Isopods Commonly Used In Bioactive Enclosures
Most people love P. Laevis "Dairy Cows." What's not to enjoy about them when they are busy-bodies, and they have fun markings on their carapace! However, not all isopods are appropriate for all bioactive enclosures. It is very important to choose an appropriate isopod for the health of the isopods and all of the other enclosure inhabitants. Certain species are excellent large cleaners but they reproduce quickly and are protein lovers. Others are small and slow to reproduce but they aren't as voracious cleaners. Others are hardy and can tolerate more arid environments, whereas, others prefer more humidity. A previous blog post list different amphibians, reptiles, crabs, and roaches that are frequently inquired about if you wish to see isopod recommendations for your enclosure's inhabitant.
P. Dilatatus "Giant Canyon" - Excellent large, hardy cleaner that reproduces easily and can tolerate arid conditions. It is not recommended to keep them with small inhabitants because they love protein and could possibly pick at the animal. If you have a larger animal and you need a heavy-duty cleaner, this is a top choice.
P. Laevis Dairy Cow/Orange/White/Milkback/Gray - Laevis are larger isopods that also like protein. They need some humidity. They are hardy, reproduce quickly, and great cleaners, but it is not recommended to keep them with small animals.
P. Scaber Orange/Dalmatian/Lava/Calico/Orange Koi/Rough/Lottery Ticket - Scaber reproduce moderately, and they also like protein so take caution using them with small animals. They need some humidity and are not appropriate for arid enclosures.
P. Pruinosus Orange/Powder Blue/Oreo/Party Mix/White Out - Very hardy species that reproduces quickly and is a great cleaner. They have a soft body, so they are an excellent supplemental feeding source. The Orange especially can handle more arid conditions.
Armadillidium Maculatum/Nasatum (Peach and Gray)/Vulgare (Wild Type, Albino T+, Magic Potion, Sunset, St. Lucia)/Klugii (Montenegro and Pudding) - Armadillidium species prefer a 50/50 arid and humid environment. They are peaceful, slower moving, and they are slower to reproduce. If you don't need a heavy-duty cleaner, they are an excellent choice.
Venezillo Parvus/Venezillo Parvus Dalmatian - Very small hard-working isopod that stays mostly in the substrate, and reproduces moderately. They prefer humidity, and will not survive in an arid enclosure. One of our favorite tropical enclosure inhabitants.
Isopoda Sp. Tarragona - Small isopod that stays hidden. They prefer a 50/50 arid and humid environment. They reproduce moderately. Another excellent choice for an enclosure because they are great at avoiding being eaten.
Cubaris Murina Little Sea/Orange/Papaya - Small peaceful isopod that reproduces slowly. They need some humidity, so they are not appropriate for arid enclosures. They are a good choice for enclosures that don't need a big heavy-duty cleaner.
Trichorhina Tormentosa Dwarf White/Costa Rican Purple/A. Dentiger - These dwarf isopods are great cleaners and supplemental feeders. They are hardy and reproduce quickly. Dwarf whites can tolerate somewhat arid conditions.
No matter if your enclosure is arid or humid/tropical, there are many isopods to choose from, basic or fancy and colorful, that will be a great clean-up crew. Every animal is different with different needs, so be sure to select a clean-up crew that is a good fit for your needs.