How Many Legs Do Pill Bugs Have?

Pill Bug Anatomy

Pill bugs are not actually insects, but are crustaceans. They are small critters only about 1 cm. long with a head segment, 7 main body segments and 13 other smaller minor body segments.

The pill bug’s head segment contains the antennae. The pill bug has a total of 13 other sections, called body segments. Seven of the main body segments that comprise the pill bug’s thorax each have one pair of walking or locomotion legs that are used primarily for mobility.

These next 6 body segments are referred to as the pill bug’s abdomen and consist of even smaller body segments, each of which also has a pair of appendages that do not function as legs that move the pill bug around.

Abdominal Appendages

The appendages of the pill bug’s abdomen are not used for locomotion. The first 5 pairs of abdominal appendages are used for excretion and reproduction and the last segment of the abdomen houses one pair of appendages known as the uropods, which function as sensory receptors and to provide a defensive mechanism for the pill bug.

Since legs are defined as parts of an organism that aid in locomotion, pill bugs have 14 legs, plus 12 other appendages that do not fit the definition of a leg.


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