r/NatureIsFuckingLit Dec 08 '22

🔥 Bright blue roly-poly

Post image
415 Upvotes

73

u/simply_cha0s Dec 08 '22

“There is a type of virus called an “iridovirus” that attacks terrestrial isopods (roly polys or pill bugs) and forms crystals beneath their external skeleton (shell or cuticle). The accumulation of these crystals causes their appearance to change from the normal gray or brown to a bright blue, violet or purple.” Source: Project Noah

16

u/thethoughtemporium Dec 09 '22

So "crystal" is sort of misleading here. It's actually closer to opal in that it's a dense packing of nearly spherical viral capsids, rather than something like a salt crystal which is made up of a repeating pattern of individual atoms. It's what's called "structural color" because the crystals are not colorful inherently, but because of how they distort the light that hits them. Like how an oil slick is rainbowy but oil itself is a pretty boring clear yellow in bulk. The transmission electron microscope images of this look super cool. They aren't always blue either. The shade changes and sometimes they look straight up iridescent which is where the virus gets it's name.

2

u/Bright-Ticket-6623 Dec 09 '22

That sounds potentially painful!

5

u/mysteriously_moist Dec 09 '22

Worse I'm afraid it's 100% fatal

1

u/pichael288 Dec 09 '22

I have the powder blue ones in my lizard cage as a clean up crew. Do those have the virus?

19

u/ThatHikingDude Dec 08 '22

Yep, soon to be dead roly poly

13

u/KevlahR Dec 08 '22

Eat the blue pill(bug)

5

u/SnooDoubts826 Dec 08 '22

based and bluepillbugged

3

u/MycoCrazy Dec 09 '22

These guys are so cool 😎 Armadillidium vulgare is a decomposer and are actually a type of land crustacean. They can chelate heavy metals like lead and cadmium and help control pests like stink bugs by eating their eggs.

6

u/Longjumping_Glove915 Dec 08 '22

Its a real life shiny quick make sure to catch it!

2

u/Rude_Commercial_7470 Dec 09 '22

Rolly covid polly

-4

u/Farmoid Dec 08 '22

Roly-poly?? You mean woodlouse?

17

u/Azair_Blaidd Dec 08 '22

Woodlouse, roly poly, pillbug, and about 20 other wildly different regional names

4

u/Kamikazekagesama Dec 08 '22

I grew up calling them potato bugs

4

u/redrose55x Dec 08 '22

Regional names can differ! They’re scientifically called isopods. I’ve only ever heard them called roly-polys where I live (southern USA).

3

u/Deleena24 Dec 09 '22

Grew in in Chicago and I've only ever heard them called roly-poly unless in a school setting.

3

u/mysteriously_moist Dec 09 '22

Here in the uk we do not called them roly-polys mainly because our most common species of isopods do not roll. America has a lot of species of Armadillidium (yep named after armadillos for their ability to roll up) while in the uk our most common species are Porcellio scaber and other species that aren't able to roll up into a ball.

We do however have a ridiculously large collection of common names for them all packed into a small island which includes: woodlouse, pill bug, Billy Baker, Monkey pea, Grammer zow, Parson's pig, Chiggy wig, Cheese log, Daddy granfer, Granny grunter, Damper, Slate cutter, Hardy back, Penny sow, Cheesy bug, Nut bug + like 50 more... literally. Its not an exaggeration that every other town has their own name for them.

2

u/redrose55x Dec 09 '22

Omg those names….I can’t decide which one I like best. Maybe cheese log, bc of the mental image of a whole tube of cheese crawling over a rock

-1

u/waxlez2 Dec 08 '22

*Isopoda. Isopod is the english name.

1

u/ProfessionalAccess68 Dec 09 '22

Get the pokeball!

1

u/KarinSpaink Dec 09 '22

First time I saw one of these purple roly-polys in my garden, I thought that they had gone nuclear :)

1

u/madmancryptokilla Dec 09 '22

Global warming....

1

u/SoBadit_Hurts Dec 09 '22

Most closely related to shellfish.

1

u/roseeyes444 Dec 09 '22

Call in team Isopod!

1

u/Chiefydawg1 Dec 09 '22

I thought I made up the name "roly-poly" for these when I was 6 for some reason.

1

u/thegoodtimelord Dec 09 '22

Shine a UV light on it!!!

1

u/ghertypurt Dec 09 '22

Shiny rolly Polly

1

u/Idonotenjoygender666 Dec 09 '22

OMG A SHINY! LET ME GRAB MY QUICK BALL

1

u/TheRealNathanVo Dec 09 '22

Well that's AWESOME!

1

u/nxnphatdaddy Dec 09 '22

He shall die in a most fabulously colorful way... Yeah, its a a virus that spreads rapidly. Infecting entire populations but only a few get the heavily symptomatic version of the disease. The virus usually doesnt kill many but a sure sign of death is the vibrant color change.

1

u/RedArrowB06 Dec 09 '22

It’s a shiny Pokémon!

1

u/MikeHuntIsDeepest 3d ago

Isopod please. I grew up calling them wood bugs, and rolly polly for the ones that turned to balls. I know places that call them one or the other. Can we just do isopod please?