Generally speaking, there are more than 3,500 species of lice in the world, of which only a few dozens are found in our country. In apartments (for example, in bathrooms, toilets), you can find only two types:
- ordinary brown-bark beetle;
- as well as the scabby moccasin.
The fact is that an apartment or a private house is still not the most suitable habitat for these creatures, and therefore they penetrate here and only the most common and unpretentious species take root here more or less. In general, in Russian cities - outside residential or business premises - you can meet a much larger number of species of these interesting crustaceans.
On a note
Most ordinary people believe that lice are insects. In fact, they are not insects at all, but belong to the suborder of crustaceans. All insects have only 3 pairs of legs, and there are much more legs in them, and besides, there are also gills.
Scientists studying invertebrates often conduct research and analysis of the fauna of woodworms in various localities. By results of such researches it is possible to draw a conclusion safely that in the conditions of cities of an average strip of Russia the unique "set" of kinds of woodworms has already had time to be formed. Each of these species has its own distinctive features, interesting and distinguishing them among other arthropods.
However, we, the city dwellers, are primarily interested in exactly the kinds of bark beetles that are found in our apartments and houses. So let's "get to know" them closer ...
Mocryrica vulgaris (Armadillidium vulgare), or bark beetle
Mokritsa vulgaris (Armadillidium vulgare) is, you can tell, the very famous and very widespread in all of Russia, the species of moss. It is the bark beetle, which has a high shell and a characteristic dark color of the body.
The photographs below show adult specimens of common woodworm:
Directly in flats this species is rare, but in basements, damp cellars and heating mains it is quite typical. In cities and towns, common woodlice is found most often in gardens, gardens, parks, on wastelands and roadside roads. They are held mostly under stones and various objects lying right on the ground.
These small crustaceans feed on plants, both living and already decaying. In the gardens and in the front gardens this kind of wood lice can damage the plantations, damaging the flowers, but, fortunately, most often they choose weeds, thus proving to be useful neighbors of the person.
To distinguish a miniature "battleship" from other relatives that are found in the cities is easy enough: its movements are unhurried, and with the slightest anxiety it turns into a tangle. An example is shown in the photo below:
It is interesting
It was an ordinary barking-iron bug after accidental transportation from Europe to the United States spread there in huge quantities, and today on the coast of California, in some places, sometimes more than 10,000 individuals per square meter are found.
Scabby mokritsa (Porcellio scaber)
Despite the widespread prevalence of common licorice in the territory of Russia, still the most numerous and most frequently encountered in residential areas is the so-called scabby moccasin (Porcellio scaber, sometimes also called "burial mocryca"). Representatives of this species are very mobile, they run much faster than the bark beetles, and easily move between the floors of apartment buildings (and sometimes the ways to literally hordes penetrate into apartments from damp lofts in houses where the roof leaks).
When catching a mochrica, the roughen does not curl up to the tangle, but on the contrary, it arches and quickly moves with all its ten legs, trying to break free and run away.
Its shell is soft and fairly flat, and the coloration varies greatly depending on the habitat. For example, rough scabs that live in the southern regions have a light gray color with a pinkish tinge, in the more northern cities - a yellowish or rusty color, and when they move to the east they become dark, sometimes almost black.
The photo shows a typical representative of a scabby roughened:
When penetrating into houses and various human constructions this species often turns into a pest. These small crustaceans can be dangerous for conservatories, farms, greenhouses, orchards and gardens. In cellars and cellars, they often eat vegetables and fruits stored here, and in warehouses can damage agricultural products.
However, if you have met such lice in the bathroom or toilet of your apartment, then you should not be particularly afraid - they do not bite, do not spoil the interior items, and generally, they are quite harmless in general. However, their appearance may indicate that somewhere nearby there is a damp room (attic, cellar), from where they, in fact, are creeping.
This type of bastard does not even have a generally recognized Russian name, but in many cities in the middle of Russia is also quite common.
According to scientific studies, the abundance of representatives of this species is explained by the fact that they differ in their excellent ability to adapt to environmental conditions. In addition, as it turned out, representatives of Trachelipus rathkei choose to live exactly those areas of cities where the building is the most dense.
These crustaceans differ characteristic slightly flattened and greatly expanded from below the shell, which complicates their capture by fingers. In addition, the antennae of Trachelipus rathkei is long enough - enough to distinguish even young individuals from related species.
Trachelipus rathkei are distributed around the world, and in the same large quantities as in Russia, are found in Europe, the USA, Canada.
Scientists are very attracted by the strong variability in the sex ratio in different populations of these wetworms. In some cities, the population is dominated by males, in others - by females, but experts are still unable to determine the reasons for such fluctuations.
In the photo below you can see what an adult copy of Trachelipus rathkei looks like:
Porcellio spinicornis is another known species of licorice, widespread in Europe and a few years ago accidentally introduced into North America.
Porcellio spinicornis is characterized by the presence on the shields of the shell of two rows of yellow dots, more or less distinctly expressed in different populations and in individual individuals. Another distinguishing feature of this species is the antennae of three segments, long and quite strongly curved in different angles on each segment.
The photograph clearly shows yellow spots on the shell of Porcellio spinicornis:
It is interesting
Porcellio spinicornis very strongly gravitates to places with the presence of limestone or lime. Most often this species is found around chalky quarries, in houses made of foam concrete or in old churches with lime-covered walls.
Cockworm Cylisticus convexus is known for spreading around the world in a relatively short time, but it can not be called a typical inhabitant of urban buildings: in apartments Cylisticus convexus almost never occurs. Individuals of this species prefer to settle on agricultural lands and in various buildings such as cowsheds, silos and currents.
This type of lice is well defined by prominent and rather long cerci - protrusions at the end of the abdomen, similar to the antennae:
"Domestic" types of woodlocks in other countries
In Europe and the Mediterranean countries, the list of typical "domestic" lice looks a little different than for Russia:
- The first place in terms of prevalence is occupied by common mackerel (battleship), typical for Russian residential premises, as well as various economic buildings.
- But the second place is occupied by the famous desert mackerel Reaumur, considered, so to speak, the most overland crustacean in the world, adapted to dwelling in semi-deserts and deserts. This species is especially common in Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Turkey - here it is found even in large quantities, than in southern Russia there is a scabby mokritsa.
In tropical countries, a much larger number of species of lice trees inhabit the apartments, but they differ little from their relatives, typical for the central part of Russia. Even their size is not impressive - the largest representatives reach a length of about 3-4 cm, and only individual giants grow to 5-6 cm.
Other arthropods who are mistaken for a log in the house
Appearance of woodlice is so specific that in the conditions of our country it is very difficult to confuse them with any other guest in the apartment. And yet, many owners of apartments and houses still "succeed".
So, for example, mocrites are sometimes called scales. True, this applies only to those people who very rarely saw lice in their lives, because these creatures are completely different from each other. It is enough to look at the photos of the woodlice and the scales in order to understand who is who:
It is interesting
In the south of our country, in the cellars and cellars, people often meet with kivsaks (the most common of them is the Crimean kivsyak), which are also sometimes called mokritsami. As in the situation with scales, the kivsyaks and lice trees differ so well that, having seen these two creatures next to them, it will be difficult to mix them up.
But in the tropics there are centipedes with solid shells, very similar to the apple tree, but, nevertheless, do not have anything to do with them:
In order to distinguish these millipedes from the family of glomerises from the lice, one really needs to know certain features of the anatomy of each species.
For example, an ordinary bark-iron moccasin can be confused with a centipede Glomeris marginata - these creatures are externally very similar. However, the centipede, in contrast to the woodlice, almost never occurs in residential buildings and human buildings, preferring a moist forest litter and space under the stones.
Let's sum up a little.
On the territory of Russia in an apartment or some kind of economic building, you can find mainly only two types of woodlice, which are easily recognized:
- ordinary mocrica;
- scabby moccasin.
If these "guests" have appeared in your apartment, you need to immediately understand where they come from, and take measures to eliminate excessive humidity in their "abode", until this dampness leads to other serious problems (mold, putrefaction, appearance pests and parasites).