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Porcellio scaber - Iridovirus A common Rough Woodlouse (usually gray-ish) infected with an Iridovirus  IIV 6,IIV-31,Invertebrate Iridovirus,Invertebrate iridescent virus 6,Iridovirus,Isopod Iridovirus,Porcellio,Porcellio scaber,Porcellionidae,Rough woodlouse Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

    comments (8)

  1. What a very cool find! Did you find it like this in nature, or was it purposely infected? I have always wanted to find an insect infected with this virus in nature. I have seen mosquito larvae with IIV, but they were more iridescent than blue. It makes me wonder a couple things - are these infected insects spurned by the opposite sex and can the virus be transmitted to a creature that eats an IIV infected insect? Do they become infected or are they carriers? Hmm. Maybe research has been done on this already, I don't know...But, I'm going to go look it up! Posted 9 months ago
    1. Hi Christine, in some areas there will always be a few "blue ones" in almost every population - generally low percentages like maybe 0.5-2% or some such. In different areas I see far less or none at all, but overall they're just a fact of woodlouse life. The fact that for example a publication from 2013 puts this on the map for Sicily indicates to me that it is not quite so common everywhere. Earliest records are from California so you have them in the States too. The fact that this is due to a virus only sunk in during the last century, but there are far older records as illustrated by "new species" or "variants" being described based on the purple colour in the centuries before :o)
      From what I seem to remember the virus may be transmitted to other woodlice by feeding on the cadavers, but I'm sure there will be other mechanisms at work too (I read something about an Isopod infecting nematode carrying the virus somewhere). You can easily find ample info on this (also for frogs and fish and the like) and I have added some good PDFs to the species description for the virus, linked to this image:
      Isopod Iridovirus As this image shows two species of woodlice infected with an iridovirus side by side (left: Armadillidium vulgare; right: Porcellio scaber), I'll use this to try and integrate the virus as such in the JD taxonomy and identify the "species" accordingly.<br />
Yes, I am aware that a virus is not necessarily considered part of the tree of life, but they do play an important role and maybe some other images of plant disease or what have you might be presented here as well :o)   Armadillidium vulgare,IIV 6,IIV-31,Invertebrate Iridovirus,Invertebrate iridescent virus 6,Iridovirus,Isopod Iridovirus,Porcellio scaber
      Posted 9 months ago, modified 9 months ago
      1. Really fascinating! Thanks for adding the great links! And, interesting about the nematodes because some mosquito larvae have been found to be co-infected with IIV and nematodes. Posted 9 months ago
  2. From today's JungleDragon Facebook post:

    "Like other animals, arthropods can become infected with viruses. The woodlouse (Porcellio scaber) pictured is infected with an iridovirus. Iridoviruses cause crystals to accumulate in diseased tissues under a woodlouse's exoskeleton, and then transforms its appearance from gray to bright blue. Cells that are infected with iridovirus secrete protective factors that prevent the arthropod's immune system from fighting back, thus making the virus especially formidable. {Spotted in the Netherlands by JungleDragon moderator, Pudding4brains} #JungleDragon"
    Posted 8 months ago
    1. Ahw, thanks for that Christine :o)
      If you ever wish to quote me as "Arp" instead of P4b that is fine with me too (either way is fine) - it's just that such a short username was not allowed here.
      Posted 8 months ago
      1. You're welcome. And, sure thing - I'll start using Arp instead of P4b on Facebook posts. I try to use people's handles just in case they don't want their real name out there, unless I have permission :). Posted 8 months ago
        1. Yes, I totally agree with that strategy and try to handle things the same way, but I also often sign my posts here with my true name, so there you are ... ;o) Posted 8 months ago
          1. Hehe, so obvious and true ;P Posted 8 months ago, modified 8 months ago

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