Hawaii Biological Survey's


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6. Dooryard Sowbug

Scientific name: Porcellio laevis

Classification: Phylum: Arthropoda. Class: Amphipoda

Origin: Introduced

Status: Common

Distribution: All the main islands

Sound file: --

Map: --

These little armadillo-like creatures live in moist areas,, usually under rocks or wood. They seem harmless, but they feed on plant seedlings and on the eggs of our native invertebrates, causing the decline of many populations. They can easily be distinguished from their close cousin, the pillbug, by the fact that these little guys can't roll up into a ball -- the pillbug can.

   Photo by Gordon Nishida