Sea Slater in British Columbia

Subject: like a silverfish but bigger?
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
June 4, 2016 8:38 pm
We found these bugs along the seawall of Stanley Park, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. They came in both brownish and grayish colours, and tended to scuttle off over the wall toward the beach / water when we got near. The only one we got a photo of was actually two bugs, with one on top of the other — they crossed the path in front of us and then went over the wall. They were 2-3 inches long. Online searches make us think they might be a kind of silverfish, but they were much larger than any I’ve ever seen domestically!
Signature: K&M

Sea Slater
Sea Slater

Dear K&M,
This is a marine Isopod in the family Ligiidae, commonly called a Sea Slater.  According to the Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia, it is
Ligia occidentalis, also called “Beach Cockroach; California Sea Slater; Rock Louse; Southern Sea Slater; Western Sea Roach.”

1 thought on “Sea Slater in British Columbia”

  1. I saw a sea slater the other day while visiting Fort Sumter, in Charleston, SC. Everyone else was looking at the ruins but all I could think about was “what WAS that bug??” I finally asked a park ranger, and she explained it was a sea slater, aka wharf roach, and that it was invasive but harmless to people and to the environment. Curiosity satisfied, I was able to take in some history. Cool bug.


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