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Sowbugs and pillbugs are the only two crustaceans that have adapted themselves entirely to land. Both are commonly referred to as the "roly poly" for their ability to roll up into a tightly-wound ball. What makes these bugs fascinating is that actually have gills instead of a trachea from which they breathe. Sowbugs are related to snails and slugs. Sowbugs are virtually the same as pill bugs, but have a wider body and cannot roll themselves into a ball (the above-mentioned roly poly), and have two appendages that protrude from the rear of the body. They have oval bodies which have 7 overlapping plates, as well as 7 pairs of legs. The head and abdomen are small compared to rest of body and they can reach 3/4 inch in length.
Both are scavengers, which feed on decaying organic matter and can injure young plants. They like moist locations and are found under objects on the damp ground, as well as under vegetable debris of all kind. They may bury themselves several inches into the soil to hide away and remain cool, especially during hot days and summer temperatures. They are active mostly at night.
The female carries her young in a pale colored vivarium or marsupium on the underside of her body. The young are white in color.