Do Pill Bugs Have Eyes?

By Jane Meggitt

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If you spot a pill bug, also known as a "roly-poly," you'll notice a creature with a lot of legs, an armored body, antennae and a small head. Armadillium vulgare, the pill bug, isn't actually an insect. It belongs to the crustacean family, which includes crabs and lobsters. Those familiar crustaceans have eyes on the end of moveable stalks, but that's not true of their pill bug cousin.

Pill Bug Vision

Instead of stalks, pill bugs have eyes on each side of the head. These eyes consist of only a few simple cells capable of light detection. Other than that, they really can't see.

Pill Bug Feeding

Pill bugs do most of their scavenging and feeding during the night, so their poor vision isn't a hindrance. They consume decaying plant materials, aiding the decomposition process. Although they rest during the day, you might spot them on overcast days, when their light cells can't detect sunlight.

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Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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