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Crystal Pineapple Isopods (Cristarmadillidium Muricatum)

Crystal Pineapple Isopods (Cristarmadillidium Muricatum)

Regular price £30.00 GBP
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Crystal Pineapple Isopods For Sale

Crystal Pineapple Isopods or Cristarmadillidium muricatum are one of the rarest and unique species. These isopods are little in size and have yellow to orange spikes on the exoskeleton. Due to its appearance, they have captured the attention of a lot of exotic pet enthusiasts. 

Crystal Pineapple Isopods: Insight

  • Scientific Name: Cristarmadillidium muricatum
  • Other Common Name: European Spiny Isopod
  • Origin: Spain
  • Size: 8 mm
  • Difficulty level: Medium
  • Breeding rate: Normal
  • Temperature: 64℉ to 75℉
  • Rarity: High
  • Humidity: 50% to 70% (Dry arid environment)
  • Favorite food: decaying leaves, rotting white wood, molting of invertebrates and reptiles
  • Supplements: cuttlefish bone, limestone

Crystal Pineapple Isopods: Introduction

The Crystal Pineapple Isopods are native to the Mediterranean region of Spain. These species are quite shy and prefer to hide under leaves and cork bark. They are active during nighttime and early mornings. 

Their striking features and colour is what makes them unique from other species. They are rare and are a tad bit difficult to take care of. Due to its tiny appearance, it needs to be handled with care. 

Crystal Pineapple Isopods: Characteristics and Traits

  • Has a spiky exoskeleton that resembles a pineapple.
  • They grow up to 0.8 cm in length. They are one of the smallest isopods.
  • They are nocturnal; therefore, they are active during the night and early mornings. 
  • The isopods roll into a ball when they sense danger.
  • They have a light yellow to washed-out orange color, which is different from other bright-colored isopods.
  • They are hard and easy to breed on decayed leaves and rotting wood. 
  • Like other Spanish species, these prefer dry and arid environments. 
  • When maintained at the desired temperature and humidity, it enables breeding and producing large broods.
  • These species require plenty of air circulation in their enclosure to mimic the environment. 

Crystal Pineapple Isopods: Diet

As detritivores, these roly polys consume pretty much everything. But in captivity, providing various types of food is important. It helps to maintain the health of the isopods. Suitable foods include leaves, rotten wooden bark of oak, and white wood, which will help provide nutrition as well as a habitat for the creatures. 

Vegetable scraps and vegetables like carrots and cucumbers help to provide necessary nutrition. It is crucial to add protein twice a week in their diet, therefore fish food, molting of other reptiles and invertebrates and dried shrimp is added for protein. Substitutes like cuttlebone and limestone provide a rich source of calcium which is necessary for this species. It is crucial to avoid feeding food that has no salt in it and wooden bark and leaves have no pesticide.

Crystal Pineapple Isopods: Basic Care and Maintenance

To maintain the thriving population, it is crucial to provide basic care for the isopods. People who are pets to these creatures require timely care and attention. 

  • Check and make sure the temperature of the enclosure is maintained regularly. It is important to make sure that the temperature falls within their ideal range.
  • Though these creatures prefer a dry atmosphere, it doesn't mean a desert-like atmosphere. Providing moisture on parts that have sphagnum moss helps to retain and provide necessary hydration. Make sure to maintain the humidity at the ideal humidity level for the isopods to thrive. 
  • To maintain a healthy environment, it is important to clean the enclosure and remove any remaining food bits within the substrate. 
  • Make sure to occasionally add supplements like oyster shells and cuttlebone for better nutrition. 
  • Monitor the size of the brood and make sure to provide another enclosure if the species are overpopulated. This helps to prevent overcrowding and competition among species for food and other resources. 
  • Maintain the enclosure free of fruit flies, molds, gnats, and other harmful parasites that may affect the population.
  • Providing timely supplements into the enclosure for the species to have a healthy exoskeleton. 

Crystal Pineapple Isopods: Natural Habitat

These crustaceans are native to the Mediterranean region of Spain. Their natural habitat is dry and arid, with less moisture and plenty of ventilation. These critters do require water but in very small quantities. Though these isopods are quite versatile, it is important to mimic their natural habitat. This helps to provide an optimal environment for the breeding and health of the isopods. 

Crystal Pineapple Isopods: Artificial Setting

Creating a suitable environment in an artificial setting is important. It helps to maintain optimal health and bring out their natural character for hobbyists to admire and observe. 

The isopods have to be kept in a shoebox-size enclosure. The temperature must be maintained around 18 to 24, which is ideal for the critters to breed and for optimal health. Since they are from an arid region, the setting should mirror their natural habitat.

Even though these isopods prefer arid, they still need hydration. Therefore, adding sphagnum moss helps retain moisture in the artificial setting. 

These species prefer plenty of airflow in the enclosure. When setting up an artificial setting, it is important to invest in an enclosure with ventilation. The ventilation needs to be small or covered with mesh to prevent these creatures from escaping. If opting for a DIY method, make sure to drill small holes around the enclosure above the substrate to maintain the microclimate of the artificial setting. 

Premium substrate mixes for isopods are available in stores, which helps provide a perfect mix of elements. These elements include:

  • Flake soil
  • Organic potting soil
  • Oyster seashell
  • Sphagnum moss

Adding the substrate mix provides a perfect base for the artificial setting. Make sure to provide a thick bed of around 3 inches to provide ample space for the creatures to hide and dig.

When adding the substrate, opt for an isopod substrate mix, which provides a complete base for the enclosure. Add leaves on the substrate along with limestone rocks to the substrate. For hydration, add sphagnum moss to the side of the box instead of covering the whole enclosure. Make sure to provide wooden bark as well to provide hiding space and mimic the natural environment. 

Since these species are shy in nature, therefore cork bark flat helps to provide hiding space for the isopod brood. Adding dried leaves and limestone also acts as a hiding space as well as provide necessary nourishment for the isopods.

By taking these steps, one can create a perfect environment for the Crystal Pineapple Isopods to reproduce and thrive well.

 

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