For this project I had observed the coolest bug balls on earth, the roly- poly. They are commonly known as the roly-poly, also pill bug, and wood lice. Its scientific name is Armadilidum vulgare. It is actually not an insect, it is an isopod ( a type of arthropod). It’s genus is Armadilidum, it’s Phylum is Arthopoda, and Subphylum is Crustacea. I have observed that the exoskeleton is a blue-gray, it is an invertebrate, it’s mouth, antennae and eyes are located on it’s head, and it rolls into a perfect sphere as defense when being disturbed or threatened. It has 2 pairs of antennae (one barely visible), it has 2 eyes, it has 7 pairs of jointed legs, and it’s about 3/8 inches long.
I have learned that the specimen is on the bottom of the food web, and it is not a predator, and much of a prey. It’s diet consists of decaying/dying plants and small animals, along with some living plants. They are omnivores and scavengers. They’re natural enemies are frogs, newts, small mammals that live/hunt in moist areas. The spiders also hunt them; also the fly family Rhinophoridae has their larvae feed off the pillbugs. Prey consists of mostly decaying plants and animals because it can only chew tender shoots. The habitat of them needs to be moist areas. This is because they breathe using something similar to gills. So they can be found in temperate forests, rainforests, grasslands, under rocks, dead logs, soil, or even on the bottom of a garbage pail.
The pillbug has an average lifespan of about 2 years average. The bug was caught on August 25, 2008 Monday- approximately 3:45 p.m.