Four decades of multidisciplinary studies on isopods: a tribute to Pavel Ličar


  • Urban Bogataj
  • Damjana Drobne
  • Anita Jemec
  • Rok Kostanjšek
  • Polona Mrak
  • Sara Novak
  • Simona Prevorčnik
  • Boris Sket
  • Peter Trontelj
  • Magda Tušek Žnidarič
  • Miloš Vittori
  • Primož Zidar
  • Nada Žnidaršič
  • Jasna Štrus



isopods, terrestrial, aquatic, functional morphology, developmental biology, host-microbiota interactions, terrestrial isopod, aquatic isopod, ecotoxicology, systematics, evolution


In this paper we review the research on aquatic and terrestrial isopods during the last four decades at the Chair of Zoology, Department of Biology, Biotech- nical Faculty, University of Ljubljana. Isopods have attracted substantial attention from our research team in the followingareas: functional morphology and developmental biology, host-microbiota specific interactions, ecotoxicology, and systematics and evolution. We present the rationale for using two isopod species as our central model organisms: the waterlouse (Asellus aquaticus) and thewoodlouse (Porcellio scaber). We summarize the most important and interesting findings about the structure and function of the integument and digestive systems of several amphibious and terrestrial woodlice species during molting and developmental stages, the importance of P. scaber as a model organism in the study of arthropod-microbe interactions, and its central role as a test model in terrestrial ecotoxicity studies. We highlight the role that A. aquaticus has played in studying the evolution of subterranean biodiversity and in the evolution of troglomorphies. Inaddition to the retrospective view on our research with isopods we also present the scope of our future research, and the importance for zoology(biology). We wish to dedicate this work to our late co-worker, Prof. Dr. Pavel Ličar, who devoted much of his research into studying the digestive system of freshwater asellids (Isopoda: Asellota).


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Bogataj, U., Drobne, D., Jemec, A., Kostanjšek, R., Mrak, P., Novak, S., Prevorčnik, S., Sket, B., Trontelj, P., Tušek Žnidarič, M., Vittori, M., Zidar, P., Žnidaršič, N., & Štrus, J. (2016). Four decades of multidisciplinary studies on isopods: a tribute to Pavel Ličar. Acta Biologica Slovenica, 59(2), 5-25.

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