Newsletter of the Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods)

Volume 27 No. 1, Spring 2008


The first record of the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare from Quebec (Isopoda: Oniscidea)

Aydın Örstan,
Section of Mollusks, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, U.S.A.;
Joan Jass, and Barbara Klausmeier
Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Milwaukee Public Museum, 800 West Wells St., Milwaukee, WI, 53233, U.S.A.

General information and editorial notes

News and Notes:

Bio-Blitz 2008

The first curation blitz

Biological Survey of Canada symposium

Summary of the Scientific
Committee meeting    

Insects of the Yukon price

BSC Vision document

Project Update: Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification

First record of Armadillidium vulgare from Quebec

Web site notes

The biodiversity of beetles in the Maritime provinces

Arctic Corner

Historical changes in the biodiversity of Muscidae and Fanniidae of Churchill

Impacts to the invertebrate community structure of aquatic systems in Nunavut

Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago published

Selected future conferences

List of Requests for Material or Information


The terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare (Latreille) is generally believed to be a native of Europe and a widespread alien in North America (Jass and Klausmeier 2000). It had been recorded in several states in the U.S. by the early 20th century (Richardson 1905). The published Canadian records of A. vulgare have been from British Columbia and Ontario (Jass and Klausmeier 2001).

During the rainy night of 6 October 2007, the first author photographed and collected isopods in the backyard of a private residence on Prince Albert Avenue, Westmount, Quebec (45° 28' 44’N, 73° 36' 17.7"W). Subsequently, we identified one of the specimens as A. vulgare (Fig. 1). The specimen in alcohol has been deposited in the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM IZ231107-1).

Also present at the same location was another European immigrant isopod Porcellio spinicornis Say, which has been recorded from Quebec before (Jass and Klausmeier 2001). Armadillidium vulgare and P. spinicornis had probably been brought to the yard where they were found with plants that had originated in greenhouses. Eighty years ago, Walker (1927) noted that A. vulgare had been found in Ontario only in greenhouses and in their immediate vicinity. It remains to be determined whether A. vulgare has permanently established itself outdoors in Quebec.

References cited

Jass, J. and B. Klausmeier. 2000. Endemics and immigrants: North American terrestrial isopods (Isopoda, Oniscidea) north of Mexico. Crustaceana 73: 771–799.

Jass, J. and B. Klausmeier. 2001. Terrestrial isopod (Crustacea: Isopoda) atlas for Canada, Alaska, and the contiguous United States. Milwaukee Public Museum Contributions in Biology and Geology 95: 1–105.

Richardson, H. 1905. Monograph on the isopods of North America. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 54: 1–727.

Walker, E.M. 1927. The woodlice or Oniscoidea of Canada (Crustacea, Isopoda). Canadian Field Naturalist 41: 173–179.

Fig. 1. The head (left) and the posterior end (right) of the Armadillidium vulgare specimen from Westmount, Quebec



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