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Soil Isopods (cubaris sp)

Soil Isopods (cubaris sp)

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Soil isopods belong to the Cubaris sp. They are larger species compared to other isopods. These species have a very dark colour and white antennae. Exotic pet communities love and admire their unique appearance and striking features.

Soil Isopods: Summary

  • Origin: Vietnam
  • Scientific Name: Cubaris Sp.
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Size: 1.5 cm to 2 cm
  • Rarity: High
  • Temperature: 75F to 80F
  • Humidity: 60% to 80%
  • Supplements: Cuttlebone, calcium powder

Soil Isopods: Introduction

Soil Isopods are native to Southeast Asia. Their exoskeleton is dark black-purple in colour. Due to this rare colour combination, they have got the nicknames “Gothic Isopod” and “The Black Evil”. 

These critters, unlike other isopods, like to live on flat rock surfaces. Their range of activity is very small. They prefer wet and humid climates like their original habitat. 

Soil Isopods: Characteristics and Behaviour

  • Their origin is in the tropical climates of Vietnam.
  • They are one of the largest in Cubaris sp. They grow up to 2 cm.
  • These species are similar to Purple Giant isopods of Cubaris sp.
  • They like wet habitats with high humidity and in shaded areas.
  • During summers or dry days, they like to live in caves with water resources and moisture. 
  • They are detritivores.
  • They are less active during the summer.
  • During rainy seasons, they spread everywhere and are highly proactive.
  • They have a hard carapace with a dark colour and white antennae.
  • Unlike their name, “Gothic Isopods” and “The Black Evil”, these creatures look adorable with their rubber duck faces.
  • They are big compared to other Cubaris sp.

Soil Isopods: Feeding

Soil Isopods are omnivorous. For Soil Isopods to thrive and breed, healthy community nutrition is crucial. A balanced meal of plant matter, vegetables, rotten wood, and greens will help keep the isopods healthy.

They also need protein in their diet. Therefore, meat scraps, mushrooms and other complex protein foods can help maintain their exoskeleton. 

Alternate food supplements can be given once or twice a month. Calcium powder and cuttlefish bone are some of the substitutes for Soil Isopods.

Soil Isopods: Natural Habitat

Soil isopods live in wet and humid conditions. These creatures are found more in shaded and humid habitats. During the summer season, their activity becomes low, and they tend to live in places where there is water source and moisture.

When the season changes and it starts raining, these creatures become more active, and they spread everywhere. Therefore, it is observed that these isopods love wet and moist environments. 

Soil Isopods: Care and Breeding

Soil Isopods of Cubaris sp. are rare species of isopods. Breeding of isopods is a bit difficult from other isopod species. The care and maintenance tips are as follows:

  • An enclosure made of plastic or glass will be suitable for Soil Isopods.
  • It is necessary to maintain the temperature of the enclosure around 75°F
  • These creatures love humid and wet habitats. Therefore, humidity has to be on the higher end.
  • Make sure there is no stagnation of water inside the enclosure. Soil isopods appreciate wet and humid enclosures, not waterlogged enclosures.
  • Provide an enclosure with small ventilation to allow airflow.
  • These isopods prefer to live in shade. Therefore, keep them in a dark, shaded area.
  • Provide deep substrate to the enclosure. Thicker substrate helps maintain a consistent environment. 
  • Add sphagnum moss as it helps in retaining and providing moisture to the enclosed environment. 
  • Supply suitable calcium supplements once or twice a week.
  • Add limestone to the substrate as a supplement and also to mimic the environment.

Soil Isopod: Setting of Artificial Environment

To rear a Soil Isopod, it is important to mimic its natural habit. By understanding their natural habitat, we can provide that in any artificial setting. 

Soil isopods are from a tropical climate with a wet and humid environment. They’re found among dead and decaying organic matter. These nourish their body by consuming decaying matter. 

Therefore, the enclosure for the vivarium or terrarium should mimic the atmosphere of their original habitat. Maintaining a wet and humid substrate with high temperature is crucial. 

Before adding your isopods into any artificial setting, make sure they’re of the same species. Mixing various species of isopods can cause clashes as it is their inherent trait to dominate other species. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them in their colonies.  

The Soil Isopods can tolerate extreme temperatures. But for them to breed, it is necessary to provide the optimum temperature; for the Soil Isopods to breed, temperature should be maintained around 70°F to 80°F. Make sure that this temperature is maintained, as sudden changes in temperature can affect these creatures. 

Almost all isopods require warm and moist surroundings. Soil isopods like their surroundings wet and humid, i.e., they prefer high humidity. Therefore, it is necessary to keep a humidity gradient of around 75% to maintain an optimal environment. Also, add some moss to maintain the humidity in the enclosure.

Ventilation is crucial as it prevents unwanted pests from entering the enclosure. High humidity attracts mould, fruit flies, mites and gnats. Therefore, cross ventilation should be provided to prevent excess moisture accumulation.

Soil Isopod: Substrate

A suitable substrate mix is necessary for the moisture-loving isopods. For Soil Isopods, the substrate has to be such that it holds moisture and water, provides a suitable base to hold moisture and digging, and is compact and resistant, unlike soil, drainage and long-lasting. 

The ABG substrate mixture is ideal for Soil Isopods. The ABG substrate mix helps keep the balance of the artificial ecosystem and maintains the nutrition for the isopods. ABG substrate contains the mixture of the following:

  • Sphagnum moss
  • Orchid Bark
  • Charcoal
  • Tree Fern Fibre
  • Peat Moss

This substrate mix is suitable for the Soil isopods. This mix helps them to mimic their natural environment. 

Additionally, to make their environment more realistic to their natural settings, provide dried leaves and rotting wood into their enclosure. Also, add powdered limestone to the substrate. These provide food for the isopods and also a place for them to bring out their natural character of gathering and hiding. 

In conclusion, a well-balanced substrate mix helps them to thrive and breed. The Soil Isopods are extremely rare and are hard to breed. But they need to be kept under observation. Adding water to the substrate when needed and keeping in check with their diet and nutrition should keep them healthy and happy. 



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