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Clown 'Montenegro' Isopods (Armadillidium Klugii)

Clown 'Montenegro' Isopods (Armadillidium Klugii)

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Clown isopods are bright and colourful and stand out among other isopods. Due to its appearance, it resembles the outfit of a clown, thus the name. They are also referred to as Montenegro isopods. Their unique characters and environmental needs make them different from others. These isopods are attractive and are widely sought after among enthusiasts. 

Clown Isopods: Highlights

  • Scientific Name: Armadillidium Klugii
  • Origin: Montenegro, Europe
  • Difficulty: Low to medium
  • Rarity: Low
  • Temperature : 64℉ to 82℉ 
  • Size: 1.8 cm
  • Humidity: Medium (50%)
  • Food: Soft plants, moss
  • Supplement: Cuttlebone

Clown Isopods: An Overview

Clown isopods are named for their characteristic spotted colours in varieties of yellow and white. Their distinct appearance helps to deter predators in the wild. Interestingly, these species' temperaments don't match their appearance as they are shy in nature. They are originally from Montenegro, the southern part of Europe. 

The Clown isopods are available in different varieties depending on the region. The Clown Isopods Montenegro has red skirts with dark bodies and coloured polka dots.  

Clown Isopods: Characteristic Features

  • These isopods are from the Balkan region of Southern Europe.
  • These species grow around half an inch to less than 2 cm. 
  • Hard carapace with a dark colour body with red edges and yellow and creamy white spots. 
  • These species are nocturnal and feed on dead organisms, aiding in the decomposition process. 
  • Their striking colouration helps them defend themselves from predators, as it is thought to be due to mimicry of a spider that is native to their natural habitat.
  • These species are active during the night and forage for food in the dark.
  • They prefer shelter in damp, covered areas like leaf litter, rotting wood and burrows. 
  • They are social and live in clusters to regulate temperature and microenvironment for optimal survival conditions and to ward off predators.
  •  These isopods roll up in a ball when threatened. 
  • Due to their unique characteristics and temperament, they are widely appreciated in the community of exotic pets.
  • They are both hard and easy to maintain. 

Clown Isopods: Food Requirement

Clown Isopods feed on the standard isopod diet, which consists of decomposing leaves and softwoods. They eat almost all kitchen vegetable scraps. These species also enjoy snacking on moss and soft plants from time to time. It is crucial to feed the necessary quantity of food and keep them supplied. 

They have a hard exoskeleton. Thus, they need protein and calcium in their food. Incorporating dried shrimp and fish food adds calcium and protein to their diet. Occasional supplementary feeding is also beneficial for health, maintaining the state of an individual. The best supplements to give birds as an additional source are Cuttlebone or powdered calcium supplements.

Clown Isopods: Habitat

Moderate humidity in the enclosure is good for clown isopods. These isopods are slow at first in a new enclosure. Thus, when introducing them into a terrarium or vivarium it is required to culture them separately in order to increase their number and breed well under these conditions. The best container size for medium-sized isopods would be a shoe box sized.

For proper ventilation, these enclosures must have a means of letting out air or provide it by drilling holes around the box. The ventilations should be netted to avoid jail breaking.

Clown Isopods: Humidity and Temperature

  • An ideal temperature for Clown Isopods should be a room temperature of 70℉ to 85℉. 
  • When starting out a new culture, it will be better to keep the temperature on the higher side of the given temperature range. 
  • Isopods require a minimum humidity level to breathe.
  • Humidity should be around 50% above for these species to survive. 
  • It is important to monitor their behaviour in terms of temperature and humidity to find if the given environment is suitable for them or not. 

Clown Isopods: Substrate

The living conditions of these isopods are preferably a combination of a dry and wet area carefully divided between each other. The wet or humid area is to be placed in the corner, and the other areas may be kept dry. The ratio between damp and dry has to be in such a way that it is ⅓ wet area and the rest ⅔ dry area. 

An environment made for them, with increased humidity, is not preferable for these types of isopods. In some artificial setup environments, it is a common practice to set up mist-making devices that make the environment highly humid. This type of environment with a high percentage of humidity is not all comfortable for the isopods. It requires very little water poured along the sides of the wet side.

The other advantage with these isopods is that, these isopods act as cleaning organisms in a comparatively drier environment. It isn't easy to achieve this division of dry and wet areas in a single area. However, by using some special kind of mix, this condition can be achieved, making it comfortable for your pets.

Substrate mixes for Clown isopods are different from other types. The substrate mix should consist of standard base ingredients like coco fibre, sphagnum moss, sand, and boiled leaf substrate. When providing the substrate, the wet area of the substrate should consist of a moisture-retaining ABG mix. 

When providing the substrate base, it is important to provide suitable depth for the isopods to hide and burrow. Adding decomposing leaves and softwood mimics their natural homeland and provides a constant source of food and hiding. 

These isopods can be paired with species like garden snakes that live in similar environments and temperatures, making it a great bioactive setup. Add wooden pieces and barks for the isopod colonies to hide and add to the aesthetics of the enclosure. 

These species require protein in their substrate mix, therefore, supplements like calcium powder or cuttlebone are added into the mix to maintain isopod health.

In conclusion, it is important to use the right amount of substrate, humidity and temperature for these isopods to live and thrive. Therefore, it is crucial to follow these methods so that they can breed, multiply and live happily in the environment.

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