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Ligia oceanica Flickr.jpg
Ligia oceanica
Scientific classification

Fabricius, 1798
Type species
Ligia oceanica

Ligia is a genus of isopods, commonly known as rock lice or sea slaters. Most Ligia species live in tidal zone cliffs and rocky beaches, but there are several fully terrestrial species in high humidity environments.


Coastal Ligia exhibit a mixture of terrestrial and marine characteristics, drying out easily, needing moist air and proximity to water to retain water. While they have gills and can exchange gas under water, they only do so when escaping terrestrial predators or being dislodged by wave action. They do not move swiftly in the water and are open to marine predation. They are well adapted to rocky surfaces and avoid sand which opens them to terrestrial predation and desiccation.[1]


Species separation is at times difficult because of sexual dimorphism. For example, males usually have longer and wider antennae than females, although this is often not the case. The male also tends to be larger but narrower, sometimes attributed to the female’s brood pouch.[2] Complicating matters is the possible existence of cryptic species in the genus [3]

The following is a list of all Ligia species contained in the bibliography of terrestrial isopods.[4][5]


  1. ^ Luis A. Hurtado, Mariana Mateos & Carlos A. Santamaria (2010). "Phylogeography of supralittoral rocky intertidal Ligia isopods in the Pacific region from central California to central Mexico". PLoS ONE. 5 (7): e11633. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011633. PMC 2908127. PMID 20657776.
  2. ^ Harold Gordon Jackson (1922). "A revision of the isopod genus Ligia (Fabricius)". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1922: 483–1276.
  3. ^ Santamaria, Carlos A.; Bluemel, Joanna K.; Bunbury, Nancy; Curran, Melinda (2017-10-06). "Cryptic biodiversity and phylogeographic patterns of Seychellois Ligia isopods". PeerJ. 5: e3894. doi:10.7717/peerj.3894. ISSN 2167-8359. PMC 5633021. PMID 29018626.
  4. ^ H. Schmalfuss & K. Wolf-Schwenninger (2004). "A bibliography of terrestrial isopods (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea)" (PDF). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. A. 639: 1–120.
  5. ^ Valiallah Khalaji-Pirbalouty & K. Wolf-Schwenninger (2010). "Two new species of Ligia Fabricius, 1798 (Crustacea: Isopoda: Ligiidae) from coasts of the Persian and Aden gulfs". Organisms, Diversity & Evolution. 10 (2): 135–145. doi:10.1007/s13127-010-0003-5.

External links[edit]

  • Data related to Ligia at Wikispecies