The Bug of My Childhood

If you asked me to name one bug that reminded me of my childhood, I would probably say the rollie-pollie, a.k.a. the pill bug (Armadillidiidae). It was easy to find, didn’t bite or sting, and was fun to make roll into a ball. That makes it slightly ironic that this is the first time I’ve photographed the miniature armadillo.

 

Technically considered an isopod (related to crustaceans), the pill bug is helpful because it eats decomposing plants and materials, but that means it is usually found in dark, moist places – places not conducive to natural-light photography.

 

When I found several pill bugs on the underside of a board, I decided it was a good opportunity for taking some pictures because I could position the board in the sunlight. I had to turn the board over several times as the bugs would keep crawling to the underneath to get out of the sunlight.

 

pill bug

I didn’t realize some had colorful markings on their bodies.

 

pill bug

The tiny black spot at the front is one of its eyes.

 

pill bug

It has seven legs on each side, and each pair of legs appears to line up with an armor segment.

 

pill bug

This one had a dent in its armor.

 

pill bug

 

 

These critters were much more interesting up-close than I expected, but I can’t believe I forgot to make one roll into a ball for a photo! Oh, well. They’re on my imaginary list of things to photograph again, and hopefully with a nicer backdrop than a 2×4.

 

 

Macro Mystery #21 reveal:

 

Macro Mystery #22 clue:

macro mystery 22

Macro Mystery #22 clue.

 

 

Do you think you know what this is? You can write your guesses in the comment section below. The answer will be revealed next week!

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