The Orange variant of P. scaber are my favorite species of Isopoda to raise! Isopods are actually crustaceans and help maintain a balance in nature by helping the natural decomposition of flora and fauna.
This is a great species to be a stand alone pet that the whole family can watch and learn about the importance of decomposition in our world around us.
I personally find it very interesting to watch them grow and turn from light peach to a dark orange with every molt. We set up several naturalistic vivaria with vertical logs and patches of puffy moss to watch them slowly decompose and hollow out the décor to satisfy their needs.
Giant orange isopods also make great addition to your bioactive habitat. Though they are not known for their rapid cleaning abilities, they are a hearty species to thrive and promote a natural hunting response in reptile, amphibian or arachnid enclosures.
P. scaber can often be seen munching as a group on a log or patch of moss catching the eye of a hungry predator. They can take 14-22 months to reach a breeding age, so they are not recommended for a main tank cleaner. Unlike faster breeding species, giant orange isopods only breed up to 3 times a year. They average a brood size of 20 babies and carry their young in a pouch under their thorax. This species are polyandrous and will breed more rapidly left in a smaller area, allowing for several mates.
They prefer temperate climates and are considered native to mainland Europe but have spread to every continent except Antarctica. For breeding purposes, keeping them at a comfortable room temperature with seasonal fluctuations is recommended.
Basics- Trichorhina tomentosa
Most people think that isopods are insects, but they belong to a very diverse group of Crustaceans. Most of the known species thrives in the sea, but some species have adapted to the land.
White dwarf isopods or Trichorhina tomentosa, are a common tropical species in the pet trade and are sometimes referred to as woodlice or sow bugs. At only 1/2 a cm, this dwarf species becomes a perfect in between meal snack for your smaller species of arachnid, amphibian or lizard but are small enough to go unnoticed by an adult arachnid and or reptile.
These marvels of nature have two pairs of antennae, seven pairs of jointed limbs on the thorax, and five pairs of branching appendages on the abdomen that are used in respiration. Since isopods have modified gills, or pseudotrachea, that need to be kept moist, woodlice are not suitable for terrariums that require very dry conditions. They also require external moisture for survival because their exoskeleton lacks a waxy cuticle, or epicuticle, preventing the retention of moisture.
Females brood their young in a pouch under their thorax. Juveniles can start breeding before fully mature making this a great species for rapid colonizing of your vivaria.
These welcomed additions to any tropical tank or bioactive system will perform their useful maintenance role by consuming decaying matter. They may be combined with other species or added alone to assist with the decomposition of flora or fauna in your vivarium!
Decaying animal or plant matter is a common food source for the following vivaria nuisances:
This frees up valuable time from tedious maintenance to enjoy what we all love most: our pets!