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Isopods



Garden Peacock: example of terrestrial isopod

What they are - biological definition

Isopods are small size crustacean animals (order Isopoda). They can be found in soil and freshwater, although most species live in marine water (seas and oceans).

One of the best-known species of Isopods is the garden stick.

Probably these crustaceans have been around for 300 million years, ie since the Paleozoic Era. Currently, about 10,000 species of Isopods are known.

Key features of isopods:

- They have a flattened body.

- The body consists of head, chest and abdomen.

- They have two pairs of antennas on the head.

- Have articulated limbs and exoskeleton formed by chitin.

- Feeding varies greatly from species to species. Some isopods feed on plants, others on decaying animals, others are filterers and some species are fish parasites.

- Most species have sex separation. Only a few are hermaphrodites.

Examples of Isopod animals:

- Armadillidium vulgare - Garden Gecko (also known as a little buzzard and armadillo).

- Eurydice pulchra

- Anilocra

- Asellota

- Phoratopus Remex

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subfilo: Crustacea

Class: Malacostraca

Subclass: Eumalacostraca

Superorder: Peracarida

Order: Isopoda

Biological curiosity:

- The largest isopod on earth is the Bathynomus spp. It is known as the giant isopod and is about 50 cm long.

Euridyce pulchra: another example of isopod animal.