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Pill bugs (Armadillidium sp., aka Roly Poly) and Sow bugs (Oniscus or Porcellio sp., aka potato bugs or wood lice) are frequently confused but they are very easy to distinguish from one another if you look closely. (The diagrams below show them both but letter B is the pill bug) However, either species is very easy to keep in a classroom. Also, contrary to popular belief, these animals are not “bugs” (Class Insecta) but are related to shrimp and lobster (Class Crustacea). Female pill bugs and sow bugs carry eggs in a brood pouch under the exoskeleton and are difficult to see. Development of the young into full-size adults takes approximately a year.


  • Live Material Care
  • Growth Media
  • Laboratory Techniques