The Secret Life of the Rollie Pollie
No time for a clever opening, we have a LOT to cover!
I’m sure we have all seen a Rollie Pollie/Pill Bug/Doodle Bug at one time in our lives and have seen it roll into a perfect little ball for protection! Native to the Mediterranean, ‘Armadillidium vulgare’ have been a delightful and harmless companion to anyone spending time outside. But here is what most of us didn’t know…
These useful creatures not only help with composting organic material but are actually very useful in contaminated sites for their ability to eat and crystallize heavy metals that stay in their bodies for the 1.5 years of the bugs life.
Rollie Pollies are actually crustaceans, making them closer to crabs and lobster than to insects. In fact, you can tell how much they loved the water at one point because these little cuties still have gills! To keep their gills from drying out they tend to hang out in moist places such as under rocks.
Rollie Pollies are the ULTIMATE recyclers. They self-coprophagy, meaning they eat their own feces, which allows them to obtain nutrients they may have missed in the first digestive cycle.
Also, they are able to drink water through their mouths or through tubes located in their rear.
So, there you have it! Some of the weirdest facts about one of the cutest bugs.
Janet Douberly is now wondering why her mom always calls her Doodle Bug, at Downtown Greens.
This article was published in the March 2023 edition of Front Porch Magazine. To view the full publication use the link below.