Lecanicillium saksenae infecting Porcellio scaber

© Nathan Jones, some rights reserved (CC-BY)

First record of Lecanicillium saksenae infecting an isopod species.

In 2022 this fungi popped up in one of our wild-caught Porcellio scaber cultures and quickly decimated their population (100 individuals), the fungi then spread to our Porcellio laevis and Armadillidium vulgare cultures. We were unable to identify this species morphologically; however, Josh McGinnis was able to identify the species based on its ITS region. This species could be implemented as a biological control agent for Armadillidium vulgare, a common agricultural pest, as the species has already been used as a biological control for Leptocorisa acuta and Pseudococcidae.

Lecanicillium saksenae infecting Armadillidium vulgare

First record of Lecanicillium saksenae infecting Armadillidium vulgare.

© Nathan Jones, some rights reserved (CC-BY)

Lecanicillium saksenae infecting Porcellio laevis

First record of Lecanicillium saksenae infecting Porcellio laevis.

© Nathan Jones, some rights reserved (CC-BY)

Woodlouse Flies (Rhinophoridae)

Melanophora roralis (Smoky-winged Woodlouse Fly)

© Nathan Jones, some rights reserved (CC-BY)

Melanophora roralis was introduced to the united states from Europe along with their "prey" Oniscoidea. The species inhabit old-growth forests and damp areas near the shore. The females of this species have distinctive white spots at the tips of their wings and lay from 189 to 238 eggs. It takes up to 21 days for the species to pupate.

This individual was found in a wild-caught culture of Porcellio scaber and reproduced in captivity for five generation before dieing off due to an unknown reason. 

Tricogena rubricosa parasatizing a Porcellio spinicornis

Native to Europe not found in the Americas

@ Benedikt Kästle, all rights reserved by


Candidatus Rickettsiella isopodorum’ infecting Porcellio scaber

© C. Young, all rights reserved by

Rickettsiella is a genus of bacteria that can infect many isopod species. These bacteria can cause disease symptoms such as lethargy, decreased appetite, and death in infected individuals. It is important to note that some Rickettsiella species can also infect humans and other animals, and can cause various diseases.

This bacteria is often confused with "porcelain disease" which is caused by Thelohania species. No Thelohania species have been recorded to infect Isopoda. The misconception arose because of the species similar appearance in infected crayfish.

Candidatus Rickettsiella isopodorum’ infecting Porcellio laevis

© Nathan Jones, some rights reserved (CC-BY)


Specialized Predators 

Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Spider)

@ Oonagh Degenhardt, some rights reserved (CC-BY)

Dysdera crocata was introduced to America and is native to Europe The species is known for its predatory behavior and ability to catch and eat Oniscoidea.

Dysdera crocata is a nocturnal spider that spends most of its time hiding in crevices or under logs and rocks. During the day, it can be found in its burrow, which is typically lined with silk. At night, the spider emerges from its burrow to hunt for woodlice and other small insects. It has powerful venom that it uses to subdue its prey, which it then injects with digestive enzymes to liquefy the tissues for easier ingestion.

Dysdera crocata is relatively small, with a body length of about 8-10 mm. It is usually found in wooded areas or gardens, where it can find a suitable habitat and ample food supply. Despite its venomous bite, Dysdera crocata is not considered a threat to humans, as its venom is not toxic to humans and is generally not aggressive towards humans.

                                   Trachelas  sp.                                                                                         Dysdera crocata

© Nathan Jones, some rights reserved (CC-BY)

Trachelas is a genus that has multiple species similar to Dysdera crocata; however, they can be told apart by the position of their ocelli. Trachelas will consume Oniscoidea; however, they are not specialized to do so.