Ento-musings from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Amazing Marine Isopod

Marine isopods show up in the news from time to time. These are basically giant, sea-going cousins of the roly-polies and pillbugs that hang around homes here in Kentucky. Fox news issued a report about one recently: this one was over 2 feet long. The ones I have read about before are only about 1 foot long. Neat critters. They supposedly scavenge whale and squid carcasses on the ocean floor. By the way: isopods are not insects, they are crustaceans. This means that they are more closely related to lobsters and crabs than beetles and butterflies. And I am convinced that a giant isopod would taste great with drawn butter and a little salt.

Here is a wikipedia entry with lots of info about giant isopods.


  1. I think it’s very interesting that not only do we have a terrestrial species of isopod but also a aquatic freshwater species living side by side and looking very similar here in Kentucky

  2. Yeah, and it's also amazing that the terrestrial groups have external gill-like structures that are somehow able to work on land. I've read that many times, and I'm still not sure that I believe it. I need to learn more about isopods. Who would've ever thought that roly-polies could be so interesting?