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Giant Orange Isopods (Porcellio Laevis)

Giant Orange Isopods (Porcellio Laevis)

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Giant Orange Isopods For Sale

Giant Orange Isopods (Porcellio laevis), also known as Giant Orange Woodlice, are a more widespread species and are used as custodians in terrariums. It's flamboyant colour and unique features stand out from its marshy environment. Like other Porcellio laevis, these isopods too have large appetites, but the striking orange with a white hue makes them more of a showpiece in people's bioactive enclosure. 

Giant Orange Isopods: Synopsis

  • Place of Origin: Europe
  • Scientific Name: Porcellio laevis
  • Maintenance effort: Low
  • Ideal Temperature Range: 60°F - 90°F
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • General Size: 1.8 cm – 2.3 cm
  • Rareness: Low
  • Humidity Range: 55% to 75%
  • Preferred Diet: Fresh vegetables, greens, decaying organic matter
  • Supplements in Addition: Oyster seashells, limestone

Giant Orange Isopods: Abstract

These isopods were discovered first in Europe, but it is argued among intellectuals that laevis originated from North Africa. Due to its popularity, now they are found worldwide. They have a smooth exoskeleton and have a flat body. They are highly active during the daytime. These critters feed on dead and decaying organic matter and plants and, in return, add nutrients to the terrarium. This helps for healthy plant growth. 

By consuming the rotten wood and vegetation, they contribute significantly to the ecosystem's balance. 

Giant Orange Isopods: Physical Traits and Characteristics

  • Has a distinct orange carapace with a smooth, flat surface. 
  • It has a round body shape that distinguishes it from other elongated isopod species. 
  • They are known to be larger and more aggressive species. They intimidate other isopods using their big bodies. 
  • They grow up to 2cm till adulthood.
  • These creatures require less maintenance. 
  • They are diurnal, i.e., they are active during the day.
  • Their reproduction age starts early before reaching adulthood.
  • They are prolific in nature and breed quickly once established in the terrarium. 
  • They have calcium-rich exoskeleton and are excellent sources of food for amphibians and reptiles. 
  • They prefer damp and humid habitats with lots of ventilation.
  • They are perfect as entry-level isopods. 

Giant Orange Isopods: Nourishment

Almost every kind of food is consumed by these isopods. Their appetite is true without boundaries, and they consume organic debris, making them essentially scavengers. Providing a balanced diet is essential when a creature is taken care of in a box. 

Wood, rotting leaves, greens, mushrooms, and even molting of other invertebrates or reptiles can be added to them. Include vegetables in their diet, like sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, etc. Add modest amounts of freshly sliced veggies and adjust as necessary to monitor their food intake. 

These species require more calcium and protein compared to other isopod species due to their calcareous exoskeleton. Dried shrimp, fish meals, and oyster shells are excellent sources of calcium and protein for the growth and development of these critters. Another alternative is calcium powder or powdered limestone. 

Due to their active nature, it is important to provide calcium and protein-rich food twice a week. Make sure to feed them plenty, as the adult isopods tend to push away juvenile species. Be sure to get rid of the excess food to prevent mold, fruit flies, and other pests. 

Giant Orange Isopods: Breeding

  • Males are typically more slender than females.
  • When reaching adulthood, females will have a white cavity in between their legs. Males do not have a cavity. 
  • Mature males often have enlarged reproductive organs, which helps them mate. 
  • Male isopods engage in courtship, and once they succeed, they transfer sperm packets to the female genitalia opening. 
  • After mating, females carry fertilized eggs in a specialized pouch on their abdominal. 
  • Eggs undergo embryonic development in the pouch. 
  • Once isopods are fully developed, offspring are born, and they start exploring their environment.

Giant Orange Isopods: Natural Environment

Due to their extreme adaptability, giant orange isopods may survive in a variety of environments. Recreating their natural habitat as closely as possible for their health and well-being is essential. 

  • Humidity Levels: These species do well in conditions with high humidity because they love the dampness. They are typically found in moist, shady places like caverns, forest floors, and decaying logs. For their survival and procreation, the moisture content must be maintained.  
  • Substrate: The Giant Orange Isopods prefer substrate with high organic content. Elements such as moss, pieces of rotting white wood, and decaying leaves replicate the environment well. 
  • Temperature: These species are tolerant to extreme drought and various temperatures. But they prefer moderate temperatures around 21°C to 29°C for optimum health. 

Giant Orange Isopods: Artificial Enclosure Setting

For an artificial setup of isopods, it is recommended to use a plastic shoebox tub with lids. It is important to keep them in a small box first. Transfer them into a bigger container once they start producing offspring and increasing numbers. Like all isopods, the Giant Orange Isopods require moisture for hydration. It is crucial to provide moisture within the bioactive setup by spraying one side of the enclosure with water and leaving the rest dry. Adding moss helps to retain the water and provides a snack for these creatures. 

It is necessary to provide small holes around the container walls above the substrate for ventilation and to regulate the enclosure's humidity. Make sure to provide holes above the substrate and away from their reach so that these critters don't escape. Springtails feed on mold, which is formed due to excess moisture. Therefore, it is best to pair them with the Giant Orange Isopods. Together, they will keep the bioactive clean and help the isopods to thrive well in the artificial setting. 

Giant Orange Isopods: Substrate

Giant Orange Isopods require a suitable substrate to thrive in captivity. Therefore, it is recommended to provide a substrate mix made of coconut coir and peat moss or a substrate mix available online. While buying a substrate mix, ensure a quality mix with good water retention capabilities. The substrate mixture must be moist and covered with a layer of leaf litter. This helps to mimic their natural habitat for the isopods to exhibit natural behaviors. These species like to dig; therefore, the substrate bedding should be 3-4 inches deep. 

For humidity, mist one side of the substrate to maintain the gradient. This helps the isopods to migrate from wet to dry when necessary. Add cork bark, coconut shells, and egg cartons to provide hides into the enclosure. They act as an excellent hiding and climbing space for the isopods. Adding multiple hides offers ample room for juveniles and adults and provides an enriching environment. Also, add various types of moss to provide a hiding space and as a snack. 

Ensuring the above elements will provide a suitable environment for the isopods in the enclosure. 



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