Sow bug on leaf litter

Title Info
Common name Sow bug
Scientific name Isopoda
Taxonomic group Crustacea
Level Order
Source Dan L. Perlman
Nutrient cycles Decomposition; Carbon
Change over time Decomposition
Organisms Animals
Animals Other invertebrates
Lessons Decomposers and detritivores
Location Newton,Massachusetts,USA,North America

Sow bug or Isopod in leaf litter, USA. Isopods like this one are common residents of leaf litter, where they help to decompose dead plant matter. Although they look superficially like beetles, they are crustaceans and therefore much more closely related to crabs than to insects. They have seven pairs of legs and four antennae, although two of the antennae are so small as to be virtually invisible without a microscope. Some terrestrial isopods will roll into an armored ball when disturbed, which has led to common names such as pill bug and rolly-poly. These animals seem to inspire people to name them, as they are also called doodlebugs and wood lice.