Lekanesphaera levii (Argano & Ponticelli, 1981)


Members of the Lekanesphaera genus are pill isopods, the identification of which is somewhat more complicated than indicated in Naylor & Brandt (2015) and Hayward & Ryland (2017), not least because Naylor & Brandt do not include Lekanesphaera levii, whilst Hayward & Ryland leave out Lekanesphaera monodi. Although the patterning of tubercles on the pleotelson can be indicative of species, determination should be based on the presence and patterning of setae on the first pereopod of mature specimens (Jacobs 1987).

L. levii is characterised by a smooth pleotelson, whilst the first pereopod has up to 50 smooth setae on the ischium, up to 60 on the merus and between 3 and 8 distodorsal setae on the propodus. Males are up to 12.0mm, females up to 8.0mm.

Distribution and Habitat

Found in rock crevices and under stones between MTL and LWN, recorded patchily around southern and western British coasts.



Hayward, Peter & John Ryland. 2017. Handbook of the Marine Fauna of North-west Europe (2nd Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jacobs, B. J. M. 1987. A taxonomic review of the European, Mediterranean and NW. African species generally placed in Sphaeroma Bosc, 1802 (Isopoda: Flabellifera: Sphaeromatidae). Zoologische Verhandelingen 238, 3-71.