Isopod Law

Isopod enthusiast

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
3
I have 2 Questions:
1. What is the evidence (any scientists in the room with a link to a scientific article I can likely access it even if it is behind a paywall because I am a University of Minnesota student, although I got a bachelor's in biology I'm going for my PharmD (I'm in pharmacist school) of the environmental damage naturalized or invasive isopods or springtails have done to the environment? I saw this earlier:
IMO armadillidium should be eradicated from all of north america.. they have absolutely decimated native isopoda, V. californicus is likely extinct due to its much lower fecundity and limited habitat.
Could you please provide the full scientific name for this species because I have thoroughly scoured the internet for any mention of this species and I need to go to bed, so any more information about how the entire species of armadilidium has wiped out this mysterious V. californicus and any further reaching ecological damage this species or any other isopod species/subspecies considered naturalized or invasive has or may cause would be greatly appreciated.
2. Would any isopod species be able to survive a Minnesota winter and cause any ecological harm in Minnesota or any other state where winters temperatures can get to down -30 degrees F on a normal year?
 

pannaking22

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
4,219
I have 2 Questions:
1. What is the evidence (any scientists in the room with a link to a scientific article I can likely access it even if it is behind a paywall because I am a University of Minnesota student, although I got a bachelor's in biology I'm going for my PharmD (I'm in pharmacist school) of the environmental damage naturalized or invasive isopods or springtails have done to the environment? I saw this earlier:

Could you please provide the full scientific name for this species because I have thoroughly scoured the internet for any mention of this species and I need to go to bed, so any more information about how the entire species of armadilidium has wiped out this mysterious V. californicus and any further reaching ecological damage this species or any other isopod species/subspecies considered naturalized or invasive has or may cause would be greatly appreciated.
2. Would any isopod species be able to survive a Minnesota winter and cause any ecological harm in Minnesota or any other state where winters temperatures can get to down -30 degrees F on a normal year?
Venezillo californicus

Plenty survive up in Minnesota normally, though most are probably the naturalized species instead of the native ones.
 

Isopod enthusiast

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
3
Interesting, do you happen to know what species of isopods can survive the Northern Winters? Or can all isopods figure out a way to survive a winter?
 

CanebrakeRattlesnake

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
40
According to iNaturalist, the species we have here in Wisconsin are:
  • Armadillidium vulgare
  • Armadillidium nasatum
  • Oniscus asellus
  • Porcellionides pruinosus
  • Porcellio spinicornis
  • Porcellio scaber
  • Trachelipus rathkii
The species I've personally seen in my yard are A. vulgare, P. spinicornis, and I think T. rathkii.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnodemon
Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
Messages
687
Interesting, do you happen to know what species of isopods can survive the Northern Winters? Or can all isopods figure out a way to survive a winter?
Given that they burrow underground where it's considerably warmer, and given the density of human construction that offers additional warmth underground, I suspect a majority of species have the potential to survive winters in most of North America (but probably not latitudes that have widespread permafrost). The exclusively tropical species may not thrive, but there are plenty of temperate and sub-tropical species that could readily adapt. As an example, Armadillidium vulgare, which is extremely common throughout North America, was introduced from Europe, and is considered a pest on soybean crops because they damage the root systems and kill the plants. Those soybeans are mostly grown in the regions you're talking about - areas with harsh winters.
 

Isopod enthusiast

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
3
Venezillo californicus

Plenty survive up in Minnesota normally, though most are probably the naturalized species instead of the native ones.
This explains why finding information on V. californicus was so hard; the taxonomist changed the name of this species to Armadillo affinis, and there have been 5 name changes of this species. The taxonomist website even says Armadillo affinis is a temporary name. Source: http://www.marinespecies.org/isopoda /aphia.phpp=taxdetails&id=259049
You can see that Venezillo californicus was this species's original name if you look at the bottom of this list. I would assume these name changes are due to being able to sequence genes and create better phylogeny trees over time.

Is Armadillidium a distinct species from Armadillo?
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnodemon
Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
Messages
687
Is Armadillidium a distinct species from Armadillo?
A distinct genus - the two genera are from different families. According to wikipedia, there are currently considered to be 178 species of Armadillidium. I can't find a raw listing of Armadillo species, but I see that iNaturalist has a number of observations within this genus, mostly in southern Europe. Regardless, it appears to be a much less widely-distributed genus. Taxonomy changes are sometimes due to sequencing, but just as often they have to do with re-examination of traits from older collections. There are a lot of small critters, and not a lot of people or money thrown at studying them, so often older taxonomies are a mess, and it can take years to re-examine vast dusty collections.
 
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