Thursday, April 21, 2011

More than you ever wanted to know about pill bugs

Pill bugs, belonging to the family of woodlice known as Armadillidiidae, are a member of the subphylum Crustacea and are thus more closely related to crabs and lobsters than to insects like beetles or centipedes. Utilizing gills to undergo respiration, pill bugs require a moist environment to avoid suffocation via the drying out of gill membranes. Pill bugs do not urinate, and instead excrete nitrogenous wastes through their exoskeleton and into the air as gases. In addition to curling into a ball when threatened and the ability to drink out of its anus, pill bugs eat their own feces in order to sequester precious excreted copper used in hemocyanin, an oxygen transporter similar to hemoglobin, which grants pill bug blood a blue color.

Sources: and Wikipedia

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