Limnoria lignorum

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Gribble (Limnoria lignorum): The Gribble is usually detected thanks to the burrows it makes in submerged or floating wood. Unlike Shipworm (Bankia setacea) which digs large burrows, the gribble digs very small burrows (usually only about a millimeter in diameter), and survives quite well on the beach. Although it's essentially a longish roly-poly, the gribble looks somewhat like a worm at the macroscopic level. When observed with a dissecting microscope or good hand lens, though, it's worth looking for a similar species, called Limnoria tripunctata. It is not clear to the writer of this article whether this species is present in Alaska, but it can be categorically identified by the presence of three small rear-facing tubercles on the pleotelson.

The larger isopod that isn't a wood borer but is commonly seen on driftwood, especially in estuaries, is Oregon pillbug (Gnorimosphaeroma oregonensis). This one is clearly roly poly-like, and dark in color.

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