The common, tiny pillbugs you can find almost anywhere in the world are isopods, but there were ALSO millipede species so short and stubby they look almost identical to one, and are referred to as pill millipedes! They’re usually far larger, an inch or more, and mostly found in tropical forests.
Here’s a pillbug:
Here’s a pill millipede:
The biggest difference is just in the antennae.
This armadillo-like shape that can curl into a ball is so efficient, it has evolved many times in nature. There are also pill cockroaches, and they’re super cuties:
(from beetles in the bush)
Note that pill millipedes are sometimes available for sale as pets, but NOBODY, in the pet hobby or the scientific world, has been successful keeping them alive in captivity for more than a couple months, whereas they are believed to live many years in the wild. It seems that there may be certain critical elements of their diet in the wild that we just don’t know about yet, or something goes wrong with their gut flora when removed from their natural habitat.
Reblogging this from Jesus Lizard who reblogged this from my bug blog because I am that lazy