I found it in Russia.

Insect in question

Where do they usually live? What do they eat?

Full length is approximately 2 cm.

  • $\begingroup$ Terrestrial crustacean $\endgroup$ Sep 10, 2016 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


This is a terrestrial isopod crustacean called a woodlouse (colloquially referred to as pill bugs, potato bugs, roly-pollies, sow bugs, etc.).

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There are over 5000 species in the world with at least 64 in Russia (see Kuznetsova & Gongalsky 2012).


Woodlice are typically found in damp, dark places -- in the soil, under rocks/logs/debris, etc.

Living in a terrestrial environment, woodlice breathe through trachea-like lungs in their paddle-shaped hind legs (pleopods), called pleopodal lungs. Woodlice need moisture because they rapidly lose water by excretion and through their cuticle, and so are usually found in damp, dark places


As with all Arthropoda, the woodlouse is a segmented animal with a rigid exoskeleton and jointed limbs.

  • However, this is not an insect! Insects have 3 pairs of legs while isopods have 7 pairs of legs.

The extended uropods on your specimen as well as the pereon-pleon junction, number of antenna flagella, etc. all are important for IDing to species. (E.g., see here).

Note: although many people associate these arthropods with the ability to roll up into a perfect ball, only woodlice in the genus Armadillidium and in the family Armadillidae can roll up into an almost perfect sphere as a defensive mechanism.


Woodlice are generally detritivores, meaning they eat decaying organic matter.


Kuznetsova, Daria M., and Konstantin B. Gongalsky. "Cartographic analysis of woodlice fauna of the former USSR." ZooKeys 176 (2012): 1.


Seems to be it's a Woodlouse!


  • 8
    $\begingroup$ And, of course, whatever it is it isn't an insect. $\endgroup$
    – Alan Boyd
    Apr 11, 2013 at 14:04
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Indeed, by true definition you are looking at a crustacean instead of an insect. The differentiation can be made because crustaceans are biramous, meaning their "legs" have two segments instead of the typical one in most insects. $\endgroup$
    – mikedugan
    Apr 11, 2013 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelCannon.. arachnid perhaps ?? $\endgroup$
    Apr 12, 2013 at 8:26
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG it has 12 legs, arachnids have 8 by definition. The woodlouse/pill bug is in the subphylum of Crustacea. $\endgroup$
    – rg255
    Apr 13, 2013 at 7:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ and interestingly, woodlice are said to be delicious in a soup! $\endgroup$
    – Ste
    Apr 16, 2013 at 11:44

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