Armadillidiidae

Armadillidiidae

Armadillidiidae is a family of woodlice, a terrestrial crustacean group in the order Isopoda. Unlike members of the family Porcellionidae, members of this family can roll into a ball, giving them their common name of "pill bug", "Woodlouse", "potato bug", "doodlebug", or the more recent and increasingly popularized term, "roly-poly", which has been used regionally as early as 1968. Uncited references also date use of the term in Texas as early as 1925.

The best known species in the family is Armadillidium vulgare, the common pill bug. These arthropods commonly feed on decaying vegetation and are found under logs, garbage pails or any other place where moisture can be found. Moisture is essential to pill bugs due to their breathing organs, which are like gills. Pill bugs, although often thriving in damp areas, have often been known to live in dry beds. These pill bugs have no specialized predators, though they play host to specialized parasitoids in the fly family Rhinophoridae.

Genera include:

Popular Culture

The fictional character of Retrax and Powerhug turn from robots into pill bugs.

Tuck & Roll were two pill bugs featured in the Disney, Pixar movie A Bug's Life.

The meal served at the restaurant in The Emperor's New Groove is shown as a giant cooked pillbug.

References

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