Identification of isopods in the pet trade

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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274
Other thread was deleted due to using photos not owned by the poster, so here's a continuation of that thread without any rule breaking. Right off the bat, here's a bunch of microscope and regular photos of a dissected male Nesodillo "Phipun/Red Tiger."

First 2 pairs of legs possess abundant hairs on the propodus and scarpus.
First pair of legs.
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Leg1_meruscarpus.png
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Leg1_propodus.png

Second pair of legs.
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Leg2_meruscarpus.png
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Leg2_propodus.png

Most hairs are absent by the third pair of legs.
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Leg3.png

Various shots of the mouth.
From the front.
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Mouth1.png

Ventral.
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Mouth3.png
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Mouth2.png

Unfortunately I appear to have completely destroyed the requested first pair of pleopods. I may have to dissect another male if those are still required.
Second? pair of pleopods.
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Pleopod1_Exopodite1.png
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Pleopod1_Exopodite2.png
 

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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274
Dorsal view of uropod.
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Uropoddorsall_1.png

Ventral view of uropod.
Nesodillo_sp._PhipunTiger_Uropodventral_1.png

Moving on to pictures taken with my DSLR.
From the left to right, first, second, and third legs.
CSC_2722.JPG

Dorsal view of telson and uropod(one destroyed.)
CSC_2724.JPG

Ventral view of telson and uropod.
CSC_2726.JPG

Antennae.
CSC_2732.JPG

Ventral view of cephalon.
CSC_2735.JPG

Frontal view of cephalon.
CSC_2742.JPG

Dorsal view of cephalon.
CSC_2745.JPG
 

Ponerinecat

Arachnoknight
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Dorsal view of first tergite.
CSC_2747.JPG

Ventral view of first tergite, showcasing the odd hollow "sacs" formed by a flange on the tergite.
CSC_2740.JPG

Various pleopods, in descending order but not consecutive.
CSC_2752.JPG
 

Xeroporcellio

Arachnosquire
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Feb 1, 2020
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56
@Xeroporcellio are these enough for a confident ID?
For the genus (Nesodillo), I believe that yes! The characters definitely match with it! For the species level, I would say that yes, but with the condition that wild specimens with exact-location labels will be collected at some point and examined/compared with museum specimens of known species from the nearby locations/countries. The supposed place of origin of this species is extremely understudied, with no known Nesodillo, Cubaris, Dryadillo etc species present (always according to the literature that I have found). As such, this ''hobby-variant'' almost certainly constitutes a new species of Nesodillo!
 

Ponerinecat

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Could "Cubaris sp crystal" be a species of Troglodillo? Troglodillo are known from Thailand while "sp. crystal" were collected in Malaysia, so the range seems to match up alright. They both have the same glossy texture and upturned first tergites as well. And of course, both are troglobites. Compare to this set of individuals here.
 

Xeroporcellio

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Could "Cubaris sp crystal" be a species of Troglodillo? Troglodillo are known from Thailand while "sp. crystal" were collected in Malaysia, so the range seems to match up alright. They both have the same glossy texture and upturned first tergites as well. And of course, both are troglobites. Compare to this set of individuals here.
Definitely a species of Troglodillo (according, as always, to current bibliography)! Could be a new species of the genus, as it supposedly originates from Malaysia (two of the known species are from China and the third from Northern Thailand) and the genus is cavernicolous (as such, it has limited distribution). However, as always, exact locality and comparison with museum specimens of the other species is needed.
 

Xeroporcellio

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Another obscure species that has recently entered the hobby and needs a bit of clarification regarding its true id, is ''Calendillo tillierorum''. As far as I am aware, this ''species'' of New Caledonian origin isn't widely known outside of the East Asian clade of the hobby and has never reached the American market. E.g., just type Calendillo tillierorum in Google-images; all results have Asian (probably Chinese?) titles beneath them. But what is truly ''Calendillo tillierorum''?

First things first, the name given to it is invalid not because, e.g., it's too generic like ''Cubaris'', but because the genus ''Calendillo'' simply doesn't exist at all! In reality, it is a misspelling of Caledonillo, a valid genus with two species endemic to New Caledonia. Something similar happens with ''Tuberillo borneanus'', which is usually sold as ''Turbellio borneonus''.

But even if the binomial was correctly written, is ''Calendillo tillierorum'' the true Caledonillo tillierorum? The answer is no. Caledonillo belongs to the ''Australiodilline'' group of Armadillidae, which is endemic to Oceania and contains relatively flat species with short frontal ledges and usually rounded or ''split'' telsons. Although ''Calendillo tillierorum'' is flat, its frontal ledge is too expanded and its telson too hourglass-shaped to belong to this group as currently constituted. Two examples of true ''Australiodillines'' with published photos are Schismadillo rouxi and (surprise!) the true* Caledonillo tillierorum. (*NOTE: As stated in the comment in iNaturalist, I must double-check the second species against bibliography to be sure. However, after a ''quick scan'' it definitely matches!)

Then, what exactly is ''Calendillo tillierorum''? Well, according to ''Isopoda terrestria von Neu-Caledonien und den Loyalty-Inseln'' by Verhoeff 1926, it is a species of Merulana. Characters that point towards this id, in comparison to the other New Caledonian Armadillidae genera, are 1) flat body, 2) expanded epistoma (frontal ledge) with median furrow and 3) trapezoid (hourglass-shaped) telson. Currently, there are two Merulana species in New Caledonia: Merulana translucida and Merulana noduligera (no known photos yet). In addition, Merulana translucida has two varieties: the dark ''translucida'' and the pale ''gracilior''. The two Merulana species are extremely similar in terms of morphology and their separation is delicate. In particular, Merulana translucida can be told apart because it has 1) more than 12 ocelli, 2) epistomal furrow without triangular cut at the front and 3) less pronounced tubercles. Of course, these ''characters'' may turn out being nothing more than intraspecific variation, but until then we can use them as valid criteria.

Finally, most photos of ''Calendillo tillierorum'' clearly show the ''characters'' of Merulana translucida (the rest of them are usually of insufficient quality) and as such, ''shout out'' their true identity. This, in combination with the above-mentioned information, doesn't leave a doubt that this particular identity is Merulana (cf.) translucida!
 

Ponerinecat

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It appears that Armadillidae sp. "round tail" or "green spot" has been identified as Troglodillo rotundatus, although the name is barely used by major vendors. However, once I read the actual description for the species, things don't seem to line up. At first glance they do seem to be the same. Yellow spots, smooth surface, dark triangle on pereonite 1. In fact I would just think they were variations within the same species if it were not for the fact that extremely minor differences can separate taxa. "Telson slightly longer than wide, distal part narrower than basal one, with more or less parallel sides." The exact opposite is present in "round tail/green spot," which has a wider telson at the distal part and sides converging towards the base. There's also a length difference, with "round tail/green spot" being 8 mm longer, unless the measurements given by vendors are faulty. I just wish there were good images of the frontal shield for "round tail/green spot."

Heres the link for a description if you'd like to look into it yourself: http://biostor.org/reference/95840

Edit: made a mistake here, the pleotelson of "round tail" corresponds with the description while the pleotelson of "green spot" does not. So it would appear they are not the same, as I had previously assumed. The length still doesn't seem to match up though.
 

Xeroporcellio

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It appears that Armadillidae sp. "round tail" or "green spot" has been identified as Troglodillo rotundatus, although the name is barely used by major vendors. However, once I read the actual description for the species, things don't seem to line up.
The proposed species identification for Armadillidae sp. "round tail/green spot" as Troglodillo rotundatus is indeed almost certainly false. However, it is worth mentioning that the genus seems to be correct! The photos of Armadillidae sp. "round tail/green spot" show animals with a general Troglodillo appearance (flat and smooth body, frontal shield with constriction in the middle, extremely long and thin antennae and telson that differs from the typical ''hourglass-shape'' of most ''Cubaris'' and ''Venezillo''). The given distribution is also well into the normal range of the genus (the three known Troglodillo spp. have been described from leaf-litter and caves in Thailand and China). As such, calling it Troglodillo ''green spots'' or cf. Troglodillo ''green spots'' in the hobby instead of Armadillidae sp. "round tail/green spot", until a proper description is done, is a good idea (definitely better than Cubaris sp. "round tail/green spot")!

On another genus, there is a serious possibility that Porcellio sp. ''Morocco'' is in reality Porcellio lepineyi. Recently, I tried to identify this photo from Moroccan Atlas Mountains. Searching through the relevant literature, I saw that the description of Porcellio lepineyi matched in visible parts with the habitus of the specimens in the photo (body color dark brown-grey with light epimera and uropods and depigmented margins, body surface covered with rounded granules, male uropods from normal-sized to very long, short and rounded middle lobe at the head with the lateral ones also short and extremely long antennae). Later, I remembered that similar specimens are kept in captivity as Porcellio sp. ''Morocco''. As such, it would be valuable if someone keeping them could examine and compare his/her specimens' morphology (especially male genitals/legs) with the bibliographical descriptions, so as to see if this identification is indeed the true one! Those two papers referred in iNaturalist can be found here (Paulian de Felice) and here (Scmalfuss).
 

Xeroporcellio

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Cubaris flavobrunnea = Cubaris "capira?"
Most probably. The description of Dollfus (1896) matches the external appearance of the specimens sold in the hobby as Cubaris "capira". Also, the distribution is given as ''Panama'', which is where C. flavobrunnea was described.

Two other species of isopods recently introduced to the hobby and their true (or possibly true) identities are the following:

  • Armadillidium sp. ''Adige Valley'': Currently, I have seen two species labeled as Armadillidium sp. ''Adige Valley''. One of them is paler grey, with irregular rows of yellowish and white dots and a triangular telson and the other is darker grey (sometimes with lighter margins on the tergites), with only one middle row of yellowish spots and a truncated telson. Here, I'll call Armadillidium sp. ''Adige Valley'' only the latter species, for reasons of simplicity (the taxonomy of the paler species is somewhat obscure, but it certainly belongs to the complex of Armadillidium tirolense-marmorivagum). So, the true identity of the Armadillidium sp. ''Adige Valley'' is in fact Armadillidium germanicum. Characters that point towards this identification, as given by Arcangeli (1940) and Schmoelzer (1965) are the following: a) Lateral edges of the forehead bending upwards into lobes, lying against the frontal shield and together with it forming a frontal brim (species with this particular character belong to the ''Marginiferae'' section, which includes species like A. germanicum, A. tirolense, A. ruffoi and the well-known A. werneri). b) Telson broadly truncated with straight sides. c) Smooth body surface. d) Coloration gray-black, with yellowish spots in a regular, fuzzy, longitudinal row.
  • Merulanella sp. ''starsky'': This is a very interesting species, both taxonomically and for the hobby. Concerning the hobby, I have only seen it twice, first in a post of an Asian keeper in Facebook and later for sale in a German site (just Google Merulanella sp. ''starsky'' and you will find the site). Taxonomically, it was initially described and inadequately figured as ''Armadillo'' intermixtus by Budde-Lund (1904) from specimens originated in Selangor (Malaysia) and never revised since. Characters, as given by Budde-Lund, that help identify and separate it from other ''Armadillo'' and ''Cubaris'' species are the following: a) Long and slender antennae that can reach or surpass the third tergite. b) Short and wide telson with rounded apex. c) Brownish base color with yellowish dots. Photos of wild specimens have already been posted in iNaturalist from the type locality and Singapore. For sure, the species doesn't belong to the Mediterranean genus Armadillo and it could be a member of Merulanella. However, until proper examination, we can use the last available binomial, which is ''Armadillo'' intermixtus.
 
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