Thermosphaeroma thermophilum Richardson, 1897
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- Thermosphaeroma thermophilum
Thermosphaeroma thermophilum, commonly known as the Socorro isopod or Socorro sowbug, is a crustacean in the family Sphaeromatidae. It was endemic to the thermal water of Sedillo Spring located in Socorro County in the state of New Mexico, United States. In the isopod's natural habitat the thermal waters ranged in temperature from 26 -. In 1947, when the spring was diverted to supply the city of Socorro with drinking water, the isopods ended up living in an old water supply pipe that led to a horse trough and two small, old, concrete bathing pools. In 1988, the wild population became extinct when a tree root burst the pipe and cut off water flow to the concrete pools. Existing captive populations were bred to restore the isopod community near the spring and they were reintroduced into eight new concrete pools (tanks). As of 2006, captive populations are kept at the Albuquerque Biological Park, the Minnesota Zoo, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Laboratory in Santa Fe, and by the Department of Biology at New Mexico Tech. Thermosphaeroma thermophilum engage in cannibalistic interactions, meaning these species feed on other individuals which belong to the same species as a source of food. In 1997, a research found that female thermosphaeroma thermophilum were feeding on vegetation and, on the other hand, male thermosphaeroma thermophilum were cannibalizing females.