Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fourteen leggers, all

The Christmas season seems to have started. Laurie's making Christmas cards; I'm making lists.  Food, gifts to make, buy and/or wrap, seating and eating arrangements, cleaning to do, guests ... my family will be here Christmas Eve, some 25 or more of them. We probably won't be getting out much for the next two weeks.

I'll be getting my critter fix from my files; good thing there are so many!

These sea slaters were on the rocks at Oyster Bay, on Vancouver Island this summer.

The antennae look like old lead pipes.

Ligia pallasi

These isopods live just above the high tide line, hiding in the cracks of the rocks in the daytime, coming out at night to scavenge for dead plants and animals or growing algae. They can be quite large, up to about 1 1/2 inches long. Most are uniformly grey; the ones we saw at Oyster Bay had a cream-coloured dotted line down the center of the armored plates.

They are in the same sub-order as our common woodbugs or pillbugs, and look very much like one, only larger and faster-moving.


Armadillidium vulgare, our common pillbug

And here are some intertidal isopods, also for comparison:

Intertidal isopods, next beach up. About 1/3 the size of the sea slaters.

Local eelgrass isopod. About 1/2 inch long.


I'm having to moderate all comments because Blogger seems to have a problem notifying me. Sorry about that. I will review them several times daily, though, until this issue is fixed.

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!

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