name = Isopods

image_width = 250px
image_caption = "Eophreatoicus", a freshwater isopod from Australia
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
subphylum = Crustacea
classis = Malacostraca
ordo = Isopoda
ordo_authority = Latreille, 1817
subdivision_ranks = Suborders
subdivision =

Isopods are one of the most diverse orders of crustaceans, with many species living in all environments, but are most common in shallow marine waters. Unlike most crustaceans, isopods are successful on land (suborder Oniscidea, woodlice, which also includes sea slaters), although their greatest diversity remains in the deep sea (suborder Asellota). There are also several parasitic species within the genus "Cymothoa", commonly known as "tongue-biters" for their habit of nibbling off fishes' tongues and attaching themselves to the floor of the host's mouth. The isopods are an ancient group with fossils known from the Carboniferous (suborder Phreatoicidea, family Paleophreatoicidae) that only differ slightly from modern southern hemisphere freshwater phreatoicideans. There are 4000 known species [Walters, Martin & Johnson, Jinny. "The World of Animals". Bath, Somerset: Parragon, 2007.] .


Isopods have three main body parts; the head, thorax, and abdomen. They have one prominent pair of antennae which are used to search and taste and smell food and have a second pair which are not seen, and seven pairs of legs. Isopods have seven separate appendages on the thorax and paired appendages at the end of the abdomen called uropods. Isopods vary in colour from dark gray to white, with and without pattern.

Other Names

Various colloquial names for assorted Isopoda include Woodlouse, Roly-Poly, sowbug, and potato bug.

See also

*Giant isopod


External links

* [ Isopoda fact sheet - Guide to the marine zooplankton of south eastern Australia]
* [ Smithsonian Institution World List of Marine, Freshwater and Terrestrial Isopod Crustaceans]
* [ Buz Wilson's Isopod Sites Page]
* [ suborder Phreatoicidea]
* [ suborder Asellota]
* [ suborder Oniscidea]
* [ Prof. Chuck Holliday's Research Page] , Prof. Chuck Holliday, Dept. of Biology, Lafayette College. Contains links to articles on osmoregulation in isopods and other crustaceans.
* [ Australian Isopoda]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Isopoda — I*sop o*da, n. pl. [NL. See {Iso }, and { poda}.] (Zo[ o]l.) An order of sessile eyed Crustacea, usually having seven pairs of legs, which are all similar in structure. [1913 Webster] Note: The body is usually depressed, with the abdominal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Isopŏda — (Gleichfüßige), Familie der Asseln mit flachem Körper, siebengliederigem nicht mit dem Kopfe verschmolzenem Bruststücke, 14 gleich gebildeten Beinen, meist einfachen Augen u. 4 Fühlern, die äußeren größer; die Weibchen tragen die Eier unter der… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Isopoda —   [griechisch »Gleichfüßer«], die Asseln …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Isopoda — Isopoda, Asseln, ca. 8000 Arten umfassende Ordnung der Klasse der ⇒ Peracarida. Die I. leben meist im Meer, auch im Süßwasser (z.B. Asellus); in vielen Formen stellen sie die einzigen echten Landtiere unter den Krebsen. Körper meist abgeplattet;… …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • Isopoda —   Isópodos Eophreatoicus, un isópodo dulc …   Wikipedia Español

  • Isopoda — Dieser Artikel beschäftigt sich mit den Gliederfüßern Asseln; für weitere Bedeutungen des Begriffs siehe Assel/Asseln. Asseln Datei:Kellerassel 02.jpg Kellerassel (Porcellio scaber) Systematik Überstamm: Häutungstiere (Ecdysozoa) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Isopoda — Isopodes …   Wikipédia en Français

  • isopoda — (Order Isopoda): ( ) [Kensley and Schotte, 1989]. Schematic representation of an isopod illustrating morphological terms. [Kensley and Schotte, 1989] …   Crustacea glossary

  • Isopoda — noun woodlice • Syn: ↑order Isopoda • Hypernyms: ↑animal order • Member Holonyms: ↑Malacostraca, ↑subclass Malacostraca • Member Meronyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Isopoda — …   Википедия

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.