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Sphaeroma quoianum
Image courtesy of Melissa Frey, Royal BC Museum
Sphaeroma quoianum
Taxonomic Group: Crustaceans-Isopods


Sphaeroma quoianum is a borrowing isopod that resembles a terrestrial pillbug. It is native to Australia and New Zealand. Introduced populations are known from the West coast of North America, where it ranges from Southern California to Oregon. It burrows into substrates including decaying wood, soft sandstone, salt-marsh peat, and Styrofoam. It is a prominent species in some estuaries where it has been introduced and is known to increase erosion in marsh banks and Styrofoam dock floats. It was likely first introduced (around 1898) to San Francisco Bay in the soft rotten wood of a ship’s hull.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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