Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.

Close

Why Do Pill Bugs Prefer Moist Environments?

By Ben Team

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Pill bugs -- also known as roly-polies or wood lice -- are terrestrial crustaceans known to scientists as isopods. Scientists have documented the existence of over 10,000 species, living on the ocean floor, high in the mountaintops and in every habitat between the two. Those lineages that have colonized land habitats are still beholden to water, as they require damp air for breathing.

Hold Your Breath

Crustaceans -- including pill bugs -- absorb oxygen through their gills. Gills only function when they are wet, so pill bugs must inhabit places in which the air holds a lot of water. When the ambient humidity is high -- such as after rainy weather -- the pill bugs are able to move about in the open. Gills present special problems for reproduction -- female pill bugs deposit their fertilized eggs in small, water-holding brood pouches, until the young are large enough to fend for themselves.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Cuteness
Brought to you by Cuteness

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

See More Animals