Roaches on the rocks? What kind of drink is that?

It's a roach, it's a plane, it's an isopod
Roaches on the rocks. A drink for the strongest of blenders and guts. York River, Virginia

While fishing I spotted what looked like roaches on the rocks of the rip rap along the river. Like little cattle, they were grazing on the algae of the rocks. Unlike roaches who scatter when the light is flicked on, these scattered when my shadow preceded me. I jammed my hand into the rocks and was able to snag one. It wasn’t a roach – which is an insect – but a marine pillbug, Ligia exotica, which is sometimes called a wharf roach. Pillbugs (aka rolly-pollies) are crustaceans (like crabs and shrimp) and known to invert geeks as isopods. You may have seen their terrestrial cousins under a log and when you picked up the little pillbug it rolled up into an armored ball. My marine isopods I found do not roll up like an armadillo, but instead scatter like roaches they are sometimes called. Being as long as a crayon broken in half, these are the largest isopods I’ve seen.

Roaches on the rocks? I want someone to figure out what that drink is and make it for me. Challenge laid.

Rock isopod, Ligia exotica, York River, Virginia (2)

Rock isopod, Ligia exotica, York River, Virginia (1)


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