Distribution in scandinavian waters

Maximum length: 0,5 cm.
Appearance: Because gribbles usually attack wood "en mass", the wood surface quickly becames sharp and uneven because of all the holes and cavities.
    They are a light grey-brown in colour, often with darker markings. Gribbles can roll up like a ball.
Depth: Sea-level to unknown depth.
Environment: Live close to the coast in sea water impregnated wood.
Misc: In contrast to the shipsworm (that has made the calcareous tube above), gribbles can leave their piece of wood and swim away to another. The female lays her eggs in her tunnel. When a large number of young are born they dig sideways and can create immense damage to the wood. Although gribbles do not dig very deeply into the wood, the attacked area flakes off, and if the wood is attacked from many directions, thickness can be reduced by as much as 2 cm per annum.
    Besides cellulose in the wood, gribbles also consume the different fungi that attack the wood.
    The gribble exists globally in the northern hemisphere.
    With a magnifying glass it is possible to observe small one millimetre large dwellings in the form of a bottle on the back of the gribble. These dwellings have been built by single celled ciliates that belong to the group Folliculinidae.
Classification: Gribbles are part of the group woodlice which is a crustacean under the arthropods.

Gribble     Other names

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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson