Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Interested in a 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico?

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Previous events

amphipod? - Idotea balthica

amphipod? - Idotea balthica
Bass Beach, Rye, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
July 7, 2013
Size: 1/2 in.
I have been finding these for years at the beach, never knowing what they were. They cling to seaweed, sometimes in the hundreds, and so I'd take a clump and put it in a bucket and watch them all disperse into the water. They seem to come in a variety of colors and sizes, most too small for me to photograph (though I have photos of a few others, red ones). This is the largest one I've found. I'm really interested to know what these are, they're a part of my childhood!

Images of this individual: tag all
amphipod? - Idotea balthica amphipod? - Idotea balthica

Moved from Valvifera.

Nice picture
Surprisingly, there aren't very many valviferan isopod species locally; the coloration is just extremely variable in some species. I'll get back to you tonight on which species (or at least genus) this is. I suspect Idotea but need the keys in front of me to make a determination. Your picture shows the features key to an ID very clearly. It seems I'm the only one here familiar with New England saltwater isopods...

Idotea balthica (Pallas, 1772)
Keys to I. balthica in this source. The main key to this ID is the pointed telson.

thank you!
I appreciate the help! It's great to finally know what these amazing little creatures are. There's no page in the guide for it though, should one be made?

Moved from ID Request.

Close...Isopods, Valvifera
These are fun little animals...
I'm guessing your's are similar to the usual (Pent)Idotea on the West coast.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.