Monday, July 15, 2013

White Rolly Polly?

We have a garden container in front of our house. We planted creepy floxx there and it didn't do well. We had some marigolds left over and thought we'd put those there. Well they all got eaten. We thought maybe a squirrel or a raccoon. Turns out rolly pollies like tender young marigolds.  I didn't know they would go after any plants. I thought they only ate dead wood. Oh well. I guess I need to find a plant to put there that they don't like to eat since we have soooooooo many of them living in that flower bed.

Did you know rolly pollies could be white? I've seen plenty of grey ones and even some that were grey with yellow spots but never white. Well, never until now. I don't know how rare these are but check out these crazy pics.

This little guy (or gal) was the same size as a full grown rolly polly. You could see just a little color from it's internal organs and the black of it's eyes.

Some sources say they are white after molting. However arthropods apparently don't normally molt all at once and this little guy was completely white. From the tip of it's antenna to the end of ever tiny leg and it's entire underbelly as well.

Things you might not know about rolly pollies:

They are also called pill bugs, wood sow, wood louse
They are not insects
They are arthropods
More specifically they are crustaceans 
They are more closely related to lobsters than any insect
They can live 2 to 3 yrs
They carry their eggs in a pouch like a kangaroo and lay around 100 eggs at a time
They have 7 pairs of legs for a total of 14

Ok so there are some random facts for you about roll pollies. Do you have any rolly polly facts I left out? Do you know how rare my all white rolly polly is? I'd love to know more. Especially with all the unusually colored crustaceans turning up elsewhere it would be interesting to find out if my "pill bug" is another abnormality or just a natural part of it's life cycle. 

As far as games go when using this for a lesson plan. I suggest just letting the kids loose in the yard with jars and let them catch all they can. Who didn't love doing that as a kid? You could do a snack to go with it of "ants on a log" and just call it rolly pollies on a log. I think raisins look more like rollie pollies than ants anyway. 
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