27 November 2009

It came out of a snail shell


But it's not a snail. It's an isopod, specifically, a Philoscia muscorum*. Here it is before it was forcefully evicted from its abode, a shell of Cepaea nemoralis that was devoid of a snail.


Of the about 130 Cepaea shells I collected last weekend, 3 had isopods in them. Empty land snail shells are prime real estate for many invertebrates that are small enough to fit in them. I took that sentence verbatim from this post where the occupant of the shell was a thrips.

I am thinking of putting some empty snail shells in my yard to see if any isopods will move in.

*Thanks to Joan and Barbara for conforming the ID.


Anonymous said...

awww.... a rolly bug! i think they're so cute.

Joel VanDerMeulen said...

You're quite lucky when it comes to arthropods inside your shells Aydin.

Or should I call you Mr. Orstan?


Call me Master. No, Aydin is fine.

Anonymous said...

Yes it sure is great real estate! If I was that size, or a bit smaller still, I would love to live in a shell of Cepaea nemoralis. It would be sort of like living in the main part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, but perhaps even more beautiful; imagine the color of the light as the sun shines through the shell! But I suppose I would have to keep a little stick with me, in order to chase away the woodlice or "chuggy pegs" as they were known in North Devon when I was a child. Or maybe I could make myself a little saddle and ride them around!

Susan J. Hewitt


Watch out for spiders, for they like the empty shells too.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I forgot about spiders! I guess I will need a shell with a calcareous epiphragm and a way of keeping it closed too!

Susan J Hewitt