Isopods as a hobby

Isopods, also known as pill bugs or woodlice, are crustaceans that have become increasingly popular as pets in recent years. These fascinating creatures are easy to care for and interesting to observe, making them an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced hobbyists alike.


Where to Learn About Isopod Keeping


There are many different resources available for those interested in keeping isopods as pets. One of the most popular resources is online forums and communities, where hobbyists can share tips and advice with each other. Some of the most popular online communities for isopod keeping include Reddit's r/isopods, Arachnoboards' Isopod Forum, and the Facebook group 'Isopod Keepers.' These communities are filled with knowledgeable hobbyists who are always happy to help answer questions and provide advice to those new to the hobby.


In addition to online communities, there are also several books available on the subject of isopod keeping. Some popular titles include:


- A Guide to the Common Isopods of North America by John R. Meyer

- The Isopod Handbook by Marc Kenis and David Meierotto

- Isopods in Captivity by Darren Green


These books provide valuable information on the care, breeding, and behaviour of isopods, making them an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn more about these fascinating creatures.


Caring for Isopods


Isopods are relatively easy to care for and require minimal equipment to keep. Here are some basic tips for caring for isopods:


Habitat – Isopods require a moist environment to thrive, so it's important to create a habitat that provides plenty of humidity. A plastic or glass terrarium with a secure lid is ideal. The substrate should be a mixture of organic materials such as coconut coir, sphagnum moss, and leaf litter. A layer of substrate at least 2-3 inches deep is recommended.


Food – Isopods are scavengers and will eat almost anything organic, including vegetables, fruits, and decaying plant matter. A diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, apples, and cucumbers, is recommended. You can also feed them commercially available fish food or chicken mash.


Water – Isopods require a source of fresh, clean water. You can provide water by misting the substrate with a spray bottle or by providing a shallow dish of water.


Temperature – Isopods thrive in temperatures between 70-80°F. Room temperature is usually sufficient as long as it doesn't drop below 65°F.


Species of Isopods


There are many different species of isopods available to keep as pets. Some of the most popular species include:


Porcellio scaber – This is the most commonly kept isopod species. They are hardy and easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners.


Armadillidium vulgare – Often referred to as the common pillbug, this species is popular for their ability to curl into a ball when threatened.


Porcellionides pruinosus – This species has a unique blueish-gray coloration and is known for being a prolific breeder.


There are many other species of isopods available to keep as pets. Some hobbyists even keep multiple species together to create unique and interesting habitats.


In conclusion, isopod keeping is a fascinating hobby that has grown in popularity in recent years. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced hobbyist, there are many resources available to help you learn more about these unique creatures. By providing a suitable habitat and diet, you can create a thriving colony of isopods that will provide endless hours of entertainment.

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