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. 5,000 of these terrestrial crustaceans aid in the decomposition of plants and animals in almost every part of the world, except the artic circles!
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 reptile but are small enough to go unnoticed by an adult.
They are some of the fastest breeding species on the market today, making them a perfect candidate for in tank breeding! Since they consume decaying matter within your tank, there is little need to provide additional food. (* see basic care tips)
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.