Taxonomy Search:

Ligia exotica
Image courtesy of Stu's Images and Wikimedia commons through the CC BY-SA 3.0 License.
Ligia exotica
Taxonomic Group: Crustaceans-Isopods
Common name: SEA ROACH


Ligia exotica is commonly known as the Sea Roach. It was first described from shipping docks in Marseilles, France, but is native to the Indo-Pacific and Asia. Introduced populations are found on the East Coast of North America (New Jersey to the Caribbean), the Azores, West Africa, Argentina, and a number of Pacific Islands, including Hawaii. It is a fast-running, semi-terrestrial, isopod found on rocky shorelines, wharf pilings, and harbor areas. Likely vectors for its global distribution include 'dry' ballast, and the moist cargo-holds and damp niches on the decks of ships. Although it is widely introduced, no economic or ecological impacts have been reported.

* Content for this species is based on the literature and peer review is pending - if you have comments or feedback please contact Paul Fofonoff at

This is some default tab content, embedded directly inside this space and not via Ajax. It can be shown when no tabs are automatically selected, or associated with a certain tab, in this case, the first tab.


Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
Access Date:

Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

P.O. Box 28
647 Contees Wharf Road
Edgewater, MD 21037-0028 Tel: 443 482 2200
Fax: 443 482 2380

Databases Overview| Chesapeake Bay | National Database |