be a rare endemic species, or it might be an exotic introduction.   Though we cannot provide you with anything more specific, we do feel confident that their presence will not adversely affect the quality of your spring water.

Freshwater Crustaceans

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much. You appear to have identified our bugs.
Now we have to figure out how to eliminate them. Appreciate you taking the time and trouble to help us out.
Enjoy your days,
Lesley Obermayer

Freshwater Crustaceans

You are welcome.  You might want to check with your local natural history museum for a more definitive identification.

Subject:  Help! These are in my laundry room.
Geographic location of the bug:  Houston, Texas
Date: 05/12/2019
Time: 09:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please tell me what these are. I have been finding them by the door that leads outside, next to my dogs crate in the laundry room
How you want your letter signed:  Becky S

Lawn Shrimp

Dear Becky,
You have Lawn Shrimp, also known as House Hoppers.  They are introduced terrestrial Amphipods from Australia that have naturalized in California, and have also been reported in Georgia, according to BugGuide, but this is the first report we know of from Texas.  According to BugGuide their habitat is  “Moist soil and organic matter within 13 mm of the surface, often among ivy or other ground covers, mostly eucalyptus. Their exoskelton has no waxy coating to keep moisture in, so they can’t survive dryness. They drown in water, though, so they need continuously moist, but not waterlogged conditions.”  BugGuide also notes:  “These are rarely seen except when flooding or lack of moisture forces them to abandon their home in the soil in search for suitable conditions. At such times they often end up dieing on pavement or in homes and become a nuisance. Once they start appearing, there’s not much that can be done except to sweep them up- pesticides are pointless, bcause by then they’re already dying or dead.”

 

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

Isopods

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?

 

Isopods

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.

Subject:  Unknown Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  California Coastal
Date: 02/16/2019
Time: 12:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I keep finding these bugs dead on my floor. I opened some boxes from overseas so that my be where they came from.
How you want your letter signed:  Simon

Lawn Shrimp

Dear Simon,
You are correct that this Terrestrial Amphipod, commonly called a Lawn Shrimp or House Hopper, is from oversees, however, we do not believe it came from your boxes.  Lawn Shrimp have been reported in Southern California for many years.  According to BugGuide, their range is “Southeastern Australia (New South Wales and Victoria), as well as nearby areas of the Pacific, but introduced into New Zealand, the British Isles, Florida and California” and “Non-native; introduced probably from Australia along with blue-gum eucalyptus trees in the 1800s. First recorded in San Francisco, CA in 1967.”  They are not usually noticed until we have soaking rains and they seek shelter from the water-soaked ground.  BugGuide notes:  “These are rarely seen except when flooding or lack of moisture forces them to abandon their home in the soil in search for suitable conditions. At such times they often end up dieing on pavement or in homes and become a nuisance. Once they start appearing, there’s not much that can be done except to sweep them up- pesticides are pointless, bcause by then they’re already dying or dead.”

Subject:  Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Ireland
Date: 02/06/2019
Time: 08:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have found two of theses and my skin is itchy could you tell me what it is
How you want your letter signed:  I don’t understand this

Woodlouse

This is a terrestrial Isopod known as a Woodlouse and we doubt it has anything to do with your itchiness.